What Are The Important Steps to Growing Herbs in Pots?

Anyone can start growing herbs in pots. Whether you want to grow fresh basil, chives, cilantro, or lavender, you just need some seeds, a suitable pot, soil, and some water. You can even grow herbs right in your kitchen for easy access when cooking.

If you have always wanted to start your own herb garden, but you lack a green thumb, follow these simple steps. We’ll explain which herbs to grow, how to select a pot, and additional tips for growing fresh herbs.

Which Herbs Should You Grow?

The first step in growing your own herbs is to select the types of herbs that you want. If you plan to place the pot indoors, you should be able to grow just about any common herb.

Better Homes & Gardens lists some of our favorite herbs, along with growing tips. We like to grow:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Many of these herbs can be grown in a single large pot if they prefer the same amount of sun and water. We find that most of these options grow best in full sun and well-drained potting mix.

However, tarragon can easily become over-watered and may need to be planted separately from the other herbs.

Choosing the Best Container for Your Herbs

The next step is to select the right container for your herbs. We prefer a standard planting pot. However, you can use almost any container that is large enough to add adequate soil or potting mix for the roots of your herbs to grow.

According to How To Culinary Herb Garden, the container should have a diameter of at least 6 inches. However, if you are planting more than one herb, we suggest that you get a slightly larger pot.

growing herbs in pots

Regardless of the size, the pot should have good drainage holes in the bottom. If you select a container without holes, you can drill them yourself.

Should You Grow Indoors or Outdoors?

In most cases, you can place your pot outdoors in your garden during the warmer months. However, you need to select an area that receives plenty of sunlight. The team at The Spruce recommends that most herbs get at least six hours of full sun. They also mention that a sunny windowsill will work just as well.

When placing your pot indoors, make sure that you keep it away from drafty windows. We prefer to grow herbs in the kitchen, as it provides quick access to fresh herbs for cooking.

The Basics of Watering Your Herbs

Watering is one of the tasks that people seem to have the most trouble with. Martha Stewart demonstrated on the Today Show how to determine if your plants need water. Press a finger into the soil, and if it is dry an inch below the surface, it is time to water.

Pour water into the pot until you start to see water coming through the drainage holes. The soil should be moist but not overly damp. We also suggest that you water in the morning so that the herbs can soak up the water throughout the day.

When Can You Harvest Your Herbs?

Our favorite part of growing herbs is trimming and using them. Typically, the more that you trim, the more the herbs will grow. YouTube user Herb Harvesting Basics provides a few additional tips for harvesting your herbs. Watch the video to learn more about this process.

You should always harvest your herbs early in the morning before the sun starts to reach the plants. Harvesting in the morning will ensure that your herbs are fresh and still contain essential vitamins and minerals. Trim the leaves just as the flowers start to form.

After you trim your herbs, gather them together. Use a rubber band or twine to wrap the stems together, and then hang to dry. Once the herbs dry, you can use them for cooking or store them in an airtight container.

These are the basic steps needed to plant herbs in a pot. We believe that the process is easy. Select a mixture of herbs. When watering, do not over saturate the soil. If you remember these tips and the steps discussed, you should have no problem growing your own herbs.