Did you know there is a resilient group of herbs that can withstand frosty winters and continue to flourish? 

These winter-tolerant plants offer numerous benefits, such as enhancing your culinary creations, boosting your immune system, and serving as a natural remedy against common ailments. 

Plus, they add a burst of greenery to any barren landscape in the most challenging times. 

25 Cold Hardy Herbs For Your Winter Garden

These herbs have adapted to survive freezing temperatures by developing specific characteristics.

Some include storing energy in roots, reducing water loss through leaves, and producing antifreeze-like substances. 

However, proper care and winter protection may still be required. Also, be aware that plants hardy in a particular zone may not be hardy in another zone.

1. Caraway 

caraway-seedsNative to Europe and Western Asia, Caraway is a versatile herb with a captivating blend of flavors. It’s a slow-growing biennial that does only vegetative growth during the first season. 

Its leaves become more feathery with stout stems in the second season. Grow caraway in well-drained soil with a pH range of 6.5-7 and full sun for the best results.

Add caraway seeds to desserts, soups, and salads for depth and flavor. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 10

2. Catnip 

catnip-plantCatnip is a fascinating perennial herb that will attract feline friends to any garden. It features vibrant green leaves with an enchanting aroma. 

Catnip loves and thrives in well-draining soil and full sun. However, it can do with partial sun and various soils.

The herb not only stimulates playful behavior in cats but is also used for making soothing teas. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 9

3. Comfrey 

comfrey-plantComfrey is a hardy and resilient herb native to Europe and Asia. It packs large, hairy leaves with vibrant purple flowers.

Always choose an area with ample sunlight when growing comfrey. The soil should be moist and well-draining. 

Further, young seedlings need lots of moisture. However, the plants become drought-tolerant as they mature.

Use Comfrey leaves in salads, soups, and stir-fries to add a unique and slightly bitter flavor. The herb is also used medicinally to heal wounds. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 9

4. Lemon Balm

Lemon-Balm-herbLemon balm is a perennial herb in the mint family. It is characterized by vibrant green leaves with a pleasant lemon scent and small white flowers.

Lemon balm prefers rich, well-draining soils and grows well under partial or full sun. We advise occasional fertilization to help maintain the scent strength.

The citrusy flavor of lemon balm makes it a worthy addition to teas, desserts, and salads.

However, be aware of its invasive nature.

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 7

5. Fennel 

fennel-plantFennel is an attractive herb known for its soft, feathery leaves and anise-like flavor and aroma. The herb produces clusters of tiny yellow flowers in summer. 

Fennel is drought-tolerant and requires no maintenance once established. It prefers full sun and well-draining soils. 

The herb is used in teas and salads— it aids digestion and relieves bloating. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 5 to 9

6. Chives 

chives-plantAnother cold, hardy herb on the list is Chives from the onion family. It is a bulb-forming perennial characterized by slender scapes (stems) that grow up to 50 cm long. 

Its pale purple flowers are star-shaped and are known to attract bees. The plant grows best in full/ partial sun and prefers fertile, well-draining soil.

Chives are an excellent culinary addition to soups, salads, and sauces. Medicinally, they are known for antibacterial properties and promoting digestion. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 10

7. Lavender

lavenderAnother herb on the list is lavender. It’s a commonly grown herb known for its sweet fragrance and delicate purple flowers.

Lavender loves warm, sunny conditions and does well in free-draining soils. 

For the best results, use an alkaline soil rich in organic matter. Ensure to maintain adequate spacing for proper air circulation. 

Lavender adds a delightful flavor to culinary creations and offers therapeutic benefits, ensuring overall wellness.  

Ideal USDA Zones: 5 to 10

8. Dill 

dill-herbDill is a tender annual herb in the carrot family native to Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean region. It is characterized by its feathery leaves and vibrant green color. 

For a successful yield, sow the seeds directly in the bed under full sun. Ensure to provide enough lighting if you plant them in containers indoors. 

Dill adds a refreshing flavor to dishes and is widely used for its fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

Ideal USDA Zones: 2 to 11

9. Lovage

lovage-plantLovage is a perennial herb known for its aromatic and celery-like flavor. Its flower stalks are tall, reaching up to 6 feet.

The stalks feature bright green leaves and beautiful yellow flowers that add a touch of elegance to any garden.

Lovage loves rich soil that receives regular moisture/rainfall without getting waterlogged. It prefers full sun and adequate spacing.

The leaves of the herb can be used to add unique flavors to soups, salads, and stews. They are also known for aiding digestion and alleviating menstrual cramps. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 9

10. Sage

sage-herbAmong our list of winter hardy herbs is the sage plant, known for its earthy and savory flavor. It makes an attractive addition to sunny borders, veg plots, and herb beds. 

Sage features soft, silvery-green leaves and woody stems that thrive in well-drained soil and full sun.

The herb is widely used in meat dishes and to make soothing teas. Medicinally, sage aids in digestion and relieving sore throats. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 10

11. Sorrel 

sorrel-herbSorrel is a low-maintenance, hardy perennial boasting vibrant green leaves with a tangy lemon flavor. The herb is a cool climate plant that prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Thanks to its flavor, sorrel is used in salads, soups, and sauces, adding a refreshing zing to dishes. It also aids digestion and is a good source of vitamin C. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 9

12. Mint 

mint-plantMint is a perennial herb that brings a delightful addition to any garden courtesy of its vibrant green leaves, invigorating aroma, and pretty flowers. The herb loves organically rich and well-draining soil.

The soil should be slightly acidic to neutral (6.0-7.0). Mint prefers full to partial sun exposure.

As a herb, mint is used in various savory dishes and refreshing drinks.

