Herbs In Containers In Florida, USA
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Diana Petras
Posted on: May 01, 2005

I just purchased several herbs and want to grow them in terra cotta pots on my front porch. I live in Central Florida, USA and the sun gets very hot in the summer. My porch has a roof and gets a few (2-3) hours of direct sunlight. The rest of the day is very bright, but not direct. My question is is this enough light for "full sun" herbs. I am attempting to grow spearmint, rosemary, lavender, and sage on the porch. In addition I have thyme, basil, oregano, dill, parsley, and chives in two large pots that sit in the full sun all day, but not protected (not under the roof). I really want this garden to be successful, but don’t have an overly "green" thumb. Should I move all the pots out from under the roof during the day or is bright, indirect sunlight enough? I ‘m afraid if they sit in the sun all day they’ll get "cooked." But I’m afraid to not give them enough light under the roof...

If the plants were not in containers, most would do fine in full sun as long as you kept them well watered. But since they are in pots, the roots would get too hot and they might die. Parsley should be kept on the porch as well in your climate. Again, in your climate two hours of direct sun and the rest of the day with bright light is probably OK. But just in case your and my ideas of "bright" differ, just watch your plants. If they get long and thin and stretch towards the light, move them further out into the sun- gradually. If they seem stocky and don’t reach for the light with elongated stems, then leave them where they are. If they wilt too quickly, try double potting them to conserve moisture and prevent the sun from directly hitting the pot containing the roots.

Of the plants you mentioned, parsley and mint prefer cooler and moister conditions.

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