Eight of the Best Herbs for Shade

Eight shade-loving herbs to grow

We pick eight of the best herbs to grow in shady spots.

Herbs that don’t like their soil to dry out in summer tend to do well in shade.

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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.

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

Herbs that don't like their soil to dry out in summer tend to do well in shade.

1

Mint

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

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2

Dill

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.

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3

Parsley

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.

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4

Sorrel

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

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5

Chervil

This annual herb has a mild aniseed flavour. Keep chervil 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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6

Chives

Decorative and delicious, chive leaves and flowers have a mild onion flavour. A fresh bunch of chives is perfect for lots of dishes, from herb butters to filled baked potatoes.

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7

Lovage

Lovage is a hardy perennial forms a large clump, with leaves that have a strong celery kick. You can use the leaves to make a lovage-infused oil, or in fish dishes and soups.

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8

Coriander

Grow coriander from seed for its refreshing citrus-like leaves. The flowers and seeds are also edible. Try using the leaves in curries, koftes and burritos.

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Feeding and watering your herbs

Apply general-purpose liquid fertiliser to keep your herbs leafy, plus an occasional dose of liquid seaweed, as the trace elements improve flavour.