12 Fresh Perennial Herbs In Ohio That Grow Through Seasons

Ohio brings various beautiful plants and trees you can grow in the garden. In addition to that, some perennial herbs in Ohio are also worth planting because you can make seasonings for your cooks and even natural remedies. Besides, some of them also display stunning flowers that can adorn your herb garden.

Furthermore, they can grow outdoors, yet these perennial herbs of Ohio are a great choice to plant indoors too. You can plant them in plant containers and place them on the windowsill near the kitchen, so you will quickly pick them up whenever you need to add the leaves for your cooking. Are you interested in growing these perennial herbs in an Ohio garden? Let’s take a peek!

Herbs That Grow Well In Ohio

Most perennial herbs can grow well in Ohio. However, some of the perennial herbs in Ohio we have collected below are well-known for their excellent quality for outdoor and indoor plantings. Hence, you can easily choose the planting location according to your preferences. Check them out!

1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

perennial herbs ohio
Basil Plants

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a perennial herb from the mint family with an aromatic scent from its leaves. People usually add the leaves for their main course, such as to make pasta sauce. Besides being an additional ingredient to the cuisine, Basil possesses several health benefits related to its chemical properties, like reducing your cholesterol and lowering your blood pressure.

perennial herbs ohio
Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

Since Basil thrives in full sun, you can plant this perennial plant in a small container and grow them on your kitchen’s windowsill, where it can get 6-8 hours of sun per day. Or, you can put the pots in your container herb garden if you want to grow them outdoors.

2. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

perennial herbs ohio
Chamomile Plants

It will be fun to hand-pick chamomile from your herb garden to make tea. You just need to add the flowers to the hot water and allow it to steep for 4-5 minutes. Then, serve it while hot. This tea will improve your sleep quality thanks to apigenin, an antioxidant that can reduce insomnia. But, how can you plant this perennial herb in Ohio?

Chamomile Flowers
Chamomile Flowers

Given that it loves the sun and cool weather, you must prepare a partial shade or full sun area to grow chamomile. To protect the flowers from dropping, offer shelter when the weather is too hot. Like most herbs, it favors well-drained, organic soil. Once it is established, you just need to check once in a while.

3. Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Coneflowers in Garden
Coneflowers in Garden

Among other perennial plants, Echinacea purpurea or Coneflower is one of the most common herbal medicines that you can easily find in Southern Ohio. Native Americans had used the beautiful purple flowers for centuries to treat colds, flu, and migraine. Their natural antioxidants can also treat inflammation, lower blood sugar, boost the immune system, and fight cancer cells.

Coneflowers Plants

If you want to grow this perennial herb in Ohio, prepare sandy or loamy, well-drained soil under the full sun so that they bloom abundantly. In some hardiness zones, it favors moist, loamy soil. You can plant Coneflowers in Ohio after the last frost in spring.

4. Lavender (Lavandula)

perennial herbs ohio
Lavender Plants

Everyone must be familiar with this exquisite flowering perennial herb. Lavender is a genus of flowering plants, belonging to the Lamiaceae family, that consists of 25 to 30 species. They grow wonderful, aromatic purple flowers that will pamper you through spring. Besides being one of the most stunning perennial herbs in Ohio, Lavender oil can improve your sleep and help you with hair loss.

Lavender Garden
Beautiful Lavender Garden

With such exceptional qualities, no wonder Lavender has become one of the favorites to grow. It thrives in a sunny location with moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Therefore, we do not recommend adding fertilizer prior to planting. Instead of acidic, it prefers neutral to alkaline soil types to perform best.

5. Lovage (Levisticum officinale)

Lovage Herbs

Growing fresh herbs in your garden can be a great way to produce your own food. Especially if they are extremely easy perennials to plant. Here, we recommend one of the best perennial herbs in Ohio recommended for growing, Lovage. All parts of this plant are beneficial. The leaves are herbs, the root is vegetable, and the seeds are spice.

perennial herbs ohio
Lovage Harvest

In warm climate zones, Lovage grows well in partial shade. However, it thrives in full sun in the cooler areas. Unlike lavender, this perennial plant prefers acidic with a pH of around 6.5, sandy or loamy soil. In addition, it will reach maturity in 3 years after planting.

6. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

Rosemary in Pot
Rosemary in Pot

Another fragrant-leaf perennial herb that you should try planting. Rosemary is both a perennial and annual herb often grown alongside many herbs, like sage, lavender, and oregano, in the herb garden. The leaves emit a sweet, resinous smell often used to add aroma to food in fresh or dry form.

Rosemary Herbs

To grow Rosemary, you must have a site with at least 6 hours of total sun exposure per day. Moreover, this perennial thrives in sandy or loamy, slightly acidic soil, having a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0. If you want to grow them in the pot, choose a soil with peat-free compost. Provide water and add fertilizer during the growing period.

Herbs That Will Survive In Ohio Winter

While other herbs cannot withstand winter in Ohio, these perennial herbs cope well with such extreme cold. Even so, you still have to provide cover to protect your precious perennial herbs in Ohio winter. The cover will help retain heat from the soil to keep your plants warm.

You can also add a thick layer of mulch to protect the soil moisture and allow the new growth to grow despite the low winter temperatures. Now, let’s look at some perennial herbs in Ohio that thrive in the winter months.

7. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

perennial herbs ohio
Chives Herbs

You may not realize that Chives actually belong to the onion family since it grows exquisite purple flowers. Not only are they attractive, but those blooms are edible. You can add them to soups, sauces, and potato dishes to enhance their flavor. Meanwhile, the leaves have a mild taste that will be perfect for your cuisine in the last minutes of cooking since the heat can destroy the flavor.

perennial herbs ohio
Chives Flowers

Furthermore, growing Chives is relatively easy. It performs best in full sun yet tolerates some shade. Make sure it receives a minimum of 6 hours of sun exposure per day. Also, Chives prefer rich, well-drained soil with slightly acidic pH, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. Besides being one of the best perennial herbs in Ohio, Chives can make a lovely addition to your flower garden.

8. Mint (Mentha)

perennial herbs ohio
Mint Plants in Pot

As we know that Mint is a perennial herb whose leaves have a minty smell that is an additional favorite ingredient in tea. In addition, this fragrant foliage is also often used as a garnish in desserts and added to smoothies or lemon juice to give a fresh effect on the throat.

Mint Harvest

If you want to grow Mint, check their growing conditions first. It is a member of Lamiaceae that loves the sun yet accepts partial shade. Despite being not fussy about the soil types, Mint prefers soil rich in organic matter with slightly acidic to alkaline pH around 6.0-7.5. In addition, potted mint needs water whenever the soil surface is dry as it is not drought-tolerant.

9. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

perennial herbs ohio
Oregano Plants in Pot

This perennial herb has several cultivars you can plant in your Ohio garden. One of which is Greek Oregano. It is a cold-hardy herb that doesn’t mind growing in the winter while producing its tasty leaves. They can be added to numerous food ingredients, such as meats, fish, cheeses, beans, and vegetables (zucchini and tomatoes!).

Oregano Herbs

Luckily, Oregano is an easy perennial herb to grow indoors or outdoors. For container planting, choose the terracotta pot with proper porousness to provide good drainage. It is crucial because this plant cannot survive wet soil. Moreover, it does best in free-draining compost under direct sun exposure.

10. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

perennial herbs ohio
Parsley Herbs in Pot

Garden Parsley or Parsley is another popular perennial herb in Ohio that is worth planting. Thanks to its herbaceous and bright taste, it is both herb and vegetable you can add to your dishes to improve the flavor. People like to include parsley in pasta sauce, pestos, dips, and meat dishes.

Parsley Plants

Speaking about its growing conditions, Parsley favors moist, loamy, well-drained soil with total sun exposure to thrive. Add compost during their growth to nourish them. In case you want to grow them indoors, ensure a place near the windowsill so they can soak themselves in the sun.

11. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage Plants

Taking a closer look, Sage or Salvia officinalis has a similar appearance to lavender. Only with striking pink blooms that form long, emerging flower clusters atop green stalks. Those flowers are edible and have a strong smell. Hence, adding sage in the initial process of cooking your food is the best way to obtain its optimal flavor and scent.

 Sage Flowers
Sage Flowers

Besides growing Sage in your garden, you can also plant them in 10-inch diameter containers, making it an ideal choice for those with narrow space. However, since it is prone to waterlogging in winter, you must pay attention to the drainage. Provide free-draining compost or soil to prevent such events. Choose porous pot material, like ceramics or terracotta, to ensure good drainage.

12. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

perennial herbs ohio
Thyme Herbs

Like Basil and Mint, Thyme or Creeping Thyme is a flowering plant species belonging to the mint category, Lamiaceae. They grow vines on the ground with tiny exquisite purple flowers that grow in clusters. The edible leaves are usually harvested to make teas as they emit minty scents.

perennial herbs ohio
Thyme Flowers

Meanwhile, you can also grow this enchanting ground cover to adorn your garden. Just make sure you have a spot with full sun for them to thrive. Also, this drought-tolerant perennial plant favors slightly alkaline, well-drained soil, yet intolerant to wet soils. Hence, it requires good drainage.

When Should I Start Planting Perennial Herbs In Ohio?

Early spring is an ideal time to start planting perennial herbs in Ohio since the frozen soil starts to melt. During this time, you can try to sow seeds outdoors. Don’t forget to give 10-12 inches space between one another to avoid crowds. After that, cover them with around 1/2 inch of soil to allow germination.

perennial herbs ohio
Start Planting Perennial Herbs in Ohio Garden

Suppose you prefer to grow herbs in pots. In that case you need to follow these quick tips to ensure healthy plants:

  • Choose containers whose size matches with your plants. For example, basil. Since it does not grow tall, you can choose any small pot with a size around 10-12 inches.
  • Pick pots with porous materials, like terracotta or ceramics, to ensure good drainage as perennial herbs generally do not tolerate wet soils.
  • Add loose, well-drained, and good quality potting mix to prevent water-logging.
  • Instead of tall and fast-growing perennial herbs, select small and slow-growing ones as the space in the pot is limited. Planting them in pots also helps control the aggressive growth of feeder growth, such as lemon balm.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are wild herbs in Ohio?

Selain perennial herbs cultivated in Ohio gardens, you can also find popular wild herbs in the state that offer health benefits, such as red clover and coneflower. People usually use Red clover as a natural remedy to cure respiratory disorders and skin issues. Meanwhile, research on coneflower showed promising results in improving blood sugar, anxiety, and inflammation.

Can you grow herbs outdoors all year round in Ohio?

Not all perennial herbs can survive outdoors all year, given that the winter temperature can fall below zero. One that cannot survive in cold temperatures is Basil because it can experience frost damage.

Hence, it is better to pot them so they are easy to move indoors when winter comes. If you want to grow herbs outdoors, make sure they are hardy herbs that can withstand temperatures up to -20’F.

Is it better to grow herbs in pots or ground?

Whether you grow the herbs in pots or ground, it doesn’t matter. You just need to meet their growing conditions.

If you plant herbs in pots, make sure the size matches the plants so they can grow well. Also, good drainage is crucial for potted herbs due to the higher risk of waterlogging. Avoid garden soil because it is difficult to dry out quickly after the rain.

Meanwhile, herbs in the garden tend to prefer areas with partial sun or filtered sun to prevent leaf wilting.

Can herbs stay outside in Ohio winter?

Even though not all herbs can grow in Ohio winter, some perennial herbs, like chives, mint, parsley, oregano, sage, and thyme, survive the winter well. However, you must provide a cold frame and thick mulch to prevent them from frost. If the winter gets too harsh, transfer them to the pots and take shelter indoors. 

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