South Africa boasts a rich tradition of indigenous herbs that can flourish in your garden. These herbs not only add a unique touch of African beauty to your home but also offer a myriad of culinary, medicinal, and aromatic benefits. 

Explore some indigenous South African herbs you can grow in your garden to infuse your outdoor space with a touch of local charm:

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)

A beloved South African favourite, rooibos is a caffeine-free herbal tea known for its antioxidant properties. The shrub is easy to grow and yields delicate, needle-like leaves that can be harvested for tea. Its vibrant green foliage and small, tubular, yellow flowers make it a visually pleasing addition to any garden.

African Wormwood (Artemisia afra)



Known locally as “umhlonyane,” African wormwood is a versatile herb with numerous traditional uses. Its silvery, fern-like foliage and feathery flowers are a sight to behold. Medicinally, it’s used to treat various ailments, and its aromatic leaves can be used in cooking and for making fragrant wreaths.

Buchu (Agathosma betulina)

Buchu, or “boegoe,” is a fragrant shrub that’s native to the Western Cape. Its small, shiny leaves emit a delightful aroma when crushed. Traditionally, it’s used for its antimicrobial and diuretic properties. In your garden, buchu can be an attractive, low-growing addition with its tiny, star-shaped flowers.

Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)

Wild garlic, also known as “society garlic” or “wild tulbaghia,” boasts lovely lilac-pink flowers that release a mild garlic scent. It’s a versatile herb that can be used as a seasoning in cooking and has mild medicinal properties. It’s also a natural insect repellent, making it a practical choice for your garden.

Kapokbos (Eriocephalus africanus)

Kapokbos, with its silver-gray leaves and delicate white flowers, adds an elegant touch to any garden. It’s traditionally used for its soothing properties and as a remedy for respiratory ailments. Planting this herb can attract beneficial insects to your garden, making it a win-win choice.

Spekboom (Portulacaria afra)



Spekboom, often called “elephant food” or “elephant bush,” is an iconic South African succulent. This hardy plant is a great choice for water-wise gardening. Besides its low-maintenance appeal, it’s also edible and packed with vitamin C, making it a unique addition to your culinary repertoire.


Incorporating these indigenous South African herbs into your garden not only celebrates the nation’s rich cultural heritage but also enhances your home with unique scents, flavours, and visual appeal. Before planting, ensure you understand each herb’s specific growing requirements to help them thrive in your garden.



7 Succulents anyone can grow

Feature image: Unsplash