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 8, 9-10

13. Rosemary 

rosemary-herbRosemary is an evergreen aromatic herb known for its distinctive fragrance and needle-like leaves. The leaves feature flowers with different hues, including pink, mauve, blue, and white. 

Rosemary grows up to 5 feet tall and is commonly found in the Mediterranean. The herb prefers well-draining soil and total sun exposure to thrive well.

Rosemary is used in soups, sauces, and roasted meats. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 6 to 9

14. Oregano

oregano-plantOregano is a perennial fragrant herb grown for its aromatic and spicy leaves. The plant loves warm, sun-shaded spots outdoors but can be grown in containers.

The herb is commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, adding a savory touch to pizzas, salads, and sauces. Oregano also boasts medicinal properties— aiding in digestion and relieving respiratory issues. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 10

15. Thyme 

thyme-herbAnother herb that can flourish in your garden during winter is Thyme. It is so hardy and resilient that it can thrive in total neglect.

You can grow the plant in almost any region with minimal watering. However, the soil should be well-draining, and the plant should be kept in a warm and sunny location. 

Thyme produces small aromatic leaves with an earthy flavor, thus serving as a popular ingredient in various cuisines. It is also a known antiseptic and antioxidant and has been used for treating coughs and soar throats for ages.

Ideal USDA Zones: 2 to 10

16. Tarragon 

Tarragon-herbTarragon is a versatile perennial herb with a woody base and narrow green leaves. The herb offers a delightful aroma, while its natural compounds provide various health benefits. 

Tarragon loves a sunny planting site and fertile, well-draining soils. It is commonly used in French cuisines—  working best with fish, eggs, and chicken.

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 9

17. Winter Savory 

Winter-SavoryWinter savory is a perennial herb characterized by shrubby woody stems. It thrives in cool climates perfectly fitting winter gardens.

Its leaves are dense, slender, and aromatic— accompanied by delicate purple flowers. 

Grow winter savory in full sun in well-draining soil. You can also plant the herb in containers or raised beds.

The herb is a culinary delight, enhancing digestion and soothing soar throats. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 8

18. Chervil

Chervil Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is an annual herb in the same family as parsley. It is prevalent in French cuisine and is often called “French Parsley.”

The herb is characterized by curly light green leaves and tiny white flowers and grows up to 2 feet long. 

It is milder in flavor than traditional French herbs and is often added to soups, salads, and poultry dishes.

Chervil grows best in free-draining soils that retain moisture.

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 7

19. Wintergreen  

Gaultheria-procumbenWintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) is a small evergreen shrub with mint-scented dark green leaves and evergreen berries. The herb prefers part shade to full shade and grows best in organically rich, well-draining soil.

Its mint flavor is commonly incorporated in culinary dishes and beverages. Wintergreen is also used medicinally for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 3 to 7

20. Chamomile

ChamomileChamomile is an easy-to-grow fragrant herb in the daisy family and makes a worthy addition to your winter garden. It features small white flowers with yellow centers. 

Plant chamomile in a sunny growing location with light and free-draining soil. Alternatively, plant it in a large container with multi-purpose peat-free compost. 

This versatile herb is widely used in teas, infusions, and essential oils for its medicinal benefits. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 9

21. Mitsuba 

Japanese-parsleyMitsuba, also known as Japanese parsley, is a versatile perennial herb that captivates with its unique flavor and appearance. It features tender, clumping stems that reach a height of 24 inches.  

It boasts vibrant green leaves and white flowers— adding elegance to any garden. The herb thrives well in organically rich loam that is well-draining.

Mitsuba is commonly used in Japanese cuisine and medicinally to aid digestion and boost the immune system.  

Ideal USDA Zones: 4 to 9

22. Cilantro 

cilantro-herbCilantro or coriander is a versatile herb in the Apiaceae family. It is characterized by a distinctive fragrance and taste courtesy of its delicate leaves and stems.

Cilantro grows best under full sun but must be moved indoors in the afternoon during hotter temperatures. Ensure that the soil pH is around 6-6.5.

Apart from an excellent culinary addition, the herb is used in traditional medicines and is said to promote good health.

Ideal USDA Zones: 2 to 11

23. Lemon Verbena

lemon-verbenaLemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is of South American origin and is commonly called Lemon Beebrush. When crushed, its slender leaves emit a strong lemon scent. 

The plant loves sunny locations but must be moved inside during the afternoon. It is relatively easy to grow and prefers free-draining soil— ideal for gardens or containers.

The herb is often incorporated into teas, salads, and desserts. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 8 to 11

24. Marjoram

Marjoram-herbMarjoram is a fragrant herb closely related to oregano. It features petite, delicate leaves and a subtle sweet flavor.

The herb loves full sun and well-draining soil— waterlogging can lead to root rot.

Marjoram adds a delightful aroma to dishes. Additionally, its medicinal properties help in relieving respiratory issues and aid digestion. 

Ideal USDA Zones: 6 to 9

25. Stevia 

stevia-herbStevia rebaudiana is an annual herb grown for its leaves containing zero-calorie sweeteners. Native to Paraguay, the plant provides an excellent sugar alternative suitable for people with diabetes or fitness enthusiasts. 

It thrives in warm climates with well-draining soils and loves full sun to partial afternoon shade.

Stevia can survive mild winters but cannot tolerate frost— you must bring it indoors during freezing temperatures.

Ideal USDA Zones: 9 to 11

Conclusion 

As a winter gardening enthusiast, it can be frustrating to find worthy additions to your garden. However, the cold hardy herbs mentioned above are not only a visual delight— most of them are excellent culinary ingredients and are of great medicinal value.

Embrace these herbs and elevate your winter garden to a whole new level. Happy Gardening!

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