Will Mint Grow In Partial Shade
Edward R. Forte
May 17, 2022
If your garden doesn’t receive even 2 hours of sun, I still encourage you to experiment with these herbs.Many will grow just fine in complete shade, though they’ll probably be a bit leggy because they’re stretching for the sun.Since herbs growing in the shade will be leggy to begin with, feeding them too much only encourages more weak and spindly growth.Sap-sucking critters, such as aphids and spider mites, attack plants growing in less than ideal conditions.A spray of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap is necessary only if the pests continue to appear after knocking them off the plant with a sharp stream of water from the hose.Whether you grow the following shade-tolerant herbs in the ground or in containers, enjoy both their decorative nature and their delicious flavor.A cool-season annual, chervil is easy to grow and has attractive, soft green, ferny foliage.Once the following summer’s warm temperatures arrive, the plant goes to flower, drops seed, and dies.Cilantro is a cool-season crop that quickly bolts (goes to flower) when the weather warms and the days grow longer.Unlike some other herbs that grow in shade, cilantro can handle spring frosts without issue.Waiting too long to sow the seeds results in the plant going to flower too quickly, which is great for coriander production but limits your yield of cilantro.This fall harvest will often provide you with even more tender leaves as the plant is in no hurry to generate flowers.To harvest, remove fresh, young foliage with a pair of clean, sharp scissors.Sow lemon balm seeds outdoors in the spring, just after the danger of frost has passed.Alternatively, you can sow the seeds indoors under grow lights in late winter and put the transplants out into the garden when the weather warms.Chives have a delicate onion flavor and can be harvested and used in the kitchen throughout the growing season simply by snipping a handful of stems off at their base.Chive plants are also easy to find in the nursery trade if you don’t want to start yours from seed.While chives are one of the top herbs that grow in shade, they will not flower as heavily as they do in full sun.Try sprinkling some of the flowers on salads, sandwiches, and soups for a mild oniony flavor.Lemon verbena is a native of South America that bears airy sprays of tiny white or pale purple flowers.Plant it in the springtime after the danger of frost has passed and during a single growing season it can reach as large as four feet in height.When fall temperatures drop into the 50s, move the pot indoors and continue to grow this shade-tolerant herb as a houseplant.When warm weather returns and the danger of frost has passed, move the pot back outdoors.Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb that does best in full sun but will tolerate shade, though it won’t produce as many flowers.Annual herbs like dill perform best when started from seed directly sown into the garden.Once you have a colony of dill established, it will enthusiastically return every year, as long as you don’t over-harvest the foliage and allow a few of the plants to drop seed.Parsley can be planted from nursery-grown transplants or by starting seeds indoors under lights about 8 to 10 weeks before the last expected spring frost.Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a large evergreen shrub or tree with fragrant, dark green, glossy leaves.In full sun gardens, the plant’s growth reaches several feet in height, but in its native Mediterranean climate, bay grows much larger.Bay laurel is hardy in climates where frosts don’t occur, but it does quite well in colder areas when grown as an annual in a container.During the winter months, bring the pot indoors to protect it from freezing temperatures.To grow your own homegrown bay, start with a plant from a local nursery in the spring.Plant your bay laurel in a glazed ceramic pot or terra cotta container with a drainage hole in the bottom.Because of mint’s tendency to run amok in the garden, consider growing it in a container without a drainage hole so the creeping roots can’t escape.As you can see, these 10 herbs that grow in shade offer an excellent opportunity to expand your culinary horizons. .
Can Mint Grow in the Shade? How Much Sun Does Mint Need?
