5 Herbs That Will Take Over Your Garden - Backyard Boss
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

5 Herbs That Will Take Over Your Garden

Have you ‘herb?’ Some of the easiest and extremely successful things to plant in your garden are herbs!

There is an extensive selection of herbs of different types and varieties, each making great additions to your garden. But did you know there are some that will take over your garden?

When it comes to planning your garden space and choosing which plants to grow where, note which herbs you select! Some herbs are invasive and will spread out. If not held in proper check, they may even take over the entirety of your garden! Want to know which ones? Here are the five herbs that will try to rule your garden if you let them.

1. Mint

zoomed in image of mint leaves
Image credits: photosforyou via Pixabay

If you were planning on growing mint close to or alongside other vegetables and fruits, it just wasn’t ‘mint’ to be! There are hundreds of mint varieties available for growing, the most common are peppermint, spearmint, and lemon mint. Use them to make your own tea, enhance a cocktail, or add a unique flavor to a dessert. Be careful, because mint plants will take over your garden quickly.

These herbs are fast to grow and establish sturdy and expansive root systems rapidly. As these thick roots spread (called rhizomes), they will shoot up leaves and stems that transform into more mint plants.

Looking for a method to keep your mint growing in your garden but away from other plants? Try using garden edging! Dig your edging into the ground and have it high enough to prevent the herb from expanding beyond its designated plot. An even better way to centralize its growth is by growing mint in a container.

2. Oregano

Close up shot of an oregano herb plant
Image credits: Hans Linde via Pixabay

Once again, this herb derives from the mint family! These quick-to-grow herbs will take over your garden if you are not careful, including oregano.

Oregano is a bushy herb that loves to expand (up to two feet!) if not controlled. It is invasive and known to be very aggressive. To prevent this garden domination, containers or garden pots are a great solution! Perennial herbs like oregano are hardy and will withstand a lot before failing. It’s a cold hardy herb that will go dormant in the winter.

To encourage growth, plant your herbs in containers with holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage. It is also good practice to locate your herb containers or planter pots somewhere with plenty of sunshine.

3. Yarrow

small flowers of a large yarrow herb plant
Image credits: S. Hermann & F. Richter via Pixabay

Another herb that requires thoughtful planting is yarrow. These elegant herbs with dainty white flowers will wreak havoc in your garden if planted in the wrong spot. Though they help to draw butterflies, bees and other pollinators, yarrow will expand happily into nearby plants.

Yarrow can spread its seeds to grow additional plants throughout your garden. As well, through the use of rhizomes, a yarrow plant expands quickly if not regularly attended to. To prevent your yarrow spreading across the garden beds, it is encouraged that yarrow plants are divided every few years. Dividing the plant will improve its wellbeing in the years to come, and reduce its increasing size.

Just remember when splitting the plant, you need to get the entire root system in order to transplant it. If you don’t this herb will pop up again in the undesired location.

4. Fennel

yellow flowers of the fennel plant
Image credits: Sabine via Pixabay

Fennel seeds are said to aid in digestion and offer other wonderful health benefits. Fennel is also known to draw butterflies and other beneficial bugs to your yard. If you have fennel in your yard you are able to harvest your own fennel seeds! But know that fennel is invasive! In some parts of the world fennel is even considered a pest.

Fennel self-seeds at the end of the growing season, striving to extend its reach further each year. If you want to avoid the dispersal of this herb, remove the flowers and seeds before they fall into your garden beds. This means removing some flower  heads.

Low on time or not willing to take the risk of it spreading? Fennel also does well in containers! Find a container and allot an area in your yard for your fennel to grow free.

5. Catnip

Purple flowers of catnip plant
Image credits: Alicja via Pixabay

Catnip is best known for repelling unwanted bugs, producing pretty flowers, and making cats a little excited. Whatever your reasoning for growing catnip in your garden, always plant it somewhere where it is controlled. Catnip is much like a weed in that it spreads quickly through the use of seed. To avoid garden-takeover, it is a good idea to grow catnip in smaller pots. Set out planter pots or designated containers where it has the independence to grow and thrive on its own.

Control Your Herbs!

Having herbs in your garden offer incredible opportunities both in the kitchen and for your health. Most herbs thrive easily so long as there is sun and water. However, some herbs thrive too well! Herbs such as those in the mint family (including thyme and oregano), yarrow, fennel, and catnip will take over your garden.

Prevent these invasive herbs from taking over by growing herbs in separate containers with good drainage, and putting them in places with lots of sun. Another option is to add edging to block herb roots from expanding.

Ready to take control of your garden? Know which herbs to plant where and give your garden and all of its plants the best chances for success!

Happy planting!