A touch of vacation: exotic garden herbs for the home
Try growing your own exotic herbs from around the world in your garden. Here’s our top 10 exotic herbs.
The Maca plant is versatile: The leaves have an intense, slightly spicy cress whereas the tubers taste sweet and can be dried or cooked. Maca is very hardy so it can be grown outdoors even in cooler regions. Just make sure to grow it in soil that’s rich in nutrients and somewhere that is sunny but partially in the shade.
Because of its healing power, Jiaogulan is also referred to as the herb of immortality. The climbing plant from southern China belongs to the cucurbitaceae family. Enjoy their leaves in tea, which tastes like liquorice. The plant is winter proof meaning it can easily be grown in colder climates.
Quillquina (Bolivian coriander)
In their homeland, the Bolivian spice plant is called "Killi". It comes from the highlands of Bolivia and copes well with European climatic conditions. Killi is especially great in the kitchen: in South America, the aromatic leaves are used to flavor salsas, tomato dishes, salad dressings and sauces. The excitingly intense aroma of the leaves is reminiscent of coriander and raspberry.
Greek mountain tea
Greek mountain tea is an absolute must for your herb garden. It’s easy to grow and the aroma is unique. As the name suggests, you can enjoy this plant as a tea. Simply infuse the tea with thyme, honey and a dash of lemon juice.
If you like to cook Asian food, Szechuan pepper belongs in your herb garden. You can use both the fruits and leaves of the plant. Just mash or mill the fruits like classic pepper and use the leaves in sauces and soups. Growing this herb is very simple as it thrives on barren soil.
Something for the eyes and the palate: The powerful magenta colour of the flowers makes this Mexican purple flower an eye-catcher in your garden - and on your plate. These edible flowers are not only wonderfully aromatic but they also look beautiful. Toronijl Morado grows up to 90 cm tall and is therefore more suitable for gardens or larger balconies as the plant requires space.
Wasabi is the green gold of Japan. The most precious thing is the root tuber. That's why almost everything sold as wasabi is a mix of green food coloring, horseradish and spicy mustard. If you want to enjoy real Wasabi, then grow wasabi saplings. Simply grow the saplings in a shady wet place with plenty of water. However, you will need patience before you can harvest the wasabi root; it takes a year for the root to grow to 4-5cm long! Since you harvest the root, the plant can’t grow afterwards. In order to regularly enjoy wasabi, it’s best to plant several plants at the same time, you can also replant the seeds of the plant.
If you want to plant myrtle, you will need a green thumb, as this plant is not for beginners. Too much and too little water harms the myrtle. If you make a mistake, you will see it immediately. However, when you get the hang of it, you can especially enjoy the wonderfully fragrant blossom. After flowering, pea-sized, edible berries develop, which you can use as an alternative to pepper.
Do you have a shady spot in your garden? Then Waldmeister should be at the top of your list. With its delicate, white flowers and fir-green leaves, Waldmeister is especially suitable as a groundcover. Incidentally, the leaves are odorless at harvest. The aroma doesn’t develop until the leaves wither.
Like many other herbs, borage comes from the Mediterranean. The purple flowers of the borage not only look pretty, but are also suitable as a seasoning and a colouring agent for vinegar. You can also peel the stems and prepare them like celery.
The herb should only be consumed in moderation, as individual components of the plant are only partially digestible.