Mints are probably one of the most popular plants in an herb garden, and they’re also one of the most well-known flavorings for chewing gums, toothpastes, candies, and more!Plucking a handful of fresh leaves to mix with your lemonade in the hot summer or steeping the dried leaves in a warm cup of tea to soothe your throat in the winter are some true delights that every home gardener should experience.You have the perfect spot in your garden picked out for your new planting of mint, but there’s just one problem—it’s a little on the shadier side.Mint prefers full sun for 6-8 hours a day, but they can survive in partial shade.It is recommended that Mentha species are grown in full sun (6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day).Similar to how basil reacts in shady environments, mints can be grown in part shade, too (2 to 5 hours of direct sunlight per day).You’ll likely be growing these aggressively spreading plants in pots, anyways, so moving them around the patio to find the best spot should be easy.Most types of mint can withstand freezing temperatures, so they can live all year long.Sometimes the top growth of a perennial will die back after frost, but the roots will remain alive.Sometimes the top growth is “evergreen,” meaning the leaves and stems do not die back in the winter.Mint leaves are deciduous, meaning they will drop in the fall (unlike evergreen perennials).In some areas, mints will need to be either brought inside or mulched heavily during the winter to survive, but they can also reseed themselves if you let them flower.A steady supply of water (1 to 2 inches per week) throughout the growing season is important but watch for signs of disease.Another benefit to mulching, however, is that it can help suppress weed growth, and it may be necessary if you live in an area with exceptionally cold winter temperatures.If you aren’t wanting your mint plants to flower and set seed, then you should keep them clipped back or harvested regularly.Another alternative is to mix compost into the soil when planting your mint, but overall fertility is not much of an issue for Mentha species.In fact, overapplication of fertilizer and overwatering can lead to the disease of rust or to reduced mint oil production.Be vigilant at cutting back your mint and uprooting new sprouts if you don’t want it to spread.The leaves are often smoother in appearance, though small hairs may be present on the underside of the leaf.They are known to repel pests such as cabbage loopers, flea beetles, ants, squash bugs, and aphids. .
5 Best Herbs to Grow in a Shady Garden
Most plants, especially herbs and vegetables, require a fair amount of sun in order to thrive. .
14 Herbs that Grow in Shade - Amy K Fewell
When you think about herb gardening, you probably imagine a large spot of healthy soil in a space with abundant sunshine.There are plenty of herbs that like shade or partial sunlight.So when I started growing herbs, only to realize most of my gardening spots on beginning property was all shaded, I was bummed, to say the least.Harvest often and pinch back the leaves to promote a more compact “bushy” growth, instead of encouraging legginess.Insects that might not typically bother herbs are more likely to be attracted to them when they aren’t in the sunlight for most of the day.Pay attention for pest eggs on the leaves of these herbs.If you fertilize your shade herbs too much, they will become even taller and more leggy.Many of these herbs are not only wonderful for cooking, but they also have amazing medicinal properties!Chervil is an easy-to-grow herb that thrives in partial to full shade.This plant tastes a little bit like licorice when eaten fresh.If you try to dry this herb, it will lose its flavor, so try not to plant more than you can use in a fresh state.Cilantro is the leafy part of the plant, and coriander is the seeds that are produced after the herb goes to flower.It acts as a stomachic, spasmolytic, and carminative due to its essential oil content.Use whole coriander seeds in meat rubs and in pickling recipes.It not only smells amazing, it’s also an incredible herb for teas, and has some wonderful medicinal benefits.Medicinal Actions: aids in digestion, antioxidant, calms nervous system, aids in depression, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, enhances memory, stimulates the thyroid, promotes fertility, carminative.Make a fresh salad with lemon balm leaves tossed in.Lemon Balm is known to reduce anxiety, improve appetite, promote sleep, calm nerves, and provide relief from indigestion.If you don’t want your chives to self-seed throughout your garden, harvest before the seeds drop, or plant in a container.Ragweed wreaks havoc on allergies, but goldenrod typically doesn’t cause allergic reactions at all.Medicinal Actions: anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antimicrobial, astringent, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, and a vulenary.It acts as an anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antimicrobial, astringent, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, and a vulenary.The stems might become a little leggy, which could cause the flowers to flop over a bit, but it will grow and be productive in your partial shade garden.Medicinal Actions: tonic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogic agent, hepatoprotective, antirheumatic, anti-catarrhal.Dill grown as a shade herb also won’t grow as tall as it would in full sun.Use the leaves of the dill plant to add flavor to homemade tartar sauce.The bay laurel plant can grow in full sun or in partial shade.Just like parsley, bay will not grow as tall in the shade as it will in the sun, but it will still produce plenty of leaves for harvesting.Medicinal actions: carminative, spasmolytic, choleretic, antiseptic, anti inflammatory.Medicinal Actions: carminative, antibiotic, anthelmintic, astringent, expectorant, antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, and antitussive.It can relieve respiratory conditions, parasite loads, fungal infections, and the list goes on!Rosemary is an herb that grows best in full sun, but will tolerate light shade. .
