Best Full Sun Herbs - Which Herbs Need Full Sun

Full Sun Green Herbs
(Image credit: Akchamczuk)

The best full sun herbs are those that need six hours or more of sunlight per day. Many herbs will tolerate some shade but prefer full sun, while others need full sun. If you have a sunny or mostly sunny spot for a kitchen garden, try these herbs. 

Which Herbs Like Full Sun?

Like most plants, herbs generally want more sun. These herbs will thrive in full sun, but if you can only provide partial sun, between three and six hours per day, they’ll be fine: 

  • Chives. This onion relative can grow in only partial sun, but you’ll get more chive blossoms in full sun. 
  • Chervil. Grow chervil to use fresh in salads. It will reseed itself readily, even in a spot with a little shade. 
  • Lemon Balm. This fresh, lemony herb likes six hours of sunlight per day, but will tolerate four. 
  • Mint. Mint grows so easily and aggressively that it can thrive even in a shady area. Keep it in a container to avoid mint taking over every bed in the garden. 
  • Parsley. Parsley is one of the most versatile kitchen herbs, and it can grow with between four and six hours of daily sunlight. 

Which Herbs Need Full Sun? 

For the most part, herbs in full sun are happiest. Some will tolerate a little shade, but these are herbs for sunny spots. They need six or more hours of sunlight per day: 

  • Basil. This classic Italian culinary herb is versatile and easy to grow as long as you give it a spot with full sun and good moisture in the soil. 
  • Chamomile. The flowers of chamomile make a lovely tea. The plants need full sun to bloom prolifically, although they don’t like excessive heat. 
  • Cilantro. Cilantro loves full sun, but it will bolt quickly in hot weather, so keep an eye on plants daily in the summer. 
  • Dill. Dill needs a lot of sun to grow best. Use both the fern-like foliage and the delicate flowers in summer dishes. 
  • Fennel. Used as both a culinary and a medicinal herb, fennel loves full sun and tolerates hot temperatures. 
  • Lavender. As a Mediterranean herb, lavender thrives in hot, sunny locations. It needs full sun for the best growth. 
  • Rosemary. Rosemary is also Mediterranean and loves heat and full sun. 
  • Summer Savory. This is a classic herb for French cuisine, and it loves hot, sunny days. 

If you have a full sun bed for herbs, these are your best bets. They’ll provide abundant leaves and flowers in the sunniest spot in your garden.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.