The Kitchen Garden – Growing Culinary Herbs in Pots

Growing Culinary Herbs in pots

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Grow a selection of herbs for cooking in pots or other containers and create an instant herb garden for adding wonderful fresh flavors to your food.

Growing herbs in pots means that you can have a range of flavors close to the kitchen, ready to pick for every meal. There are many culinary herbs that can be bought as plants or grown from seed, so choose the herbs that you are most likely to use in your cooking, for example, sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), chives (Allium schoenoprasum), curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum), spearmint (Mentha spicata), rocket (Eruca vesicaria), marjoram (Origanum majorana), oregano (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Thymus) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).

If you want to try several different types of mint such as peppermint (Mentha x piperata), apple or pineapple mint, make sure that you grow them in separate pots as otherwise over time they will combine and lose their distinct flavors.

Herbs can be grown in individual containers but if you are short of space, then combining plants that need similar growing conditions in the same pot means that you can have more variety and create attractive displays.

Herb Combinations for Summer Color

There are many culinary herbs available for growing at home but here are some ideas for growing several of the more popular ones together in the same container:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), thyme, rosemary, sage (Salvia officinalis) – in griity compost in a sunny spot
Chives, spearmint, French sorrel (Rumex scutatus), rocket, parsley – in shade
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), dill (Anethum graveolens), rocket – in large, wide containers
Sweet basil, oregano, French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) – in a sunny spot, under cover in winter

Planting and Aftercare

Fill your pots or other containers – they don’t have to be new, even clean empty paint tins will do – with good free-draining compost. If you are growing herbs on a windowsill, make sure that the filled containers can be secured so that they are safe as they can be surprisingly heavy, and place them so that you can safely reach them to water the plants and pick your herbs.

Water containers frequently during hot weather to prevent plants from bolting or producing seed and feed herbs regularly through the growing season with a liquid feed for producing leaf rather than flowers.

Herbs are easy to grow and great to have fresh on hand. Here is the information you need to cultivate a healthy batch of culinary herbs.

Pick herbs continuously through the summer to encourage new growth of the tender young leaves which are most delicious when added to salads and cooked dishes.

Perennial herbs such as rosemary, thyme, mint will survive the winter as long as the containers are moved to a frost-free spot. Feed again the following spring when the plants start to grow again, and add tender annual herbs such as sweet basil and French tarragon to enjoy throughout the summer.

Herbs in Containers for Everyone

Growing a selection of herbs in pots not only brings pleasure to everyone from the aromatic scents and flavors, but many are also attractive to insects such as bees.

Even two or three pots planted with one of the combinations listed will benefit people and wildlife too. For more information on herbs in pots, click here.

Growing Culinary Herbs in Pots