Partial Sun Herbs: Discover Everything You Need to Know!

If you’ve been growing or reading about herbs for a while now, you already know that many of the ones that gardeners grow fall into the category of “partial sun plants.”

Partial sun herbs span different climates and regions. The flexibility of these plants with light makes it easier for everyone to grow them.

In this article, you’ll discover the most popular partial sun herbs that you can easily grow, but before we list them, we’ll discuss some interesting and important general information regarding partial sun herbs.

What are Partial Sun Herbs?

What are partial sun herbs? It’s a very simple question with a sophisticated answer, but we’re not going to dwell on the scientific explanation here.

The simple answer is that partial sun herbs are those that can thrive on 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Partial sun is the moderate amount of light plants can get. The two other extremes are full sun and full shade. To learn more about light requirements for herbs, check the article we have written on that topic here!

Why Partial Sun Can be a Good Option for Many Herbs?

Most herbs have a very diverse receptivity to light, which means they can grow under different amounts of light.

For instance, a great number of herbs are partial sun and full sun at the same time. Others can even grow under any amount of light whether it’s full sun or full shade.

The question is what’s the best option for these herbs? In some cases, you should choose partial sun simply because it’s safer for your herbs.

Partial sun herbs

The sun doesn’t only emit light. It also distributes heat in pretty good amounts. Heat is very unpleasant for many plants because it causes them to lose water.

Indeed, some plants have adapted to grow in hot regions, but they still prefer to grow under moderate temperatures. It’s your job to give them as much brightness as they need with the least amount of heat.

You need to place your partial sun herbs where they can get all their light needs from the morning sun instead of the afternoon sun because when the sun rises and shines through the day it gradually increases the amount of heat it emits.

Partial Sun Herbs are Awesome for Indoor Gardening

If you’re growing your herbs without using artificial light, you will have trouble finding an everlasting sunny location for your full-sun herbs inside.

That’s frustrating because it’s very hard to find a space indoors where the sun shines for more than 6 hours a day.

For that reason, partial sun and full shade herbs do much better inside if you’re not using grow lamps. The chances of finding a window at home where the sun shines for at least 4 hours a day are pretty high.

But if you can’t find one, you shouldn’t give up easily. You should think of getting some grow lamps that can aid the growth of your plants.

In fact, growing partial herbs under artificial light doesn’t consume that much energy. You can still depend on sunlight to grow your herbs and use grow lamps as a boost for them to get the minimum amount of light they need.

In case you’re growing your partial sun herbs under artificial light only, you should keep the lamps turned on for 14 hours a day.

List of Partial Sun Herbs

Here’s a list of the most popular partial sun herbs that you can easily grow:

Parsley

Parsley is an herb that can grow in either full sun or partial sun, and many experts say that it does pretty well under both.

Partial sun herbs

Nonetheless, parsley can dry faster under full sun, hence partial sun is better and safer for it. Otherwise, if you’re growing it under full sun, you’d be monitoring and watering it much more frequently.

Turmeric

Another popular herb that can grow under partial sun is turmeric. This herb can grow under all amounts of light.

Nonetheless, it’s preferable to keep this herb away from much heat by growing it under partial sun and avoid exposing it to the afternoon sun, especially if you live in a hot climate.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle is often overlooked by many gardeners and considered a weed in the yard, but its benefits are pushing many to grow it in the garden.

Nettle can grow in full sun and partial sun, but I always prefer to give it a maximum of 4 hours of sunlight per day.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is a wonderful plant that can be grown anywhere. Gardeners usually grow this herb as a companion plant for other herbs.

Bee balm can be grown under different amounts of sunlight, but if you don’t want to dehydrate the plant and end up with flowers that taste extremely tangy and peppery, you need to grow it under partial sun.

Mint

Mint is a very diverse group of plants that are being cultivated around the world.

Their light needs, however, are very controversial. Some say that mint thrives in full sun, but this statement is problematic.

While mint can grow well in full sun, it can easily get dehydrated. Mint should grow in a moist environment, and the best way to ensure it never becomes dry is by limiting its exposure to the sun.

Partial sun

That’s why different experts prefer to grow mint in partial sun, especially in hot regions.

Valerian

Valerian is a famous plant that is cultivated for its root. It has a sedative effect, which may help reduce anxiety and enhance sleep.

You can grow valerian under full sun and partial sun, but since it needs moist conditions just like mint, you should probably grow it under partial sun most of the time.

Salad Burnet

Salad burnet is a strong medicinal herb that is used in salads and dressings. It has the ability to relieve diarrhea.

It’s always preferable to grow this herb in partial sun to protect it from dryness because it’s a bit more sensitive than other herbs.

Chervil

Chervil, also known as French parsley, is one of the most important herbs in French cuisine. It is used to season meat and vegetables.

Chervil is an herb that prefers to grow in cool areas, which is why the hot sun is considered its enemy. Always grow chervil under partial sun, specifically in summer.

Catnip

Catnip is a plant that attracts cats and has a ridiculous effect on them. When they smell it, they become crazy, and when they ingest it, they become relaxed.

To grow catnip, you need to find a bright location where you can grow it under partial sun. This herb is also sensitive to heat and drought.

 Angelica

Angelica is a diverse group of plants that are used in native medicine. Angelica is used for intestinal and stomach problems and relieving cold symptoms.

This plant prefers cool environments and cannot tolerate hot temperatures. That’s why you need to avoid growing this herb under the intense sun and should provide it with 4 hours of sunlight per day.

So, I hope you enjoy growing all of these partial sun herbs, and if you have any questions or thoughts, please post them in the comments below!

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I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.

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