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

 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
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.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1516
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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I got nothing for you, but Nathanael in Chad just started a thread about tropical medicinals also, he wanted to find or create a database of tropical medicinals...so check the zero replies.  

talking out of my butt here, herbs seem to like it dry...so maybe you need to create dry microclimates? mounds? an airwell dehumidifier? what does nature do? with so much humidity, it's surprising to me that the rosemary and sage grow...but i guess they don't mind humid air as long as they don't get over-watered...?  Seems like you're sorta pioneering new ground here.  Maybe the old-time Australian permaculture books will have good resources...

what functions do you want to serve with the herbs?
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Apart from being frost free, my climate is not tropical! I will check this thread...

Rosemary does indeed very good... But I do not mean only aromatic herbs when I say herbs! Dandelion is very medicinal too, and olive leaves too... Gayltheria too, but will not thrive here I guess...

I want herbs to have medicine for everybody including other plants. I have enough natural micro-climates without doing more. I just choose what I plant where.... Not everybody has this luck though!
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Lavender and echinacea do well for me.  We had 115'f last week and it can get really cold here.  We are usually in a drought.

Rosemary does indeed very good... But I do not mean only aromatic herbs when I say herbs!



I consider Rosemary a medicinal herb.  I use it as a mouth wash.

This is from my medicinal thread:

This medicinal herb helps memory and concentration, improves mood—and sweetens breath.  This herb, especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid, plus several essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene that are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties.

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