How to Grow a Container Herb Garden

Growing fresh herbs in containers is a type of gardening that has numerous advantages. It is easy, compact, and low-maintenance, which makes it ideal for novice gardeners. It can also provide you with fresh herbs for your cooking and save you money over having to purchase those herbs at a grocery store. Lastly, herbs can fill your home with a pleasant aroma. Learning how to grow a container herb garden in your home is one of the simpler ways to get started growing plants.


  1. Image titled Grow a Container Herb Garden Step 1
    Choose the herbs you want to grow. Your choices will depend on several considerations. The first is taste - you'll want to grow herbs that you'd actually want to eat in your cooking. It is also helpful to choose herbs that pair well with vegetables you may already be growing in your garden; homegrown tomatoes pair well with basil, for instance. Most herbs are fairly easy to grow, but if you are particularly worried about keeping the plant healthy, mint is one of the most hardy and aggressive of herbs.
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    Plan the location where you will grow your herbs. Most herbs originally hail from the Mediterranean, and are therefore adapted for heavy sunlight. If growing your herbs indoors, you will need a south-facing window (or a north-facing one if you are in the southern hemisphere) that gets about 8 hours of direct sun a day. A better location would be on a patio or window flower box.
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    Decide if you want to grow your herbs from seeds or seedlings. Seeds are much cheaper, can be stored, and give you access to a wider variety of species. Seedlings, on the other hand, produce quicker results and don't require the extra process of germination and transplanting. Herb seedlings are readily available at most nurseries.
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    Ensure that you have containers that are well-draining. Herbs are very susceptible to root rot, and so you need to avoid growing them in overly moist soil. Plant them in pots with large holes in the bottom for drainage. Note that soil in larger pots will retain an appropriate moisture level for longer between waterings, so use larger pots rather than small ones. It is better to plant multiple herbs in a single large pot than in individual small ones.
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    Use the best potting mix available. When gardening with any small, potted plant, it is always better to use products packaged as "potting mix" rather than "potting soil." Potting mixes are almost wholly composed of organic material like peat, and therefore they regulate moisture levels effectively. This is especially important for herbs because root rot is a prime concern.
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    Fertilize with a product designed for herbs. Most fertilizers are designed to increase the growth of a plant's flowers (and in the case of fruiting plants, the attached ovaries) at the expense of leaf growth. However, when growing herbs, leaves are the part you'll be harvesting. Plan to use a fertilizer marked especially for culinary herbs, as this product will have been formulated for leaf growth.
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    Combine herbs appropriately. If planting multiple herbs within a single large pot, make sure to compare their soil and water preferences to make sure they're compatible. For example, basil likes very moist, fertilized soil, while rosemary does better in dry, lean soil. These herbs should be planted in separate containers.


  • You can also grow certain types of flowers alongside herbs in the same pot. Some varieties, like marigolds and pansies, are even edible.


  • Avoid treating your herb plant's leaves with pesticides or other harsh chemicals, as these can be difficult to remove before consumption.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Potting mix
  • Herb seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Herb fertilizer

Article Info

Categories: Growing Herbs and Spices