For all of your gathering we highly recommend that you grab the Gatherer Addon. It remembers where you have founds nodes of gathereable materials and remembers the location. Eventually you will have complete maps of those nodes.
Lifeblood is a nice heal over time (HoT) that comes with Herbalism and it also comes with Haste. It's easily the best of the abilities that come with the gathering skills. The heal is usable in combat, while stealthed, or while invisible. It doesn't require reagents, casting time, or anything special. All heals are over a 20 second period and have a three minute cooldown.
Note that this means your level 19 PvP twink can have a 720 point HoT every three minutes.
Stay in one area and get your skill as high as possible before moving to the next area. If you don’t do that you will find many herbs in the new area that you just won’t have the skill to pick. When you’re in any particular zone set your mini-map to show herbs and do loops around the area. The herbs will show as yellow dots on the map.
Once you have your apprentice Herbalism skill go to your favorite starting area and start gathering Peacebloom and Silverleaf. I went to Eversong woods, but these herbs are all over the place in all of the Horde and Alliance starting areas.
Once the herbs in your area aren’t given you any skill improvements you’ll want to go to the next higher zone. I went to the Ghostlands, but the Barrens. Westfall, and Loch Modan are good areas, too. As I mentioned above, if you move on too soon you won’t have the skill to pick anything.
Most of the herbs on this list are the ones you will need for Inscription, so you can level this skill and build your herb stash at the same time. Or sell it all and make quite a bit of gold.
1 - 50 Silverleaf and Peacebloom
These two herbs are all over all of the starting areas for both sides.
Horde can run a path through Mulgore, it's easy enough to just make circuits round the base of Thunderbluff grabbing all the Silverleaf and Peacebloom in sight. The same is also true for Durotar, but Mulgore is better. Eversong Woods may be the best of the Horde areas, even better than Mulgore.
Alliance will want to hit up either Dolanaar going down south east or so around the lake before heading back to complete the loop. An alternative is just making complete runs of Elwynn Forest or any of the Ally starting area. .
Alliance can start in northern Westfall, following the coast down south towards Deadmines before turning to run over in the direction of Sentinel Hill, to complete the circuit run back up north again.
Alternate areas are: The Ghostlands, Silverpine Forest, Westfall, and and any are for levels 10-20.
Undead will be doing Southern Silverpine Forest, Pyrewood on down to the Hillsbrad Foothills entrance and all the way back for a complete circuit.
Alliance can either maintain the same route as previous or expand into doing circuits throughout Twilight Grove located in Duskwood. Another few possible paths are both circuits of Lakeshire - Redridge, Darkshore, and Eastern Loch Modan.
The Stonetalon Mountains are viable, hit up Camp Aparaje, head west from there towards Grimtotem Post, south to Malaka'jin, and finally east to the Greatwood Vale before returning to home point. Another path is The Field of Giants, southern barrens inbetween the razorfen dungeons. Windshear Crag contains various herbs should you desire to go there as well.
Alliance can go North of Mystral Lake or West of Astranaar for various herbs in Ashenvale. Other spots are making circuits round' the Stonewatch Keep in Redridge Mountains and the Eastern Coast of Loch Modan for dwarves.
Alliance & Horde can both try out Arathi Highlands should they wish to, it has a generally more active PvP population than previous zones however, additonally Stranglethorn Vale is very similar and you can hit up the various trolls ruins and other such areas around there for herbs.
Wetlands is another viable zone for Alliance, it's rather large but contains a generally high amount of herb spots for those willing to travel more off-road than on.
Full circuits of both Hillsbrad Foothills, Wetlands, and running through various parts of The Swamp of Sorrows should you so desire/be of high enough level.
190 - 225 Dragon's Teeth in the Badlands, all arouind Scar of the
Feralas is generally rich in Sungrass, one circuit for this specifically is The Ruins of Ravenwind at the north west and runs down south into The High Wilderness, the other hits up the Grimtotem Compound, Woodpaw Hills, and pretty much all zones nearby Camp Mojache.
Almost everything you encounter should at the very least be green, alot of them such as Dreamfoil, Plaguebloom, etc. continue giving skill gain until 330 or so whilst the more mass produced/spawned types like Sungrass, Arthas's Tears, and so on also rarely give a skill gain or two.
350+ You can pretty much go where you will, I expect you possess enough in the way of skills, personally not character wise, to pick and choose where and what to grab for these last skill levels. Scroll down the page for higher level herbalism.
The herbs needed for Inscription are divided into tiers. Unlike Alchemy, which requires specific herbs for any given potion, Inscription allows the scribe to use any herb from the appropriate tier. Here are the herbs you will want to focus on:
350 - 450
Once you arrive in Northrend do circuits around the starting areas for Goldclover and around the hot springs in Borean Tundra for Fireleaf. (Fireleaf drops leaves and seeds which provide interesting buffs.)
Once your skill hits 400 you can pick Tiger Lily around the edges of lakes and streams. With half an effort your skill will be 450 before you hit the higher level areas for Talandra's Rose, Frozen Herbs, Icethorn, Lichbloom, etc.
Ok, now you know the drill. Gather up everything you can, then move on. You can start in either Mt. Hyjal of in Vash'jir. Hyjal is a great place for Cinderbloom, while Vash'jir has Azshara's Veil. Both of these starting Cata herbs will get you well into this tier of your progression.
When you hit 475 skill you can head to Deephold and look for Heartblossom. It's available pretty much all over the place.
Whiptail, at 500, can be found in Uldum (and Tol Barad, if you like some excitement with your flower picking.) Pick it until you hit 525.
Now you're ready for Mists of Pandaria.
Leveling, Professions, events, and more.
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