Fancy Tropical Herbs for Your Garden

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

You can pick up the ginger root right at your local grocery store.

Once you start experimenting with roots your grocery shopping experience will never be the same!

Ginger, (Zingiber officinale) is a perennial which is native to Asia with reed like stems and long, narrow leaves.

Its fleshy rhizome has a sweet pungent flavor and is used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Ginger is Hardy to zone 10.

A close up of the green foliage of the ginger plant, growing in a field.
Be careful! Ginger can be a little invasive.

Keep the soil moist when growing, I live in Minnesota where it is cold and my Ginger comes up year after year and is a good spreader.

In the fall pull up the rhizomes and split it up, bring some in and use for your favorite recipes where Ginger is needed.

Check out our complete guide to growing ginger in colder climates.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates)

Lemongrass is native to Southern India and Sri Lanka. This plant forms large clumps of grassy like leaves and the aroma is awesome. The lemon scent is like no other, it has more lemon scent then any herb associated with Lemon I know. Lemongrass is hardy to Zone 9. It will not come back as a perennial in the northern areas.

A close up of a large lemongrass plant growing as an ornamental in front of a house.
Lemon grass makes a great ornamental, but be sure to pot it and bring it inside in the winter if your live in northern climates.

Best if potted and brought in during the cold months. Keep the soil evenly moist. Once the plant is large enough use a spade and cut it down the middle for another plant.

Cuban Oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus)

This oregano is originally from Southeast Asia but you will also see it in Mexico and the Caribbean as well. It has a flavor of oregano added with a touch of thyme and savory. This plant can grow to be two to three feet tall. Beautiful velvety leaves.

A close up top down picture of a small sprig of Cuban oregano in a brown ceramic bowl, set on a wooden surface.

Hardy to Zone 9. As with most herbs, this plant needs a sandy soil, full sun, and let it dry out a bit in between watering. This herbs dries very well. At the end of the season, hang your oregano in a dark closet for use later in your spaghetti sauce.

Learn how to grow Cuban oregano here.

Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix)

The Kaffir Lime is a small, shrubby tree, with lemon scented leaves for flavoring Southeast Asian foods. The rind and juice of the fruit are used in cooking and the leaves, fruit juice and bark have medicinal purposes.

A close up vertical picture of a Citrus hystrix fruit, sliced and set on a wicker surface.

Grow Kaffir Lime in pots so you can bring it in during the colder months. It is Hardy to Zone 10.

Horseradish (Armoracia rustic Ana)

My all time favorite herb to grow is Horseradish. You can pick up the roots at your local grocery store. This perennial will grow two to three feet tall, early spring clusters of white flowers are one of the first to arrive. The dark green leaves shoot from the ground can be two to six inches wide in your more mature plants.

A close up of the green foliage of horseradish plants growing in the garden on a sunny day.

Horseradish is a sinus clearing condiment undervalued for its healing properties. Horseradish stimulates the appetite and improves digestion. It is also as a diuretic and is said to be a mild antibiotic and hay fever reducer.

A close up of a freshly harvested horseradish root, grated and set on a wooden surface.

Dig a whole about 6-12 inches deep, put the root inside, I lay mine horizontally, summertime shoots your first year will appear. Horseradish is very invasive, any part of the root will grow so plant where you want an abundant supply!

Are looking for more herb growing tips? Read all of our herb growing guides or you can start with some of these:

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