Growing Herbs In Pots For Beginners

Are you a totally newbie when it comes to growing herbs in pots? That’s totally cool, this herb garden guide, which I have kept deliberately concise (just in case you are reading it on your mobile phone) is going to discuss growing herbs in pots for beginners. We’ll discuss why growing herbs in pots and containers is a good idea,  growing indoors and outside, how it can look pretty cool (I’ve provided some inspirational images).

We’ll then focus on herbs that are easy to grow, that make good targets for the beginner with no experience. Then we’ll dive into the how to plant herbs part, which is short. No fluff, it’s easy, and all it takes is a little creativity to produce a wonderfully tasty, and aesthetic result. You’ll be growing Basil indoors in no time!

guide to growing herbs in pots for beginners

Growing Herbs In Pots For Beginners: Why Pots Are Cool!

The topic of potted herbs appeals to me partly due to my love of cooking (not to mention eating!) In addition, herbs displayed in pots and containers can be very aesthetically pleasing and appeal to the designer in me. This concise article on growing herbs in pots, will, I hope bring some inspirational herb garden ideas to the new herb gardener looking for inspiring ways to grow fresh herbs for culinary or medicinal purposes, but still have them making a striking impact.

kitchen herbsJust think of all of the interesting pots or containers one can find at a variety of places, including farmer’s markets, antique stores, and garage sales, just to name a few possibilities. A herb gardener can plant in matching pots or use a wide variety for a quaint aesthetic. There are many low-cost herb garden designs that can be implemented with used or recycled containers, just use your imagination.

You don’t need a large plot of land for container gardening with herbs. This is a tremendous advantage. You can select your favorite herbs based on their beauty, their fragrance, their uses or a combination of all of these things. Then begin planting them to place them either in your kitchen windowsill (or perhaps on tiered racks or stands) or outdoors.

If your intention is to grow them out of doors, growing them in pots, herb planters or containers will allow you to move them as necessary in order to take advantage of the best growing conditions. For example, if your potted herbs can’t tolerate a draft, as the weather turns chilly or windy, you can simply move your pots or containers to a more protected area.

On the other hand, if you haven’t been successful growing the herbs in one of your pots, it is a simple matter to replace those droopy herbs with fresh ones, without anyone being the wiser. You can also replace your potted herbs with new ones just to create an entirely new look.

Herbs That Are Easy For A Beginner To Grow In Pots

Most herbs are pretty easy to grow, but some are a little more fickle about conditions than others. I’m a big one for starting any project with small successes, so these are some of the easiest herbs for a beginner to grow.

  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Fennel
  • Cilantro (Coriander)
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Balm
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Sage

If planting herbs in pots or containers in your yard, you can plant single herbs in each container or use multiple herbs for a full, English garden effect. You can line your walkway or path or even a wall with a row of single pots or cluster them to create more interest. I personally really admire the look of containers clustered together or placed strategically among in-ground herbs in a garden bed.

This also gives you the flexibility to move the containers and easily re-define the look of your outdoor or indoor herb garden garden whenever you wish. There is no doubt that herbs in pots and containers can be both practical and eye-catching. Here are a few to provide some inspiration:

Herbs In Pots: Some Inspiration Pictures

herbs in galvanised pots
These old style pots and water trough look amazing, as do the herbs. Image: Attainable Sustainable
timber herb planter
Not quite a pot, but a really nice contemporary raised herb garden on a deck. Image: Gardener’s World
an easy potted herb garden for beginners
This multi sectioned indoor herb planter is great for growing herbs. The handle means you can take it right to the kitchen counter. Image: Unsophisticated Cook

A container herb garden will give you a great growing experience as you learn while being easy to manage. It’s also simple to start a small, basic herb garden with a herb growing kit  with seeds or some herb seedlings. They can be kept on a sunny windowsill in the kitchen, or even right on the counter where you can grab them quickly and easily, whenever you want them.

Growing Herbs In Pots: A Beginner’s Guide

Step 1Source your herb garden materials.  If you choose to use a kit, they come in all shapes and sizes and have everything you need to get started. Or, if you choose to select a few herb seedlings, here’s all you need to get started:

  • Herb seeds or seedlings
  • Quality organic potting mix
  • A medium to lighten the soil, perlite works well.
  • Small stones for the bottom of the herb pots, or some broken ceramic pot crock will do
  • Containers with enough space to allow you herbs to grow and the roots to not become cramped.

Step 2 – Start planting your herb garden:

  • Add the stones or crock to the bottom of your pots
  • Mix the perlite and potting mix and add to the pot.
  • Add the seeds or seedling to the pot, pressing the soil lightly to prevent air pockets.
  • Water well and place in a light, sunny spot.

Step 3- Once your garden is growing, herbs are very easy to care for:

  • Don’t overwater, you can wait until the top surface is dry before re-watering.
  • Turn the plants regularly to ensure they get enough light and don’t start bending to one side.
  • A good fertiliser added to the water and used every 3rd or 4th water can improve the nutrients to your herbs.
  • Trim often, to promote new growth. Removing flowers can help to promote leaf growth.

This video on how to grow herbs in pots is really useful, enjoy!

The summer is a perfect time to take your indoor herbs outside and find a sheltered but sunny spot for them. I like to do this in stages rather than taking them from the house into the direct harsh sunlight. It’s important to learn which herbs like the sun and which prefer some shade. Don’t forget to bring them in as the cooler days and nights start to occur, and definitely before the first frosts.

Planting herbs in pots with dwarf fruit trees can be another great way to maximise your useage of space. The great thing about many herbs is that they attract bees and insects. Planting with fruit trees will bring pollinating bees direct to your fruit trees, aiding in pollination which can increase crops.

These are just some of the simple but highly effective ways that someone beginning to grow herbs can get started. If you’re still not sure what to grow, this infographic on the easiest herbs to grow will help you.

Easiest Herbs To Grow Indoors – A  Visual Guide For Beginners

easy guide to grow your own herbs
Image: Paleo Hacks


That just about sums it up folks. Herb gardening for beginners is simple and easy, and so rewarding. Growing herbs in containers, pots, or getting into hydroponic herb gardening (without soil), herb cultivation is fascinating and rewarding. There is nothing like picking fresh herbs to stir into your cooking, the fragrance on your hands is wonderful, and your food will be elevated to new levels with fresh herbs.

Happy Herb Gardening!

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