Spice & Herb Gardening

9 Heat-Tolerant Herbs That Grow Well in Hot Climates

These heat-tolerant herbs don't mind it one bit when the thermometer stays in the red.

I’m not gonna lie; I let my plants stress it out a little in the warmer weather. The heat index will be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and my parsley will be looking at me like, “C’mon, woman! Where’s that AC?” My heat-tolerant herbs, however, are having a party. They’ve got the beach ball out, there’s some Stevie Wonder on the hi-fi, and I’m pretty sure the sunflowers are dancing. 

Obviously, that’s not all true. If it were, I’d probably feel bad about making pesto. Still, while most herbs will grow pretty much anywhere, some of them do much better than others in hot climates. Here are some of the most heat-tolerant herbs around. 

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These heat-tolerant herbs are ready for summer all year long

1. Rosemary. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and grows wonderfully in drier summer weather. This aromatic shrub doesn’t need much to grow into a healthy, delightful plant that can produce gorgeous blue flowers. And rosemary makes a great addition to an ice-cold glass of fresh lemonade!

2. Basil. Basil is one of the most popular heat-tolerant herbs. In fact, it won’t grow very well if it’s too cool. But if you can give it six to eight hours of daily sunlight and well-drained but moist soil, you’ll have a bumper crop in no time. Basil smells like heaven. You can use basil in soups and sauces. It’s great straight from the garden as an addition to salads or sandwiches.

3. Lemon Balm. Lemon balm makes a fabulous tea. This lemony/minty herb also works well with fruits or salads. Be aware, however, that even though lemon balm is one of the more heat-tolerant herbs, it doesn’t mind some mid-day shade. 

4. Mint. I’m pretty sure mint is one of the most heat-tolerant herbs around. In fact, I’m pretty sure mint will grow anywhere and in any condition. A friend of mine has mint growing from a crack in his driveway. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do with this wonderful herb. There are so many Mediterranean dishes enlivened with mint, and it’s great for tea or homemade ice cream! 

5. Oregano. There are multiple varieties of oregano, but the most familiar variety originated in Greece. Like many culinary plants from the Mediterranean, these heat-tolerant herbs enjoy drier soil and plenty of sunshine. 

6. Sage. I love sage. It’s such a beautiful plant, and that velvet texture is divine. What I love most is that is comes back every year even in colder climates and I’ve watched it even survive in the snow for a period of time! Like basil, sage enjoys full sun and well-drained soil. 

7. Catmint. Catmint is hardy and quite beautiful. The lavender and blue flowers of this herb attract pollinators and can deter some garden pests. Catmint is primarily made into tea, and it’s a popular herb in many natural health remedies. 

8. Thyme. Did you know that, according to some sources, there are more than 300 varieties of thyme? Some sources put that number closer to 400! So if you’re looking for heat-tolerant herbs, thyme is where it’s at! In all seriousness, though, thyme is happy with drier conditions and lots of sunshine. 

9. Lavender. Like many Mediterranean plants and herbs, lavender enjoys very well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine. Lavender is a lovely and fragrant herb, and it’s well known for attracting pollinators.

And don’t worry if you don’t live in a hot climate. Most of these herbs are just as happy to hang out indoors during the winter. Just give them a sunny spot in your kitchen and add them to your favorite dish as needed!

Are there herbs you like to grow in hot temperatures? I’d love to know what else works in climates with longer summers.

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Find out how easy growing spices and herbs can be—indoors or out! Read our FREEBIE How to Master Spice and Herb Gardening at Home right now!

By Amanda MacArthur

Amanda MacArthur is Senior Editor & Producer for Food Gardening Network and GreenPrints. She is responsible for generating all daily content and managing distribution across web, email, and social. In her producer role, she plans, edits, and deploys all video content for guides, magazine issues, and daily tips. As a best-selling cookbook author, Amanda cooks using ingredients from her outdoor gardens in the summer and from her indoor hydroponic garden in the winter.

One reply on “9 Heat-Tolerant Herbs That Grow Well in Hot Climates”

Tulsi/Holy Basil is amazing here near Houston. It comes back all over the place the next year so you never have to buy it again. It loves the heat!

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