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how long do herb plants last?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

how long is the average life of an herb plant? i see potted herb plants for cheap all the time, and i hate buying a whole bundle of herbs, only to use a small portion of them. it would be great to be able to just have a plant on hand and cut what i need as i need it.

post #2 of 11

Hi, Most of the potted Herbs you see in the supermarkets are in fact dozens of seedlings in a pot.

They don't last long like that (a few weeks or so) as they are all trying to grow, but have too much competition, plus of course they get kept in the kitchen where the light may not be good enough either.

To be fair the shops are really selling these pots to be snipped to death and then replaced. If you want your Herbs to last longer, then the best thing to do is split the bunch of seedlings up into individual plants and plant them either into the ground (weather permitting) or into pots, 3" to 4" should be fine for most.

I hope this helps, but if you need more information I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

post #3 of 11

It depends on the plant and where you are going to grow it. For instance parsley, basil, thyme, mint, and such do very well in small pots growing by a window sill. Depending on how you take care of them, they will supply you for years. Some are perennial and will go to seed after 2 years, while others will provide some herb and then die off quickly. Cilantro and Basil come to mind and again its' all in how they are taken care of.  At work, we have a greenhouse, so that's not a real situation but in a household kitchen window, you can do some pretty cool herbs.

post #4 of 11

I've been growing herbs for about 30 years, so I've seen how long most will last.

 

Parsley is a biennial, which last 2 years before going to seed and dying. Chervil is another biennial. While it's supposed to be a biennial, cilantro goes to seed in just a few months here in Florida, so I don't bother planting it anymore, as all the supermarkets carry it fresh. 

Basil, dill, and sage are annuals, and must be replanted each year, although I have had sage plants last up to 3 years.

Thyme, rosemary, tarragon, oregano and its cousin marjoram, and mint are perennials and will practically live forever if the conditions are right. In fact, I wouldn't plant mint in the ground as it can spread and takeover a garden. Chives are another herb that will live for years if properly watered and fertilized.

 

For me, the necessary herbs are: parsley, thyme, basil and tarragon. Two are perennials, and  parsley has to be replanted every two years, and basil yearly. But I usually grow many other herbs every year including all the ones I listed above, but these four are what I consider essential.

post #5 of 11

WillBKool, I was under the impression that sage is a perennial? 

post #6 of 11

I have a sage plant that is pushing five years old, it never dies. It is subject to direct 30+ mph wind six months out of the year , 100+ temps in the summer and -20 in the winter.

post #7 of 11

I think we are talking potted herbs not ones planted in the ground right?  I have parsley on both sides of the garden and were planted in opposite years but they drop their seeds in the same place and I have never had to replant parsley in the 14 years I've had the garden.

I also have 8 sage plants that come back every year. I have a beautiful carpet of Marjoram several different thymes, lavender, and tarragon. 

post #8 of 11

I have had a rosemary plant that has lasted me 4 years, i constantly am snipping some off of it.  Best herb i have ever grown.

post #9 of 11

Rosemary, in my experience, doesn't die, and can become quite a bush, as does sage. 

I can never get parsley to grow - some bug or snail or something chops it off before i can - any ideas on how to deal with this would be welcome.  Maybe i'll add another thread on this.

i finally got a dill plant to stick and it's now four years and it keeps sprouting anew every year and i don't dare to touch it, prune it, repot it, or anything, because i've tried over many many years and never got one to last more than a month.  . 

Basil dies at the end of the year - purple basil seems to go to seed more slowly and i can keep having basil till into fall with that type, as long as i trim the flowers off.  Even if i don't it is pretty tame. 

Chives, no problem, no problem on thyme, origano, marjoram - they seem to keep on going, though i don;t remember which pot is which and sometimes i lose one. 

My herbs are in a slightly shadier spot on my terrace which stays in the 90s for most of the summer - 3 - 4 months, and is entirely in the sun (the "shady" side is only next to a wall that gives some shade in the afternoon.

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 11

All depends where you live, exposure, soil enviorment. water etc.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 11

We are in South Florida and I understand that planting your herbs in above ground containers is the way to go...can anyone elaborate on that?

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