How to Create an Herb Garden in the Shade
Numerous herbs can grow in the sun in the North but need protection from the intense light in southern areas in the summer.With the exception of wildflowers that bloom before leaves fully develop on overhead trees, few plants can thrive in dense shade unless they receive ambient or reflected sunlight.To encourage plant growth in the shade of trees, consider pruning some lower branches to let in light and improve air circulation.Herbaceous plants may grow more easily around trees such as oaks (Quercus), which typically send most of their roots downward rather than out to take up water.The single most important factor in choosing which herbs to grow is selecting those suited to the light levels on your site.They are at home with many other types of shade-loving plants, including ferns and woodland wildflowers from foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) to columbines (Aquilegia) to phlox.Growing Tips Most shade-loving plants, herbs included, are woodland denizens that prefer a consistently moist (but not soggy), humus-rich soil.To conserve water and keep the garden evenly moist, mulch with several inches of compost, leaf mold, well-rotted manure, or shredded bark.Angelica's fresh leaves are used to sweeten acidic fruits such as rhubarb; its stems are candied as a sweet; and its seeds are added to pastries.Companion Plants Angelica grows well in a shady border with perennials including hellebores, lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), epimediums, and ferns.Chervil is a mounding short-lived annual herb with finely dissected leaves that have a wispy, ferny texture; it reaches a height of one to two feet.Best known for its association with French cuisine, it is one of the ingredients in the fines herbes blends often used to flavor eggs, fish, and salads.This native herbaceous perennial, well loved for its sparkling green, heart-shaped leaves, makes an excellent groundcover in shade.Growing Tips A hardy perennial that thrives in woodland-garden conditions with moist soils, wild ginger's growth is so thick that it can be an excellent weed suppressant.Companion Plants In cooler climates, mitsuba grows successfully in a sunny border with other herbs such as bee balm (Monarda didyma), and it pairs nicely in the shade with sweet violets (Viola odorata), chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium), or musk geranium (Geranium macrorhizum).In the wild this small and little-known member of the mint family is found on stony outcroppings in eastern North America.It grows from 12 to 18 inches tall with slightly toothed leaves and sweet purple-pink and sometimes white flowers, which appear toward the end of summer.Growing Tips Maryland dittany prefers a well-drained but moist site with good organic matter in a slightly acidic soil in partial shade.Companion Plants Maryland dittany is not an aggressive mint and looks at home with sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) and wild ginger (Asarum canadense).This lovely herbal groundcover has bright green, whorled, pointed leaves and small, white, star-shaped flowers.A herbaceous perennial, sweet woodruff grows roughly 6 to 12 inches high and creeps along the ground.Its leaves contain coumarin, which makes them smell like freshly cut hay or vanilla when dry.Traditionally, the leaves are used to add flavor to May wine, as a wonderfully fragrant ingredient in pot pourri, or as a strewing herb in churches.Growing Tips Native to European woodlands, sweet woodruff prefers a shady spot in rich, evenly moist soil.Musk geranium is an aromatic, hardy herbaceous perennial that grows 15 to 18 inches tall and is semievergreen with gray-green, deeply divided, lobed leaves.Musk geranium is most valued for its distinctive, warm musky fragrance, hence its use in perfumery and in pot pourri.Pennyroyal was historically used as a medicinal tea but is not recommended currently for safety reasons, as it can be poisonous if ingested in large doses.Growing Tips Easily grown from seed in good garden loam, American pennyroyal will reseed itself if conditions are right.Companion Plants The slightly fuzzy foliage of American pennyroyal provides a nice contrast with may apple (Podophyllum peltatum), lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis), or bee balm (Monarda didyma).One common name of this aromatic, grassy herb reflects its status as a sacred plant by Native Americans, who use it in purification ceremonies; its other name describes the enticing aroma it gives off when dry.The herb is used in Europe for strewing on church floors and as a flavoring in vodka to make zubrowka.It's