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Hi. I buy these herbs every year thinking they will come back, but they don’t.  I was just wondering why.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Teresa: It is hard to beat fresh herbs from the garden. For Kentucky gardeners, some herbs are considered perennials and others are annuals or marginally hardy. Depending on the specific herbs you are referring to, the answer could simply be that they are not hardy and need to be planted annually. Each herb if different in terms of hardiness and in some cases it differs between specific variety or cultivar. For example: all lavender can be grown in Kentucky during the warmer months but not all lavender will survive our winters. ‘Hidcote’, ‘Munstead’ and ‘Provence’ are all reliably hardy for us, given proper growing conditions. The same is true for rosemary. “Arp’ is a named variety that can be grown as a perennial in zones 6-10. Each plant should have a growers tag with detailed information including the hardiness. Kentucky is considered zone 6b-7a on the USDA hardiness zone map. Growing conditions are just as important as plant choice. In general, herbs thrive when grown in six hours or more of direct sun and well-drained soil. The most common perennial herbs for us are thyme, oregano, sage and mint. Perennial herbs are a great addition to any sun-loving garden. For a detailed  list of culinary herbs for Kentucky gardeners visit:



Angie Oakley

Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener

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