The Q&A Archives: Growing Herbs In A Container

Question: I would like to start a container herb garden on my balcony, but I'm new to Dallas and I'm not sure which plants can withstand the hot, dry conditions. My balcony faces northwest and gets alot of sun in the afternoon. I'm thinking of tryingbasil, rosemary, oregano, cilantro, chamomile and mint. Any suggestions on varieties or alternatives?

Answer: Most herbs require a full sun environment so you shouldn't need to worry about that. Of course, with any plant in a lot of heat and sun, keeping on top of watering is a must. During days of extreme heat (which are probably many in Dallas) you may need to water more than once a day. You'll know they need watering by touching the soil a few times a day, if it is dry and crumbly, they need a drink. Also, if the plants look "droopy" they probably need water. Once a plant wilts from heat and lack of water, it is almost always a goner. All of the herbs you mention above should thrive in full sun...except the mint. Most mints require a little bit of shady time...a partial sun environment is best. Some other popular herbs for full sun are thyme, chives, cumin, dill, parsley, and sage. Burpee offers an herb garden specifically designed for sunny corners, you can look at it on page 72 of the 1998 catalog or, check it out on the website. If you don't have a catalog call 1-800-888-1447.

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