also handsome combined with other small herbs such as American pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides) or sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum).Compact, rounded leaves make this mint look much like baby's tears (Soleirolia soleirolii), although it is easily distinguished by its strong minty fragrance, reminiscent of the liqueur crème-de-menthe.It doesn't compete well with aggressive plants, so give it space along a walk, stream, or in a container for easy access to the leaves' pleasing aroma.An excellent native plant for a wild garden, Monarda fistulosa grows to two to three feet and has tousled pink-purple flowers that attract hummingbirds and bees.An interesting clone that originated in Manitoba, Canada, is high in geraniol, which gives it a rose scent.The finely cut leaves resemble fern fronds, while its flat clusters of carrotlike tiny white flowers reach up to three inches across.Cultivars and Related Species Do not confuse Myrrhis odorata with a native American woodland plant also called sweet cicely (Osmorhiza); both have fragrant, segmented leaves.Companion Plants Sweet cicely looks great in a shady herb garden with sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), musk geranium (Geranium macrorhizum), and wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).This Japanese native is known to many gardeners as hardy ginger due to its ability to thrive as a perennial in colder regions.She was also one of the hosts of the television show Victory Garden and developed Holly Shimizu's Video Guide to Growing and Using Herbs. .
How to Grow and Care for Mint
wide Sun Exposure Full, partial Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral Bloom Time Summer Hardiness Zones 3–11, USA (depends on species) Native Area North America, Africa, Australia Toxicity Toxic to animals.Mint fares best in a damp, moist area with well-draining soil, but also in a spot that's in either full sun or part shade.Your primary maintenance task with mint might be to trim back your plant to prevent its runners from spreading to unwanted places.Mint plants prefer part shade, though they will grow in full sun if you water them frequently.Mint also can survive in fairly shady conditions, though it might be leggy and not produce as many or as flavorful of leaves.Maintaining lightly moist but not soggy soil is the ideal environment for mint.If you notice the foliage of your mint wilting, that's typically a sign the plant needs more moisture.Temperature tolerance depends on the species you are growing, but in general, mint plants are widely adaptable.Spearmint (Mentha spicata) handles the heat well and can grow in USDA hardiness zone 11.If you are growing your mint indoors, increase humidity by misting the plant between waterings or set the container on a water-filled tray of pebbles.If you already have rich garden soil, you likely won't have to give your mint any supplemental fertilizer.Mentha x. piperita: Peppermint features a sweet, minty flavor and grows in USDA zones 3 to 11.Peppermint features a sweet, minty flavor and grows in USDA zones 3 to 11.Mentha × piperita f. citrata 'Chocolate': Chocolate mint, a first cousin of peppermint and has leaves with a minty-chocolate flavor and aroma.Mentha spicata: Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.Spearmint is excellent for flavoring teas and salads and is one of the better mints to use as a landscape ground cover.You can start harvesting mint leaves once the plant has multiple stems that are six to eight inches long.Be mindful about where you place the container because long stems touching surrounding soil might take root.Place a double layer of landscaping cloth inside the pot over the drainage holes to prevent the roots from sneaking out of the container and into the surrounding soil.To relieve yourself of major pruning maintenance, grow your mint in a confined location, such as in a pot or between paved areas.Propagation is best done in the late spring to early summer when the plant is actively growing and before it has bloomed.Use sterilized scissors or pruning shears to cut a healthy piece of stem four to six inches long.It's important to note that some mint varieties are hybrids and will not grow true to seed.Once your container of mint becomes root-bound and you see roots popping up above the soil, it's often simplest to take a cutting and start a new plant rather than repotting.However, stressed plants can be bothered by common garden pests, including whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.Mint plants can sometimes contract rust, which appears as small orange spots on the undersides of leaves.