Cold Hardy Herbs – Tips On Growing Herbs In Zone 3 Regions

zone 3 herb
zone 3 herb
(Image credit: yogesh_more)

Many herbs hail from the Mediterranean and, as such, tend to like the sun and warmer temperatures; but if you live in a cooler climate, fear not. There are quite a few cold hardy herbs suitable for cold climates. Sure, growing herbs in zone 3 may require a little more pampering but it’s well worth the effort.

About Herbs that Grow in Zone 3

The key to growing herbs in zone 3 is in the selection; choose appropriate zone 3 herb plants and plan to grow tender herbs, such as tarragon, as an annual or grow them in pots that can be moved indoors during the winter. Start perennial plants from seedlings in the early summer. Start annuals from seed in the early summer or sow them in a cold frame in the fall. Seedlings will then emerge in the spring and can then be thinned and transplanted into the garden. Protect delicate herbs, such as basil and dill, from winds by planting them in a sheltered area of the garden or in containers that can move around depending upon weather conditions. Finding herbs that grow in zone 3 may take a little experimentation. Within zone 3 there is a multitude of microclimates, so just because an herb is labeled suitable to zone 3 doesn’t necessarily mean it will thrive in your backyard. Conversely, herbs that are labeled suitable for zone 5 might do well in your landscape depending upon weather conditions, soil type, and the amount of protection provided to the herb – mulching around the herbs can help protect and save them through the winter.

List of Zone 3 Herb Plants

Very cold hardy herbs (hardy to USDA zone 2) include hyssop, juniper, and Turkestan rose. Other herbs for cold climates in zone 3 include:

Other herbs suited to zone 3 if grown as annuals are:

Marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme can all be overwintered indoors. Some annual herbs will even reseed themselves, such as:

Other herbs that, although labeled for warmer zones, may survive colder climates if in well-draining soil and protected with winter mulch include lovage and lemon balm.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.