Why do you grow herbs?

There are a total of 444 votes:

Flavorful seasoning for my cooking
(228 votes, 51%)
Red dot

To attract nectar loving insects to my garden
(38 votes, 8%)
Red dot

For medicinal purposes
(15 votes, 3%)
Red dot

To make natural dye for baskets and fabric
(0 votes, 0%)
Red dot

For their fragrance
(59 votes, 13%)
Red dot

Other reason?
(45 votes, 10%)
Red dot

I do not grow herbs at all
(59 votes, 13%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

Mostly for cooking... but some I do love the fragrance and good insects are always welcome

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

I just grow them because I like them - use some in cooking, but I usually forget to harvest them. The basil blooms, the parsley grows rampant, the fennel has a life all its own, the lettuce grows into fairy towers, catnip prowls around, thymes creep by, and the sages expound here and there.

Amelia Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I love growing herbs. I use mine mainly for cooking. They smell and taste so good. I put the rosemary stems between the pillow and the pillowcase. Dried herbs go into bowls or I give some to friends. Attracting nectar loving insects is always a plus :)

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We use them for cooking, but our main reason is to supply the Farmers Market. There, we sell Basil, Lemon Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Thai Basil, Celery, Fennel, Dill, & Cilantro.
We have about a 100 ft x 100 ft area planted to herbs. It was very pretty all summer long.

I thought I had a later picture. This was taken in early July before it all started blooming.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
S of Lake Ontario, NY(Zone 6a)

For cooking, and butterfly hosts.

Gisborne, New Zealand

I grow a lot of herbs, originally just for the smell like crushing a leaf as I walk past and the way you can smell them before you see them.
Now I grow some for use like the mints and basils, I adore thai basil.Parsleys etc and others I use in cooking as time goes by.and I try more flavours. eg sages and thymes.

Sacramento, CA

I use large half-barrels for planting herbs/veggies, and sometimes plant similar-use herbs all in one. I like having oregano, basil, chives and garlic all in one barrel; run your hands over all of the leaves and you instantly smell like an Italian restaurant!

I chose fragrance because my favorite herb is lavender. But I also grow parsley for butterflies and oragano, basil, chives, and lemon grass for seasoning. But the fragrance of the lavender is heavenly....I smell it and know that all is right in the world. Ahhhhh.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I grow them mostly for cooking, but then lop over to luring insects and for fragrance. My herb bed is near the veggie beds which I think helps pollinate especially cucumbers.

Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Besides all of their other benefits, I think herbs are some of the most visually arresting plants around. Cuban oregano and 'Purple Ruffles' basil are especially gorgeous, imo.

: )

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

There's nothing like adding a fresh sprig or two of parsley or thyme to a great soup! The bees and butterflies like them, too.

Santa Fe, NM

I grow them mostly for scent because I love lavender and it grows so well here. But, I also grow culinary herbs and some medicinal herbs. The bees love them all. Like Kathleen, I don't always harvest them. At this time of year I often make wreathes. Don't know if I'll get around to it this year, tho!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I grow mainly parsley, dill, and rue as HOST plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs on. The Black Swallowtail and the Great Swallowtail eat the plants in the larvae stage (caterpillar). I grow many other plants and herbs for the foliage and fragrant blooms.

Wheatfield, NY(Zone 6a)

I picked the nectar loving insects, because so far they have received most of the benefit of my herb garden. I have been very remiss in using my herbs for cooking. However, the main intent IS cooking herbs. I have lots of extra parsley, fennel & dill for the swallowtails. I did see them laying eggs, but I didn't see any cats.

Port Angeles, WA

My herbs are mostly for cooking although I have a medicinal and magical spot set aside for special projects. I am hoping to learn how to mix and create my own salves and ointments. Still very much a beginner and just learning but very excited about the possibility's of a well stocked medicine chest and maybe gift baskets for friends when i get better at the crafting.

Paris, IL(Zone 6a)

Can I vote twice? Judy wants them grown for cooking and I want them grown for butterflies and caterpillars. By the by, we lost more to cats than we did for cooking.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I love the fragrances, but more importantly, the deer, squirrels and bunnies do NOT! LOL
I learned (unfortunately, late in the season) that if mints are planted surrounding and amongst the flowers, the flowers do not get eaten or dug up. Valuable info here in the midst of the woods!

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I voted "other" because the only herb I grow is catnip! I grow it for my favorite cat, little Jax, to eat and play with...

Thumbnail by Jax4ever
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I voted other cuz it's tie gtween flavour, fragrance and insects and let's not forget hummers and butterflies too!

Amelia Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Jax is adorable!

