How to Grow Year-Round Medicinal Herbs for Zone 9

Overview

USDA planting zone 9 encompasses many of the areas in the southwestern portions of the United States as well as coastal areas in Florida and along the Pacific coast. Temperature lows in the zone can reach 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, though many areas never reach these average lows during the year. The zone's warm temperatures throughout the year offer optimal growing conditions for year-round medicinal herbs. When preparing your medicinal herb garden for planting, the University of Florida suggests that you prepare the area as you would for a vegetable garden.

Step 1

Create a list of the medicinal herbs you desire to grow. Note their mature height and growth requirements, giving you an idea of the space, light and water requirements. Consider that herbs, such as mints, have a tendency to be aggressive in their spreading habit, whereas herbs like garlic (Allium satirum) are relatively contained.

Step 2

Consider the most convenient method of growing your medicinal herbs in the garden. Herbs are well-suited for growth in hanging baskets, container herb gardens, planted alongside ornamentals in the garden, or in their own garden space. The easier it is for you to care for the herbs, the less likely you will be to neglect them.

Step 3

Use a well-draining potting mix in the containers that is rich in organic materials, if growing your medicinal herbs inside containers. Select a container that is two to three times larger than the plant's root ball.

Step 4

Situate container-grown medicinal herbs in a location that receives full to partial sunlight during the day. The vast majority of medicinal herbs require daily sunlight for proper growth.

Step 5

Prepare your garden bed, if growing your medicinal herbs in the ground, as you would for gardening vegetables. Amend the soil with compost or manure, working it into the soil to a depth of approximately 3 to 4 inches. Sandy soils, such as those found in Florida, lack nutrients and herbs that will benefit from the addition of organic substances.

Step 6

Group together the medicinal herbs with the same watering requirements in the garden or inside the containers. Herbs like rosemary prefer well-drained sites that are moist, and other herbs, such as mints, require a more moist site. Grouping like plants together cuts down on the possibility of losing herbs because of too much water or lack of it.

Step 7

Water the herbs regularly, according to their requirements. Temperatures and weather in zone 9 are usually hot and dry throughout the majority of the year, and plants may require additional water. Water the medicinal herbs three to four times per week, depending on the local weather conditions.

Step 8

Apply a mulch application around the base of the herbs to help the soil retain moisture.

Step 9

Protect the medicinal herbs from frosts or freezes in zone 9 by bringing the containers indoors to a warm area. Or, cover the herb garden with cloth blankets or sheets to help retain heat in the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Potting mix
  • Container
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Blanket
  • Sheet

References

  • University of Florida: Herbs in the Florida Garden
  • University of Florida: 50 Common Native Plants Important in Florida's Ethnobotanical History
  • Family Herbal Remedies: Medicinal Plant List by Common Name

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida: Herbs in the Florida Garden
Keywords: growing medicinal herbs, medicinal herb gardening, zone 9 herbs

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.