Several of the most common and easy-to-grow herbs are traditionally utilized to taste Italian or Mexican cooking. Most of these require direct sun to grow nicely, since they come from sunny climates. But a range of common herbs increase in shade or indoors in indirect light and can be used to season food, concoct home remedies, as well as brew teas.
Common Culinary Herbs
Garlic (Allium sativum) grows in sun or shade and is frequently planted around stone fruit trees to discourage borers. Horseradish (Amoracia rusticana) can also be grown just about anywhere, although the roots do not grow as broadly in a pot since they would outside. Parsley (Petroselinum hortense), marjoram (Oreganum majoranum) and oregano (Oreganum vulgare) also increase in color on indirect indoor light. The stalks are more and the leaves are somewhat lighter colored and not as aromatic in restricted light, however they remain useful. Many mints can also be grown in indirect light.
Culinary and Medicinal Herbs
Some common herbs with both medicinal and culinary uses increase in indirect light, such as angelica (Angelica archangelica), bee balm (Monarda spp,), sweet cicily (Myrrhis odorata), lemon bergamot (Monarda citriodora) and burnet (Sanguisorba minor). These herbaceous plants favor six hours of direct sunlight per day but can be grown in the shade of trees or indoors. Although angelica is recommended as a tonic for girls, it shouldn’t be used by pregnant or nursing women.
Two other herbs that increase in low light are catnip (Nepeta cataria) and sorrel (Rumex spp.) If you’re growing catnip indoors, be sure to set it in a location your cat cannot reach; otherwise, the cat might eat the entire plant. Sorrel is grown for both the leaves and the bulb and does best in a broad, shallow pot with more surface area than depth.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and catmint (Nepeta faassenii) can be grown indoors or at the edge of a shaded place if they get sun for six or more hours a day. If placed in a south or west window or around the south side of a wooded area, they frequently do nicely. Rosemary and catmint are somewhat less dense with more shade and chives spread less, but they produce well enough for home usage.