Middleburgh, NY

I had to vote other because there was not an "all of the above" button. I grown over 300 herbs and love them all.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

I plant them thinking I'll use them for cooking but then it's hot and I don't cook:lol: I voted for attracting insects. I like to see a lot of nature activity in the garden--makes me feel like I have a successful "business" going on out there:lol:

Lemon balm grows like a weed for me but it smells awesome, bees love the pollen or nectar and in the fall the finches love the seeds.

Love curly parsley--just the look of it all fresh and green is great, but no matter when or where I plant it within a day one or two fat bright green catapillars have knawed it down to nubs. I don't even know where these guys are coming from! LOL

Grantsboro, NC(Zone 8b)

I have only grown Basil for smell.. Traded for some lemon grass and hope to keep it over winter. Got some Lime Basil seeds in a swap and will try to grow it in spring. I want a herb garden.
Oh yes I also got some Yarrow that has the most beautiful tiny flowers I have ever seen. Bad thing is I don't know what to do with any of it.

OH I have forgotten my lavendar that has been growing for 4 or 5 years.
Guess I have more than I thought.

I want to try Chocolate mint and a few other things.


dmac085, the caterpillars might be coming from Black Swallowtail butterflies. Do you have any of these beautiful butterflies in your yard? Parsley is one of the plants that they lay their eggs on.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

It's hard to say...I live in a small apt. complex and I think only 2-3 of us actually plant anything outside. I probably have the most variety and definitely the most containers:lol: I do think I've seen those butterflies in the area though. It's so funny how quickly they turn up--within a day or two of me purchasing and planting out the parsley, like clockwork:lol:

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Oooo, I want more pretty butterflies--next year, I'm planting parsley, too! Thanks for the idea, folks!

Do your caterpillars look like this?
Folks on the Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening forum know much more about these than I do. But the butterflies are beautiful!

Thumbnail by valrita
Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Wow, even the cats are colorful!

Okeechobee, FL(Zone 10a)

The cat is really beautiful too.
I grow for scent and flavor .
If you put the same herbs in everything you cook all your food taste the same.
Parsley, thyme, and oregano = Italian or just fresh basil with tomatoes is yummy. Thyme, Bay and garlic = Cock au Vin with a cup of wine cooked off to make sauce.

Fern Park, FL(Zone 9b)

I love my herbs! I use them for cooking all the time :)

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

I was going to vote for cooking, but then I had to be honest - I haven't cooked anything that doesn't come out of a box or can lately so I just grow them with the good intentions of cooking again one day ;o)

Scottsdale, AZ(Zone 9b)

It isn't just for flavorful cooking, but for the natural, fresh smell of them, the look, knowing I can grow my own food (at least herbs) and giving sprigs and cuttings to friends to enhance and enjoy their meals. I also freeze some for later use. I waste NOTHING!

Christchurch, New Zealand

lol - I cook with my herbs -
but really I wanted to be able to sing Scarborough Fair & have the chorus in my garden;)

And now I do...
all growing nicely & enjoying the spring sunshine.
Cheers - Dalfyre

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

LOL, "...parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..." Love the old Simon and Garfunkel songs!


no option for tea so I voted for FOOD

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

Velnita--that is my little parsley mower:lol: I love the color of them and just let them finish off the plants. I wish they would let them grow a bit so there would be more food. Guess I'll just buy extra and throw down some seed for backup:lol:

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Like herbal betty
i voted other for all of the above. Tho i don't have that many herbs,i have all kinds.and use them. I love the sight of them,the fragrance,the sound of the bees as they take over the catnip in bloom, the odor is joyously overwelming at times. Herbs indeed feed the soul as well as the body. Basils,mints,catnip,rue,comfrey,yarrow,thyme,echinecha,Joe pye weed,poppy.even the names have a certain beauty,As does the history. Yarrow surely saved lives during the Civil War as doctors used it to stop bleeding by stuffing dried or fresh leaves into solders wounds. Rue(also known as herb of grace) was used in ancient Greece and Rome to purify alters of goddesses in ceremonys,than the Catholic church borrowed the custom for awhile. Herbs have had a special meaning and special place in mans heart since time began for us.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Wish I had the patience to learn about herbs for cooking, but then that would mean less time in the garden! LOL! Here is the Black Swallowtail adult. Take care of those caterpillars, plant lots of parsley, rue, dill and fennel for them!

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Ellsworth, WI

I have to agree with velnita, I grow many herbs for cooking but I chose "For their fragrance" for the LAVENDER herb! If I could only grow one herb it would, without a doubt, hands down, be Lavender, the scent is calming, soothing, therapy in an aroma!

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