Growing Herbs and Spices

Growing herbs and spices is easy to do in the tropics.

You just have to pick the right herbs and spices!

I received an email from a reader the other day. The lady was just starting a new garden on a tropical island and wanted to also grow fresh herbs. So she was looking for ideas for herbs to grow.

I don't always have time to give individual advice to all readers, but in this case I fired off a quick list of suggestions for tropical spices and herbs to grow.

Her reaction? "I never thought of those!"



That's not unusual. Most of my readers have grown up in the developed western world. And that means they grew up in a temperate climate.

Most gardening books and books about growing herbs talk about plants suited to those climates.

Well, you will have a hard time to get chives to grow through a tropical summer...

Grow the hardy garlic chives instead! But most of all, look at Asian and African and other exotic cuisines and the spices you used to buy for those dishes. You can grow all those culinary herbs and spices yourself, and it isn't hard!

Here's a (growing) list of herbs to get you started.

Easy To Grow Herbs And Spices

  • Basil
  • Garlic Chives
  • Lemongrass

A-Z List Of Tropical Herbs And Spices

(Growing herbs from the Mediterranean in the tropics is of course also possible. Many of the usual culinary herbs are listed here. You just have to grow those herbs during the tropical "winter", the dry and warm time of the year.)


  • Aloe Vera
  • Basil
  • Brahmi (an amazing medicinal herb)
  • Chillies (I know, technically a vegetable or even fruit, but they are still spicy! Let's not be so fastidious.)
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon (the bark of a tree)
  • Cloves (flower buds of a tree)
  • Comfrey (medicinal herb and great soil improver)
  • Coriander
  • Galangal
  • Garlic Chives
  • Ginger
  • Kaffir lime (a citrus tree, the leaves are used as a herb/spice)
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Nutmeg (another large tree)
  • Oregano
  • Parsley (I'm of European origin, too and can't live without it.)
  • Pepper (yep, real peppercorns)
  • Rosemary
  • Stevia (a natural sweetener)
  • Thyme
  • Tumeric
  • Vanilla




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