If you're looking to begin growing your own home herb garden, the following list of common herbs is a great place to start. When you’re just starting with an herb garden you may have trouble deciding what to plant; look to plant the most commonly used herbs (or perhaps go with your personal favorites).
Rosemary is a fragrant herb that goes well with potatoes and poultry. This small perennial shrub enjoys full sun and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 6 and above. You can use it fresh or dried in cooking.
Sage is a shrubby perennial with grayish-green leaves. It is common in turkey stuffing and sausages. Sage is typically used dried but fresh leaves can also be used in cooking.
Basil is popular in Italian and other Mediterranean recipes. It is the star of Genovese pesto sauce, for instance, and adorns Margherita pizza. Basil needs warm soil and air so wait to plant until the last frost has passed. It has rich green or purple leaves that can be used fresh or dried.
Dill is an annual with feathery, delicate leaves. It grows in full-sun and well-drained soil. You can use it fresh or dried in cooking. Fresh leaves can go into green salads, potato salads or adorn cooked salmon. It is used in pickle brine as well.
Mint is a perennial plant that comes in various varieties, such as peppermint and spearmint. Rub or crush the fresh leaves to release their scent. Its distinctive flavor can complement everything from chocolate to leg of lamb. It needs some shade to thrive.
Marjoram grows to heights of about a foot in full sun. It is a slow-growing cousin of oregano. Use its fresh leaves in salads, sandwiches, omelets or herb butter. Dried, add it to stuffing, soups or pot roast.
Tarragon enjoys full sun but can tolerate some shade. It has a strong licorice-like flavor that should be used sparingly in dishes. Fresh tarragon tastes stronger than dried. It is common in French cooking. Try it in salad dressings.
Thyme is a perennial that grows to heights of four to eight inches in full sun. It needs well drained soil. It has a strong flavor that goes with most meats and seafood. Try it blended with other herbs like rosemary and oregano.
Parsley does not need to be just a garnish. Its dense green leaves are packed with vitamins and a fresh flavor. Try making your own tabbouleh salad with mounds of fresh parsley.
Oregano figures prominently in Italian, Spanish and Mexican cuisines. You’ve most likely had it on top of pizza or in tomato sauce. This hardy perennial yields flavorful leaves that can be used dried or fresh. Oregano likes full sun and well-drained soil.
Chives are a member of the onion family. They have a more subtle flavor than onions, garlic or leeks. They grow in tall thin clumps topped with purple flowers. Sprinkle chopped fresh chives on top of soups.
Cilantro is also known as coriander. They are both names for Coriandrum sativum. Cilantro refers to the delicate, leafy greens and coriander is the name for the seeds. Cilantro is popular in Mexican and Southeast Asian cooking, although some people object strongly to its flavor. Chop it fresh into salsa, guacamole or mix into pho noodle soup.