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Five shade-loving herbs to grow

Herbs that don't like their soil to dry out in summer tend to do well in shade. They produce better leaf crops if they're not subjected to midday sun, and are less likely to bolt into flower. Avoid sun-loving Mediterranean herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and oregano, but give everything else a try. With care, most will produce enough leaves for you to add to your favourite dish.

Discover four herbs that can be grown in shade or partial shade, below.


Use mint for tea, or add it to salads and other dishes. This herb enjoys shade, but its flavour may be less intense than in sun. Buy in small pots to plant out in spring/summer.


With delicate leaves that have a light, unique flavour, dill works well in salads. It's also a good substitute for parsley and tarragon in sauces. Sow direct in spring for summer harvests.


Both the flat-leaved and curly types of parsley benefit from being grown in partial shade. Sow seeds in spring or autumn, and take care to protect young plants from frost. You can use the leaves and stems in soups, stews, sauces and salads.


This perennial herb is very useful in the kitchen. Its leaves have a refreshing, sour taste that works well in salads, soups and sauces. Sow direct outdoors in spring and pick the leaves regularly.


This annual herb has a mild aniseed flavour. Keep it well watered and out of hot sun to avoid plants going to seed. Add finely chopped leaves to chicken and fish dishes, as well as to salads.

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Talkback: Five shade-loving herbs to grow
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Peat B 01/09/2014 at 10:04

What are suitable FLOWERS for shade, that aren't invasive, in a small front garden, east facing ?

nutcutlet 01/09/2014 at 10:09

Hi Peat, you said herbs in the title, that would restrict you more though bergamot, lovage and angelica would go.

Lots of flowers though, aquilegias, won't invade if you don't let them seed, astrantias. heucheras, persicarias.

I've got a lot of shade and, apart from the real sun lovers, most things will cope with some shade 

pansyface 01/09/2014 at 21:54

Not herbs, but well-behaved flowers that succeed in shade in my garden are chelone and astilbe.

bekkie hughes 01/09/2014 at 21:57

Violas are sooo pretty, ive got white horned violets in a similar spot, really pleased with them
There are some roses which will take a bit of shade

Invicta2 01/09/2014 at 23:00

Another herb suitable for shade is Sweet Cicely. Flowers that I have found shade tolerant are Primroses, Cyclamen and snowdrops.

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