Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Growing Culinary Herbs & Seeds - M to Z

 Unless otherwise noted, herbal seed germination and seedling survival can be low or non-existent in Kihei during the summer months.


Marjoram is a semi-vining plant that's easy to germinate from seed. It grows well in a hanging basket and can be grown in a pot as small as 1 gallon. Marjoram plants can become brittle and die during the summer months.

Oregano - Greek

Oregano - Italian

Oregano is a vining plant that germinates easily from seed. There are several types of oregano - the most common are Greek, Italian and Mexican and all have unique characteristics. Oregano is a perennial and is well suited for a hanging basket.

Parsley - Curly

Parsley - Flat-leaf

There are two types of parsley - Curly and Flat-leaf. Parsley plants develop large, conical roots and some varieties of parsley are grown just for this purpose. In Kihei, parsley will grow without flowering for several years if planted in the ground or in a 5 gallon or larger size container.



This plant was grown from a small cutting and although it isn't a culinary herb it is so fragrant. I love having this plant just outside of my bedroom window.


Rosemary seeds are difficult to germinate from seed, even during the cooler months. It's worth trying though as young rosemary plants are so soft and feathery. Rosemary is a perennial and will grow into a large bush when planted in the ground or a 10 gallon container.


There are several types of sage or Salvias and culinary sage is known as Salvia Officinalis. Sage is fairly easy to germinate from seed. Sage is also a perennial and will grow into a small to medium size bush when planted in the ground or a 10 gallon size container. Culinary sage produces lavender flowers.


Sesame seeds have very good germination during the hottest months of the year - even the seedlings thrived in the intense July and August sun. Sesame is a lovely plant with fragrant trumpet shaped flowers. The plants produce multiple seed pods and are surprisingly easy to grow. Sesame has a very interesting history and more information can be found via this link:
All About Sesame

Tarragon - French

There are several types of tarragon - French, Russian and Mexican are the most common. The Russian and Mexican varieties can be grown from seed but French Tarragon can only be grow from cuttings. French tarragon is not often available at the local garden centers and nurseries but it's worth pursuing.

Russian is a bigger plant than French and it's best grown in a 5 gallon or larger container. French tarragon grows well in a hanging basket and Mexican tarragon is often planted in the ground for it's attractive golden-yellow flowers. French tarragon is a perennial but it's not as heat tolerant as other herbs and can die, or die back, during the summer months.


Thyme is a semi-vining plant that's fairly easy to germinate from seed. It grows well in a hanging basket and can be grown in a pot as small as 1 gallon. Like marjoram, it can become brittle and die during the summer.

Green thymes like English and Summer can be grown from seed but Coconut, Lemon and Silver thyme have to be grown from cuttings - these are widely available at the local garden centers.

In Kihei, herbal plants need daily water and monthly applications of fish emulsion or an organic all-purpose fertilizer.

To read about the herbs I've grown from A to L click here:
Growing Culinary Herbs & Seeds - A to L


  1. Did you make flour with the kiawe pods Jane? I've been wanting to try Heidi Swanson's famous chocolate chip cookies. Can't see buying the mesquite flour from Amazon when the pods are everywhere for the collecting!
    (Can't see how to post a comment on your other blog, sorry)

  2. Hi Julie! I have comments disabled on my other blog so it's fine to comment here. I have a hand grinder and it doesn't grind the pods very well. I need to purchase the grain grinding attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer then try it. There are so many trees around where I live and I pick the beans to munch on when I garden as they taste so ono.

    If you have an electric grain grinder it should work but the pods have to be fully dry or they'll gum it up. There's a lot of info on the Desert Harvesters site that's linked in the blog post. I've been thinking of contacting them to make sure a grain grinding attachment will work before I buy one. I'll do that and let you know.

  3. Look forward to your review Jane!

  4. I watered my thyme threw the leaves and the plants is dying so i cut it back what did i do wrong?


  5. Hi Julien! Thyme can become brittle and die back in the hot summer months. When I pruned all the dry branches from my thyme plant it did grow back when the weather cooled in the fall. Also if you haven't fertilized your plant, give it some all-purpose fertilizer or fish emulsion.

  6. Can i use compost tea?


  7. Sure compost tea should be strong enough for thyme.

  8. Should I grow French Tarragon? I live in Miami and the climate is similar to Kihei, I guess. Is there any problems of growing this plant that I should know about before it happens, and It dies?

    Anonymously Jose

  9. Hi Jose! For me, it's similar to thyme in that it grows well during the fall/winter/spring but it's not easy to keep the plant alive during the hot summer months.

  10. Hey Jane! I need major help please, I live in South Florida, and I can't grow thyme I've tried German, and English. German lasts longer but it still dies I grow it in a 4in tall by 8in wide pot it doesn't grow I love thyme. And Oregano the hot and spicy as well as Greek don't do well. i have had success with Italian but it has little flavor, Should I grow cuban oregano? . And Spearmint or common mint dies after i transplanted it from its nursery pot . can i grow bay laurel from refrigerated supermarket bought cuttings?

  11. Hi Jose! If I plant seeds for oregano, thyme and mint when our weather is cooler - November through February - they will usually grow well through the winter and spring. In June the sun intensifies here and the temps are in the low 90's. These types of plants tend to wither or become brittle and gradually die. Then I plant seeds again in November.

    Last fall I planted orange mint and chocolate mint and they died this summer but my peppermint plant has been growing for about 2 years. I've grown Greek and Italian oregano but they tend to die in the summer too.

    I can't remember if it freezes in South Florida - if it does then you will have to wait to plant them outside but you could grow them indoors if you have a sunny window. I plant my herbs in containers filled with FoxFarm potting soil. I water them with fish emulsion twice a month. As far as using fresh herbs from the market, they can be germinate if there is some stem and they are very fresh and still alive.

    If you're relaying on rain water that can sometimes create problems for sensitive plants. In many areas, the rain is contaminated with aluminum oxide due to weather geo-engineering programs. But if you protect your plants from the rain with a row cover or in a greenhouse they should be okay with city water.