Do Herbs Need A Lot of Sun?

This will depend on what herbs you’re growing but, most will require around six hours or more of sunlight a day in order to survive.

This is because they need sun in order to grow efficiently and reach their full potential. Like other sun-loving plants, if herbs don’t get enough sun they will struggle to grow and will look misshapen and unhealthy instead of bright and tasty.

Do herbs need a lot of sun?

For example, herbs like basil, sage, thyme and rosemary need at least six hours of sunlight a day to properly thrive. Whereas as herbs like chervil only need between four and six hours of partial sun per day which makes them much easier to grow yourself.

There are herbs that don’t need a lot of sun or just require partial sun exposure. These are the types of herbs that people tend to grow at home in little pots on windowsills or in kitchens. These include, mint, chives, coriander and more. These herbs only need partial sunlight to grow properly, however, if their sunlight needs are not met they will struggle to grow in the same way as herbs that require much more light.

What herbs love sun?

Lots of herbs love sun and thrive in direct sunlight. What’s important to note though is that there is a difference between full sun herbs and herbs that thrive in hot temperatures.

Some herbs can thrive in direct sunlight but not if the temperature is too high or the air is too humid.

Here are some of our favorite herbs that love sun:

  • Basil - Basil loves warm temperatures and full sun exposure. In fact, this herb can really struggle in cold temperatures so should always be kept in warm, sunny places
  • Lavender - Lavender originated in the Mediterranean region, so it grows best in direct sunlight and warm climates
  • Anise - Anise grows best in full sun and thrives in warm places and doesn’t like wet environments. It is also sensitive to extreme temperatures so won’t do well in sunny places that are also very hot
  • Fennel - Fennel is also native to the Mediterranean region so is fine with higher temperatures and thrives in full sun exposure. What’s great about this herb is that it can also handle cold temperatures too
  • Sage - Sage loves full sun and grows nicely in warm and cooler climates but extreme conditions such as heat and frost will kill it

What herbs do well in heat?

  • Dill - Dill is commonly found in Europe and Asia, so it loves heat and prefers sandy soil. Its ideal temperature is about 70 °F
  • Basil - Basil loves warm temperatures and full sun exposure. In fact, this herb can really struggle in cold temperatures so should always be kept in warm, sunny places
  • Oregano - Oregano prefers a temperature of about 70 °F. It likes to grow in full or at least particle sunlight and should not be grown in wet conditions or slow-draining soil
  • Lavender - Lavender originated in the Mediterranean region, so it loves warm climates!

Is it better to grow herbs in pots or the ground?

You can grow herbs in both pots or in the ground however, it is recommended that you grow them in the ground if you have the option. This is because the soil in the ground is often better at providing the herbs with the necessary nutrients and environment to grow to the best of their ability.

However, in terms of mobility and ease it is better to grow herbs in pots because you’ll be able to move them wherever and whenever you want. This is super useful if you like to use your herbs for cooking because you can have them near you to make life easier.

How do I plant a herb garden?

How you plant your herb garden will depend on where you want to put it. The most common places to grow a herb garden are on a patio, windowsill or in a garden in your backyard.

The most important thing to ensure is that wherever you choose to plant your herb garden, it is somewhere that has well-drained soil and receives at least four to six hours of sunlight per day.

How to plant a herb garden

  • In a garden - find a spot with well-drained, healthy soil. Add some compost to improve the nutrients and moisture of the soil. Depending on the herbs you’re planting you’ll need to find a spot that will get enough sunlight. Alternatively, some herbs prefer partial shade or colder temperatures, so you’ll need to find a spot that suits it

  • In a pot - fill your pots with potting soil, this is important because this is lighter than garden soil and will affect how your herbs grow in their pots. You’ll also need to check that the pots you use are big enough to accommodate the herbs

The type of soil you use will depend on which herbs you’d like to grow. So, for example, herbs like rosemary and other Mediterranean herbs, prefer a grittier, well-drained soil so make sure you let the soil completely dry you around the base of the plant before watering again. Over watering will stunt its health.

How do you maintain a herb garden?

Most herbs will require watering once a week, although this can depend on the climate and weather conditions. Plus, if it rains a lot in your garden, you won’t need to water your herbs as much because the rain is doing it for you. For indoor herbs make sure they are getting a sufficient amount of water each week. 

For herbs like basil a good tip is to remove the top leaves to encourage the plant to grow fuller and prevent it from flowering and going to seed.

It is also a good idea to fertilize your herbs a few times a year or if they begin to look unhealthy or pale. Do not use a chemical-based fertilizer because this may alter the taste of the plant.