Herbal This & That

5 Herbs That Are Best Purchased As Plants

5 Herbs That Are Best Purchased As Plants

What Herbs Should I Buy Instead Of Starting From Seed?

By , about.com

Why, you might wonder, would someone want to avoid starting herbs from seed? This is such a great way to start your herb garden for pennies. Starting an herb garden from plants, is also a good way to start. In my garden, all the herbs that are purchased instead of started as seeds, fall under these areas:

  • They are fussy to start from seed (I am a busy, impatient gardener)
  • They don’t have a snowball’s chance of growing to any useful size in my zone (which is why a good nursery is always so important)
  • They are perennial, and I am only going to grow a single plant
  • I need to replace an established perennial

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is one of those herbs that demands attention. Unless living in a Mediterranean zone, Rosemary needs to be able to come and go in the outdoor environment according to the temperature. This is not as difficult as it seems. In my garden, my rosemary gets planted pot-in-pot, so I can move it inside when we get our endless rains, and back to the garden until the fall temperatures start to loom.Rosemary plants just make sense. They can be matched for size and shape, and if you (like me) kill one, it is simple enough to pop out and replace with a fresh, new plant.

2. Lemongrass

Lemongrass, and herbs like it, should be purchased as plants. They are fussy and sensitive to temperature fluctuation, so for many of us growing lemongrass would be nearly impossible.

Buy these as small plants, and enjoy them throughout the season. They tolerate sun to partial shade and make wonderful focal points. We buy trays of lemongrass, and keep them in the greenhouse. That way, they can be harvested all season without worry that our crazy Nebraska weather will harm a leaf.

Lemongrass is great when used right from the freezer, so grow some if you can find the plants. Once fall hits, bring them in and freeze whole.

3. Lavender

Lavender is such a beloved herb, it is frustrating for many gardeners to struggle growing it from seed. Although not impossible, why bother when there are so many plants available?

Buying lavender as plants, also allows you to select the varieties that are proven to grow well in your location. I also recommend buying a LOT of plants. Lavender always looks better in groupings, and buying them at the same time will ensure your plants are the same size.

4. Beebalm

Bee balm and other ornamental herbs, are best purchased as plants. Why take a chance on growing the wrong variety, or something that won’t thrive in your location? Ornamental herbs are the quintessential reason for shopping at nurseries to begin with. Choose plants that your nursery owner recommends. They will guide you to the colors, and types of plants that will have the best chance of survival.

5. Medicinal Herbs

Medicinal herbs, which for this article refer to actual herbs that are grown for their healing property, should be grown from plant unless the gardener is familiar with herbal medicine. There are many wonderful places to buy medicinal herb plants. Start with a small garden of purchased plants, and as your skill grow (see how I did that?), you can then start identifying herbs that might be grown from seed or found in the wild.

I like to buy medicinal herbs that are possibly expensive for me to kill. This means I will take much better care of a purchased plant, than I would a few seeds in the soil.

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Transplant Shock and How to avoid It

Transplant Shock and How to avoid It

Transplant Herbs Successfully

By , About.com

Throughout the growing season, transplanting herbs is a great way to keep the garden looking fresh and full. Transplanting can also save you money, if you propagate new plants and then add them to your garden landscape for free.

There are some guidelines that need to be followed, in order to avoid transplant shock, allow your herbs to thrive in the garden. There is more to it than just pushing a seedling into the dirt.

What Can Go Wrong?

All plants, from herb to flower, hate to be shocked. They need time to become acclimated to their new surroundings, no matter if they are coming into or out of the garden. A shocked plant will wilt, become sun burnt and die, no matter how rich the soil or optimal the growing conditions.

How To Avoid Transplant Shock

To avoid transplant shock, give your herbs the time they need to become used to the move. About a week before you are moving them from indoors to the garden, place them outside, but in a sheltered location. Take them back inside during the nighttime.

By the end of the week, you can safely leave them outside all night long, but be sure to water them at least once a day – more than likely you will be watering even more often if they are in small cell pots.

Now Can I Plant Them?

Finally, your plants are truly ready to be planted outside. Try to choose a day that is neither too hot or cold, avoid a scorching hot day, and never plant in the rain. The best sort of day is one that is calm and warm, later in the day so the soil is warm but the sun is not directly overhead.

Water the hole before you place the herb into it. Also, be sure your potted herb is moist and not rootbound. Make a hole the size of the root and insert the plant. Fill the rest of the hole with soil and press around the base to be sure the herb has made contact completely with the ground. Water again and then mulch.



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Transplanting Potted Herbs To The Garden

Transplanting Potted Herbs To The Garden

How To Transplant Herbs From Nursery Pots To The Garden

By , About.com

Spring is the time to get out and visit garden shops and nurseries. Take along your garden wish list (you have one, don’t you?), and start selecting the best looking plants you can.

Once you do get your plants home, it will be time to transplant them into the garden. Here are some tips for transplanting potted herbs, in order to keep your plants looking fresh and growing well. Potted herbs come in many sizes, from tiny 3 inch pots to 1 gallon and even 2 gallon sizes. No matter what size you buy, look for plants that are not too dry in the pot. Their leaves should be lush and no shriveled or have dead areas on them. Looking at the bottom of the pot, there may be fine roots sticking out in numerous places, but avoid larger or extremely heavy number of thick roots coming out the sides and bottom of the pot. This is an indication that your plants have grown too large for that pot, yet have remained in the pot for too long (often called Pot or Root bound). Once you trim off the excess roots, it may be too much of a shock for the overgrown plant, resulting in its death or stunted growth.

