I wrote about perennial herbs last, so let’s discuss annual (seasonal) herbs which die back in fall. In some warm areas they may survive, but in the Pacific Northwest annual herbs usually don’t make it due to the lack of light and frosts. But it is worth it, to start new plants from seed every year. For the freshness of the herbs, to having pollinator friendly blooms, to being able to grow herbs you won’t find in the average nursery sections.
If you are looking for seeds or starts, start at Strictly Medicinal Seeds. This is all they sell – herbs, flowers and more, all for the herbal lover. Great company to do business with.
Seeds or plants? It can be either way. While most are easy to start from seed. annual herb plants are sold everywhere in spring. And if you only need one plant, it can make sense to just buy it. Where you don’t need 50 or 100 seeds! But….starts are easy to sell, trade or give away. So do not overlook that.
In no order…..
Any form of basil.
I grow basil in two ways: One, let the plants flower as much as they wish. Types like Blue Spice, White Magic and similar, are a woodier basil, but produce flowers that are incredible. Pollinators will cover them all day. Then I grow a few more tender basil plants, the Italian types, for eating. These I pinch flowers off of, so they bush out with leaves.
Borage. It’s a messy plant, flops over, due to how tall and heavy the plants can get. Staking them goes far. The blooms pretty and bees love them.
Chamomile. It self seeds itself and often comes back randomly every year, from seeds dropped. But I can never grow enough. Pop the flowers when just opened up, using your thumb and first finger. Air dry in clean brown lunch bags. Store in mason jars out of the light, and use all year for tea and hair rinses.
Indigo. This is a more unusual herb to grow. It is easy to save seed from for the next year. This makes a lovely natural dye for fabrics such as silk.
Strawberry Calendula. Or well, any Calendula. Save the seeds for next year, and often it reseeds itself for you anyways.
Pineapple Sage (also sold as Tangerine Sage). I tend to view this more delicate sage as an annual. It dies back with the frost. The red flowers are so pretty.
Marjoram. It grows rather low and is messy, but so pretty.
And so many more to consider:
Garlic….this could be argued it is a vegetable, but I will include it.