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Subtropical climate: what med. herbs will thrive, and which to leave aside?

 
pollinator
Posts: 1822
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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We all know this maybe, that we try to cultivate in the same place, plants that do not come from the same climate nor even have the same soil requirement! Not to mention latitude, altitude...

It seems that medicinal herbs are even more picky than veggies and that some cannot be grown at my place... I would simply like to get more ideas about what I should get and what I should not even try!? With some room for the in between to be tried with suriosity if not with hope!

My climate has its best equivalent in the US with South California.

I'd bet I can forget about growing gaultheria and all the blueberry familly! i would have loved to grow uva ursi...

- I have winter rains (still some drops today...) and it is quite a mediterranean climate.
- Frost free - 8ºc is a minimum
- But also oceanic! 80% humidity is common half of the year.
- Summer is ...not hot. 30ºc is common.
- But Calima! -> Hot wind with sand from the Sahara... Goes over 40ºc if it is summer.

Soil is a bit acidic, volcanic island. The water is not very acidic. 500 m high.

What I have that does good: "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme"!
Christhmus maritimus is even local wild.
Fennel of course! Though the grown veggie is not easy to get as a bulb.
Coriander is grown in winter.
Onons grow well, but garlic stays super small! We plant it is november here.
All the tagetes familly does well.

I have tried to grow Helicrysum italicum when the seller sent them because he thought I should sow them in spring and I thought they would be better started in autumn here, and they did not germinate well, and the rest died. Nonetheless, the other helicrysym commonly sold as "curry", from its smell, grow well.

Then of course there are tropical plants I can grow, such as centella asiatica, moringa and aloe vera / arborescens.
I have all sort of ginger familly plant including curcuma.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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What seems to not to do well:
- some apiaceae
It seems that plants like caraway or dill do not do good.
or... when should I sow them?

I would first like to know which aromatic or medicinal plants from more northern places would not bother the latitude, the lack of winter, and grow here?

 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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There was a doubled post, so any moderator for removing the other one, thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 488
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9-10, 60" rain/yr,
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While I guess it’s not an herb, peppers would do likely do well there and are very prominent in medicine of the SW US and throughout Central America. My understanding is Chilis are good for circulation and immune system among other things (like reminding you that you are alive!) They can also be perennial in your climate, and I’ve heard of habenero trees where they are left to grow big. My favorites are the rainforest peppers of Samoa and Fiji, which are very similar to Thai Chiles.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Hi Ben! Yes for sure we have them here, including local varieties! I woudl considere them as part of the vegetables, all is medicine anyway...
Yes I wanted to concentrate more - in this forum -  on medicinal herbs and aromatics. My main reason for this topic is that I have been surprised at the lack of thriving for some common herbs, so some californian person might have some idea... Even  members from Florida! After all, I can water in summer... but even with water, all black / raspberry do well only for leaves, and quite bad for berries!

To give an idea about what grows well and when, we have a lot of poppies all summer, they finish their seeds now!
Plantago goes well, dendelion too, and flowers all year long, but nettles have to be taken care of....
Comfrey grows well in the shade at the foot of a wall.
 
Ben Zumeta
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Yarrow is probably my favorite widespread medicinal herb that gets short changed as a weed too often. I wish it grew better in my clay based soil, but near gravel it thrives in poor soil. I have seen it in the Sonoran desert of Southern California to subalpine Western Washington. It makes a delicious tea that has a noticeable effect on sore muscles and cold symptoms. I think the fact that Native American and ancient Chinese medicine use it for similar purposes for thousands of years is more convincing of its efficacy than any USDA study could be. Apparently it is also a great soil builder and compost activator, and I add it to my compost teas. And interestingly, the plant can have vastly varying leaf shape depending on climate and soil conditions, and a transplanted plant will grow conform to look like those where is transplanted, and this was apparently tested transcontinentally.  It was also the namesake of my favorite cabin at Camp Colman where i grew up going, so go yarrow!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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I agree and had it in Europe! I had too much even...

Very interesting that it can grow in California, because I had bought seeds and got no success and I had finally 2 little plants and they died in the pot!

I can also add that with many herbaceous plants, I have noticed that the length of day counts a lot, and that some just do not thrive and try to go to seed when very are still very small.

Interrestingly, minners lettuce thrives all winter (when does it grow in its original place?) and volunteer everywhere it is wet enough! Here it is now in full flower and beginning seeds...
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Nobody else? Nobody from California having this sort of question!?

I have another plant I doubt I can have: tarragon. The real one.

Who has it in a southern garden?

I like it for its digestive effect and also its capacity to be anti-spasmodic + super taste!
 
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