Growing Healthy Herbs in Pots

  • Editor: Melanie
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Growing healthy herbs is a much easier task than most people think. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things you can do in your backyard garden. Even if you are not an avid gardener, but love to cook with fresh herbs and get them from the farmer’s market or grocery store – you should still consider growing these plants yourself!

The best way for beginner herb growers to start is by planting indoors. This will give your new plants some time to become established before they transition outdoors during warmer months when there may be more pest issues or other dangers that could affect their growth rates.

There are many herbs that can be grown in pots and containers. In fact, growing healthy herbs in pots or containers is a great way to have fresh herbs year-round!

Whether you want to grow basil, chives, oregano, thyme or any other herb for your cooking and culinary needs – this article will help you with the basics of how to create an ideal growing environment for your little bundle of green joy.

What herbs grow well in pots?

Growing your own herbs is a fantastic way to save money and eat fresher, healthier food. But what herbs grow well in pots? Below is a list of herbs that can be grown in pots, which will allow you to have fresh herbs on hand at all times.

  • Basil
  • Greek Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Lemon Balm

Tips for Growing Healthy Herbs in Pots

Growing herbs in pots is an easy way to have fresh herbs year-round, but it can be difficult for beginners. It’s also an economical alternative to purchasing them from the store, as you can grow your own for free!

Luckily there are a few tips that will help you grow healthy and delicious herbs with ease.

  • Adequate sunlight,
  • Perfect pot size,
  • Ideal potting mix,
  • Adequate Water
  • Nitrogen based fertiliser
  • Frequent Pruning


1. Adequate Sunlight

Most herbs do well in full sun. Herbs which prefer full sun shouldn’t have less than 8 hours of sunlight per day (they can have more). Some will thrive in partial sun, including Chives, Parsley and Mint. These plants will perform well with few hours of sunlight in a day; the morning sun will do just fine. When you get a plant from the garden centre, check its label for its requirements or just do some research.



If your potted herbs are in need of a change, you can move them around to make sure they get the right amount of sunlight. But if that’s not possible for whatever reason, just try and find an available place with good light exposure so it won’t be necessary to keep moving things all over the house!

2. Get the Right Pot Size with Effective Drainage

Good drainage is an important thing to look out for when getting pots, as well as the pot size. The pot should be large enough to fully accommodate the plant’s root. How large a plant can grow also needs consideration with regards to selecting a pot; some plants’ roots will not allow them in smaller containers and they may need more space than others due their stature at maturity.

With that said, it pays off even if you buy something larger just because your plan might change later on down the road or another type of flower/plant could be introduced into your garden that requires different soil conditions (i.e., clay). It’s always better safe than sorry!

There’s also an option to plant your preferred herbs together using large planters. Ensure there are drainage holes at the bottom before use. With large containers, you’ll water less often so this might influence your choice (or not).

3. The Ideal Potting Mix

If you’re growing herbs in a pot [1], you’ll need some potting mix. The soil is what will make your herbs thrive. You are going to want well-drained soil, which can retain moisture and drain properly.

The right soil mix will ensure that your herbs have the best chance of growing to their full potential, without being hindered by lack of water or soil quality.

Perlites are small white stones you can add to your potting mix. They’re known for making drainage better, so if you have a problem with soggy soil, just throw these in there and watch it improve!

Outdoor garden soil can’t be used in place of potting mixes to grow your herbs in pots. They are too compact and that wouldn’t be beneficial to your herbs. Potting mixes can be purchased at local garden centres or grocery stores.

How to Make your Potting Soil

You can make the potting soil to grow your culinary herbs yourself. All you need is some coarse sand, coco peat, and vermiculite or perlite. This is a cheaper option, especially for larger herb gardens.

The ingredients can be mixed in any large empty container like a trash can. If you’ll be growing the herbs outdoors, it’s a good idea to include some compost in the soil mix to enrich your herbs with more nutrients.



4. Consistent Watering

Your herbs will need a lot of TLC and care to thrive in pots, but you can make it easier on yourself.

You could start by giving them a quick watering once or twice per day depending upon the plant’s sensitivity to dry soil. This is especially true for plants that prefer more moist habitats such as lavender – don’t forget those!

The season also determines how much you should water. During hotter months (summer), the soil requires more water as it’ll tend to dry up faster and during rainy periods, you should water less often. Also, the kind of herb you’re growing should determine how much moisture the soil needs.

Some plants are more water-loving than others, so do your research first.

When you’re on vacation or need to be away from your plants for a bit, don’t forget that there are ways to keep them watered. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Self-watering Pots

These pots come with a reservoir where you can store up some water. The reservoir gets filled through a pipe from the top. The water is drawn up from the bottom into the plant roots. This ensures your plants are properly hydrated. Remember, you’ll still have to fill up the reservoir, but that won’t occur so often.

With a self-watering pot or planter, your plant gets the moisture it needs. You just need to fill up the reservoir occasionally.

  • Drip Irrigation System

The option to set up an irrigation system for potted herbs or elevated garden exists. With a patio drip or soaker hose and a timer connected to it, your plants get water automatically. If you’re not home a lot or you’re busy, this will help to take the work of watering off your hands.


5. Use a Nitrogen Based Fertiliser

Growing plants in containers can be tricky because you often miss out on the nutrients that they need. One way to make up for this is by adding fertilizers like seaweed or fish-based ones, which provide your herbs with nitrogen and other important minerals needed for healthy development.

The plants’ growth is at its peak in the summer, so it only makes sense to fertilise them periodically. You can purchase a potting mix that already has fertiliser built into it or you may want to do this yourself by adding some once every month.

6. Prune your Herbs Frequently

Pruning your herbs constantly enables them to remain bushy.  Snip off flower buds to increase their life span.

Gardening is only one of the many benefits to keeping your herb plants pruned and bushy! It increases their life span, which will give you a longer period to enjoy them in all sorts of dishes. Plus they’ll keep producing more per season – who doesn’t love an abundance of fresh herbs on hand?!

Final Thoughts

If you want fresh, healthy and flavourful plants that are a breeze to take care of with little effort, follow these six tips: provide your plant with an ideal environment for its needs; maintain adequate drainage by allowing enough space around their roots; keep them hydrated so they don’t wilt from water loss; feed regularly but not too much – overfeeding will kill more than under-fertilising!

Finally remember this tip which is often overlooked when caring for succulent plants like cilantro or basil (though other varieties need regular watering): make sure there’s plenty of light available to allow your plants do well indoors.

With these six tips, you should be able to grow herbs in pots successfully. Your effort and hard work will be duly rewarded at the end of the day with fresh, healthy and flavourful herbs which you can include in your meals.

Saving you a trip to the grocery store each time you need some herbs!



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