Tropical Herbs

Tropical Herbs Growing Guide

Tropical Herbs List

Tropical herbs are those herbs that thrive in our tropical climate, the hottest and wettest place on earth. These are the herbs that we are growing in our garden.

With the right climate and knowledge, you can easily cultivate a variety of leafy greens to add flavor to your favorite culinary creations. Find out which herbs are best suited for your tropical climate and learn helpful tips for tending to them!

While many herbs struggle to make it through a hot steamy tropical summer, others thrive. Below we have listed our top 10 herbs that will not just survive, but thrive in the tropics.

  1. Basil
  2. Cilantro
  3. Dill
  4. Garlic Chives
  5. Ginger Growing
  6. Lemongrass Growing
  7. Mint
  8. Stevia
  9. Thai Chili
  10. Vietnamese Mint (laksa leaf)

The above herbs are our favourites to grow. Harvest the taste of paradise with these 10 amazing tropical herbs! Grow them for use cooking or make a delicious herbal tea to boost your wellness.

Some herbs are cloaked in mystery and have also been used for medicinal purposes. For example, ginger is believed to have been used by Indians and Chinese people as a tonic root for over 5000 years to treat various ailments. However, like most folks, we use it as a flavouring agent in our cooking.

Tropical Herbs Australia

Care for your herbs will vary a little from the wet season to the dry season. In the dry season you need to water once a day and we use mulch so that as much water as possible is retained and does not evaporate.

During the wet season you should ensure herbs that do not tolerate constant soggy soil have a chance to drain. So we suggest growing your herbs in containers or pots using well draining soil.

Insect pests and diseases are more of a problem during the wet season. This is due to the hot humid conditions.

The major pests in the tropics are leaf eating beetles, aphids and caterpillars. However, you can pick these off your plants at home, or if the challenge is bigger you can use a spray. Regular application of white oil or neem oil can help address these pests. These are effective organic pesticides. You can even make white oil at home.

tropical herbs - ginger
Tropical Herbs – Ginger

Herb Growing FAQs

In the tropics should I grow herbs in containers?

The tropical downpours of the wet season are not agreeable with many herbs. Therefore, you should use good soil with organic matter to retain the moisture, but also grow in a container or raised bed that will drain well.

Can I grow herbs indoors?

You can grow herbs inside using natural light, by placing your pot near a window.

How often should I fertilise herbs in the tropics?

Fertilise your tropical herbs twice a month during the wet season and once a month during the dry season.

Winter Mediterraneans

It is possible to grow herbs from the Mediterranean here in the tropics. However, you just have to grow those herbs during the dry ‘winter’ months and not the humid and hot tropical wet season.

Consequently, as this is the ‘dry season’ in the tropics you will need to water regularly.

Tropical Herbs and Spices

Health, savings and food security are really good reasons to grow your own herbs.

When you grow your own food, you know exactly what fertilisers and pesticides (if any) have been used on it. That is not the only health benefit, with most of these herbs you can pick off what you want for the evening dinner, while the plant keeps growing. So how fresh is that?

When it comes to food security, climate change is leading to unprecedented crop failures. Consequently, you cannot be certain the herbs you want will be on your supermarket shelf. So growing your own gives you security of supply.

Saving money is another great incentive to garden. Once you get some experience as a herb grower, it will be cheaper to grow herbs than buy them at the shops.

tropical herbs
Tropical Herbs

Tropical Medicinal Herbs

Most tropical herbs add wonderful flavour to your cooking. However, they also have numerous health benefits. For instance rosemary is high in antioxidants and improves memory and concentration, while basil is a valuable source of vitamin C, and oregano has antibacterial properties.

Many herbs, such as basil, sage, and oregano, as well as lesser-known herbs like astragalus and sambucus, are said to have strong antiviral effects against a number of viruses.

Lavender is an aromatic shrub native to the Mediterranean. Lavender oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal burns and insect bites. It is also popular for improving mood and promoting relaxation and has been scientifically proven to help reduce anxiety.

Tropical Herbs Names

In closing, we share the names of some additional tropical herbs that are well worth knowing about.

Turmeric has been known as a medicinal plant for several thousand years in India, and is important to Ayurvedic medicine. It contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, so it is widely prescribed for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Thought to be native to Siberia, garlic has been widely used as a food and medicine across the West and East for many centuries. It is a proven killer of bacteria, fungi and viruses but is also said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Ginko Biloba is one of the oldest living tree species, and a key herb in Chinese medicine used to create extracts and teas with many uses. It is best known for its ability to boost brain health, and may relieve memory loss and improve mood during the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

Tropical Spices

Tropical spices are aromatic and flavourful ingredients that thrive in the warm, humid climates of tropical regions. These spices are often integral to the culinary traditions of countries located in the tropics.

Tropical spices not only add flavour and aroma to dishes but also come with numerous health benefits. They are integral to many culinary traditions around the world, especially in regions where these spices are grown. Incorporating these spices into your cooking can enhance both the taste and nutritional value of your meals.

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