When you are ready to actually transplant, soak your potted herb in water. This helps the plant to come out of the container more easily, helps keep the soil intact-protecting the roots, and ensures that when you do the final watering with the plant in the ground, it is thoroughly wet through the entire root ball as well as the surrounding soil.

Take a look at the root ball before placing in the ground. If the roots are packed together, gently loosen them and spread them apart (I call this teasing the roots), allowing them to grow in a outward, instead of circular pattern. For more aggressive teasing of the roots, it is often suggested that you cut into the root ball with a sharp knife in several spots. For herbs, this hasn’t been my experience, but it is a valid recommendation in the gardening industry.

Be certain to work on one herb plant at a time. Avoid removing a number of herbs from their pots at the same time, thinking it will speed up your transplanting. The herb roots and soil need to be protected from sunlight and air as much as possible. You may end up with stunted plants that were damaged from the 30 minutes their roots lay exposed as you worked on another plant.

Your hole should be twice the diameter as your potted plant, and deep enough that the herb will be planted in its new spot at the same level. Avoid planting too deeply, since this can cause fungal damage resulting in the plant’s demise. I like to moisten the hole before transplanting, to ensure that the top water will be absorbed more readily. Spread out the roots that you have loosened, and place the herb in the dampened hole. Refill the hole with soil and then firmly press the herb plant into place. Your plant will shift once watered, and it may end up lifting out of the ground, if it is not firmly in place.

Water the new transplanted herb well, trying to avoid soaking the leaves if possible. This will help reduce the chance of mildew and disease, as well as sun damage if transplanting during a hot, sunny day.

Place at least 2 inches of mulch around the base of the transplanted herb, leaving a little space right next to the stem. This helps protect the stem from mildew as well, and any critters that like to hide in the mulch to nibble your herbs, will not have an inviting location to move in. Moisten the mulch once it is in place, and you are done!


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Spring is Here, When To Start Herbs From Seeds

When To Start Herbs From Seed

Planting Date For Herb Seeds

By , About.com

Starting herbs from seed is probably the most frugal way to begin gardening. It is also a great way to try out many herbs that would be too costly to buy as plants. For the same price as one herb seedling, you can often purchase multiple seed packets.

The important thing to remember when starting herbs from seed is when you should actually germinate them. Here is a list of common herbs, and how many weeks before or after the last frost date you should be planting them.

Starting Herb Seeds Indoors

How Many Weeks Before Last Frost To Start Seeds
Basil 6 to 8 wks before last frost
Borage Direct seed after last frost
Chives 8 wks before last frost
Cilantro Direct seed after last frost
Dill Direct seed after last frost
Fennel 4 to 6 wks before last frost
Lemon Balm 6 to 10 wks before last frost
Oregano 6 to 10 wks before last frost
Rosemary 8 to 10 wks before last frost
Sage 6 to 10 wks before last frost
Thyme 6 to 10 wks before last frost


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Let’s Talk Witch – Herbs for Sleeping & Dreaming

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Herbs for Sleeping & Dreaming

There are many herbs used today which are helpful in making our dreams more accessible and for obtaining a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, rather than attempting to actually influence our dreams, it is often advisable when working magically simply to let the content of our subconscious come to the fore. For this we may use the group of herbs known as hypnotics or soporifics. Different herbs work for different people so the order here is alphabetical, without any particular preference:

Hops are often used as an infusion or tincture and should not be used when you are depressed. This herb has an effect on the central nervous system, and can be used when tension is making you restless. Gentle slumber is induced from the hop pillow, causing soothing dreams.

Jamaican Dogwood can be taken combined with hops, although it is a fish poison and should be used with care. It is used in cases of insomnia or broken sleep patterns.

Passion flower acts without leaving any kind of a hangover effect and makes it easy for those who suffer from insomnia on a regular basis to find restful sleep.

Skullcap has a sedative action par excellence. Working on the central nervous system, it is particularly useful in cases of nervous exhaustion.

Valerian, which is included in many pharmacopoeias as a sedative, is used to manage tension and sleeplessness caused by tension.

Wild lettuce is invaluable where there is restlessness and excitability; it is both sedative and hypnotic – that is, relaxing and sleep inducing.

As a gentle remedy, it is particularly useful for children.

Nervines have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Some which are relaxants are Balm, Black Haw, Bugleweed, Chamomile, Damiana, Lady’s Slipper, Lavender, Oats, Pasque Flower, Peppermint and Vervain.



Natural Magic: Spells, Enchantments & Self-Development
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Magickal Herbs used for Wishes

Magickal Herbs used for Wishes

* Bamboo
* Beech
* Buckthorn
* Dandelion
* Dogwood
* Ginseng
* Grains of Paradise
* Hazel
* Job’s Tears
* Liquidambar
* Pomegranate
* Sage
* Sandalwood
* Sunflower
* Tonka
* Violet
* Walnut  

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Magickal Herbs for Wisdom

Magickal Herbs for Wisdom

* Bodhi
* Iris
* Peach
* Sage
* Sunflower

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Magickal Herbs used for Peace

Magickal Herbs used for Peace

* Dulse
* Eryngo
* Gardenia
* Lavender
* Loosestrife
* Meadowsweet
* Morning Glory
* Myrtle
* Olive
* Passion Flower
* Pennyroyal
* Scullcap
* Vervain
* Violet

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