Which Herbs are Perennials: 12 Herbs that Keep Coming Back!

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Perennial herbs are a gardener’s best friend. They provide an almost never-ending supply of fresh ingredients for salads, soups, and sauces. The only problem is that there are so many different perennial herbs to choose from! In this blog post, we will break down the growing information for each type of perennial herb, so you can find what you need with ease. This guide is not an exhaustive list, but these 12 garden herbs will help you get started answering the question about which herbs are perennials vs. annuals.

close view on fresh  perennial herbs bunch in a rustic wooden box.


Sage is a perennial herb that can survive in zones five to nine. It prefers dry, well-drained soil and requires very little water. The plant grows two feet tall and has dark green leaves with small white flowers on red stems.

You should harvest the sage by cutting off the stem just above where it meets the plant’s root ball.

Perennial in Zones 5-9

Rustic image of a fresh cut perennial herb (sage) on a rustic wooden background with a ball of twine.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a perennial herb that can survive in zones four to nine and prefers moist soil with full sun exposure. It grows up to two feet tall and has slender stems with small leaves on top of the stem that make it look like grass or wheat blowing in the wind.

Lemon balm has a mild lemony smell and taste, making it more versatile than many other herbs with an assertive or strong scent or flavor.

To harvest lemon balm, cut off the stem above to meet the plant’s root ball.

Perennial in Zones 5-9

Garden Fresh Melissa Officinalis or Lemon Balm Herb on Wooden Table..


Rosemary is perennial in zones five to nine and has a piney, resinous aroma. It prefers total sun exposure in soil well-drained but not too dry. Rosemary can grow up to two feet tall with spiky leaves on top of the plant as it grows taller from the ground.

To harvest rosemary, be sure to cut the stems and not pull them up. Also, their leaves should be dry to touch before being used in a recipe.

Perennial in Zones 5-9

Rustic image of a fresh cut perennial herb (sage) on a rustic wooden background in a wicker basket with a ball of twine and vintage black scissors.


Oregano is a beautiful perennial herb that can be grown in zones five to nine—the herb tastes of pine, anise, and pepper with a hint of clove.

The plant will grow up to three feet tall, but the leaves are pretty small, so you should harvest them frequently during the summer months.

Oregano should be watered only when dry through the roots but not over-watered so that its leaves turn yellowish-brown.

It is best used dried for maximum flavor.

Oregano has several different varieties like mint and cilantro, all with other culinary uses.

Perennial in Zones 5-9

Bunch of fresh herb oregano close up on wooden cutting board


Mint can be invasive and will tend to take over your garden. So before you consider planting mint as a perennial herb, be sure to contain it in its garden bed or pots sunk into the ground.

Mint will grow best in fertile, well-watered soil in full sun.

Mint can be used dried or fresh; for maximum flavor, you should harvest it regularly during the summer months when it’s at its peak of growth.

Did you know there are different flavors of mint? Chocolate, lemon, spearmint are just a few!

Perennial in zones 2-9

Green fresh mint om the wooden table, selective focus.


Parsley is the perfect perennial garden companion. It is not technically a perennial, it’s a biennial, but it will set seed and continue to grow year after year. You may need to replant parsley as an annual in spring in future years, but if allowed to set seed in the garden, it should continue producing.

Parsley grows best in damp soil and full sun. Parsley is best harvested young, while the leaves are tender; you can use both fresh and dried for maximum flavor.

The best time to harvest parsley is when it’s whole-rooted, which means leaving at least a couple of inches attached to the root ball and harvesting before it bolts or goes to seed. If using in salads, you should remove only leaves from the bottom of the stem that is still.

Post Recommendation: Different Types of Parsley and How to Use Them

Perennial in Zones 0-11

Freshly cut parsley on a rustic wooden board.


Thyme is also a great companion plant in the garden. This herb prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate some drought, making it an ideal choice for hot climates.

It tastes like a mix of mint and lemon, making it a great all-purpose herb. It’s best fresh or dried but can also be preserved by freezing the leaves in olive oil (which is what I do).

Thyme leaves should be harvested before they bloom or flower by simply cutting them off at the base with a sharp knife.

Perennial in Zones 0-11

Raw Organic Green Thyme in a Bunch on a rustic wooden background.


Bay plants are perennial in zones 0-11 and can tolerate drought, salty soil, alkaline soil (pH > pH) up to a certain point.

The Bay plants are grown from two types: sweet bay and spicy bay; both have culinary uses, but some people use them interchangeably without any distinction.

To harvest bay leaves, cut them off the plant as they grow.

While You can keep bay in a pot for many years, it is best to set out plants with suitable root structures every couple of years and give them room to spread their branches.

Perennial in Zones 0-11

Fresh perennial herb bay leaves in a wooden bowl on a rustic wooden background


Chives grow exceptionally well in most zones and prefer to be planted in full sun.

They can grow from seeds or root divisions, but the easiest way is by setting out plants with good bulbs every couple of years.

To harvest chives, cut them off above ground before they flower and when it rains.

Chive plants will die back in harsh winters, but they will emerge back in the spring.

Perennial in Zones 2-11

A bunch of freshly cut chives on a rustic wooden background.


I adore lavender, and although it’s an unusual culinary herb, it is delicious in drinks, cookies, and baked goods. In addition, lavender is one of the most fragrant spices available, and I highly recommend trying it in your garden. Finally, as a herb, it has so many uses!

Lavender prefers to be planted in full sun but can grow in light shade with minimal water.

Lavender plants are best grown from transplants, cuttings, or root divisions and should be harvested when flowers are just beginning to bloom for the most aromatic oils.

Perennial in Zones 2-11

Recommended Post: How To Dry Lavender

Aromatic lavender on old wooden table.


Lovage is a hardy perennial herb native to Eastern Europe and other parts of Western Asia.

It has a celery-like taste with anise, peppermint, and parsley hints.

It likes moist soil in full sun or partial shade.

The leaves are harvested by cutting them off when they are about 18 inches long.

You can add lovage leaves to soups, stews, and other dishes as a flavor enhancer.

Perennial in Zones 4-11

A bowl of freshly chopped lovage in a white bowl.

Roman chamomile

Chamomile grows well in many different soils and likes full sun to partial shade.

Roman chamomile is often used in teas or as a garnish for dishes like a chicken pot pie with mushrooms.

Chamomile can also be grown indoors year-round by planting the seeds around February of each year.

To harvest chamomile, cut the leaves about 18 inches long.

Perennial in Zones 4-9

Herbal tea with chamomile in glass cup on wooden table, top view.

Grow Your Own Herbs Every Year Without A lot of Effort!

Hopefully, this article has given you a few ideas for incorporating perennials into your garden. If any other herbs pique your interest, please let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out our other gardening posts on plants and flowers so you can get some more inspiration when it comes time to plan next year’s herb garden. Happy planting!

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