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As decorative as they are useful, aromatic plants are appreciated for their varied tastes which awaken family cooking or make travel, used in exotic dishes. Take the time to get to know them better in their diversity! Discover the pots and planters in the store at déco.fr!
Do not put all the aromatics in one basket
The global name of "aromatic plants" hides a rich and fascinating reality: they are all different! Basil and parsley are not grown like thyme, bay leaf or rosemary. So do not plant them in the same planter, because they require maintenance and specific soil. Take their rusticity into account to find out what exposure and watering to offer them: basil likes, for example, classic soil such as universal soil, cool and moist, partial shade exposure and regular fertilizer additions; while thyme prefers a rather dry, sandy and pozzolan-like draining substrate, full sun and almost no amendments. Learn about the Internet or in garden centers before choosing them because knowing them well will allow you, in fine, to enjoy yourself…
Don't confine yourself to classic aromatic plants
Precisely, dare to test them: some have a delicate taste like chives, others have a very pronounced, spicy flavor, like watercress… Start with a limited choice of five aromatics (the classic chives, sorrel, thyme, basil and parsley), and determine the optimal amount for your needs. Then gradually expand your collection!
Beginners, do not sow your aromatic plants: transplant
Did you know that most aromatic plants are sold at almost the same price, whether in seed bags or in pots? So reserve the seedlings (warm like parsley and basil, which are not so easy to succeed ...) for the more informed because the seed culture is more complex, and do not hesitate to buy a young plant in a clod for replant and divide it.
Do not systematically put your aromatics in the ground
Of course, you can sow them or plant them in your beds, but still take some precautions: isolate the mint in a large pot, because it is very invasive, and place it rather in the shade so that it does not burn out not. You can also keep thyme, bay leaves and other sage in pots, which you will bury in a bed anyway for a perfect trompe-l'oeil effect. You will just have to dig up the pots at the end of autumn to be able to bring in these frosty perennials at the end of autumn, ideally in a winter garden where they will have enough sun without suffering from the cold or on the contrary d 'too great a thermal shock. For those you want to place in the ground, mulching and wintering veil are on the program!
Do not isolate them (always)
If mint requires setting aside alone in a pot, other aromatics can perfectly coexist in the same planter: tarragon, sorrel, parsley, chives and coriander are interesting combinations, to place in an area in partial shade with cool soil; just like, in another planter, thyme, bay leaf and rosemary as explained above, on very sunny ground.
Don't overwater your aromatic plants ... but there are exceptions!
Lavender, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf: lamiaceae are particularly afraid of excess water, and as with houseplants, excessive watering is harmful for aromatics in pots. Many aromatics are plants of the sun! However, there are exceptions: - parsley and musk chervil appreciate partial shade and richer soil; - lemon verbena, lemongrass, chives, stevia and mertensia maritima (or oyster plant) like fresh but dry soils - so just slightly moist; - and basil, watercress Para and rhubarb (which is a good part of aromatics) require significant hydration! So wait, between two waterings, that the soil is well "wiped", drained. And when transplanting, remember to put a pebble at the bottom of the pot, followed by 2 to 3 cm of gravel before the horticultural soil.
Do not administer the same fertilizer to all aromatics
A potted plant needs to be fed and aromatic herbs are generally quite greedy since it is a question of stimulating their regrowth after having cut them to eat them. But again, not everyone should have the same treatment: - thyme and bay leaf do not need a lot of fertilizer; - for those whose goal is to grow the leaves without promoting flowering, a fertilizer low in phosphorus is ideal; - on the contrary, flowering aromatics have greater potash needs. During the vegetative period, give them a phosphorus-nitrogen-potash fertilizer every two waterings, even all waterings (for parsley and basil for example); for lamiaceae, a contribution to repotting is sufficient. In garden centers, balanced fertilizers 5.5.7, or universal fertilizers 6.6.6 are suitable for them, or else an organic mineral fertilizer. And if the fertilizer is incorporated into the potting soil, avoid adding it for 3 weeks to a month before resuming a regular rhythm.
Do not neglect their natural cycle ...
Aromatics are plants that demand yield, and we would love to eat them all year round. Some last two to three years like chives or sorrel, but others, annuals like basil, parsley or stevia (sugar plant) and biennial plants like parsley, only last one year: c is their natural cycle!
Neither their maintenance, even minimal
At the end of summer or autumn, cut back the perennials by cutting the dry stems, which will ensure the plant a good compact habit. If you cannot repot a perennial, claw the soil with a fork and bring a new potting soil on it, this will give a boost to the plant. Some also need to be helped to bloom again, like chives: when its flowers are damaged, pinch them to stimulate flowering.
Finally, do not miss the opportunities to cook your aromatic plants!
Once the cultures are successful, it's time to taste them! Jams and compotes with rhubarb, jellies or infusions with lemon verbena, cucumber salad with oyster plant, chicken with real lemongrass, fish with agastache ... Treat yourself!
Thanks : - Valérie Brault, Algoflash communications manager - Paul Collen, author of the book Vegetables and aromatics in pots and planters , Edisud editions.