Herbs in Containers

You can grow one herb in each container for a simple design.

You can also plant multiple types of herbs in one pot. Chives, mint, basil, rosemary, cilantro, and a jalapeño pepper share a home in this long container on a deck near the kitchen door.

Don’t have much space? Many herbs grow beautifully in containers. Here’s everything you need to know.

Put containers anywhere there is a source of water and plenty of sunshine.

You can grow one herb in each container for a simple design

In this lovely collection of containers, each pot is growing one type of herb, including rosemary, thyme, cilantro, and chives. This is a simple and classic design technique.

For anyone in wheelchair or who has trouble bending over, a large pot is the next best thing to a raised bed.

Your container needs six hours of sun each day.

Use a premium-quality potting mix. DON’T use garden soil; it can be too dense and infested with disease or nematodes. After a year, empty the old soil, which loses its original texture, into a compost pile and replace with new. In cool climates where decomposition is slower, a 2-year rotation is usually okay.

Before planting, mix timed-release fertilizer into the soil at the rate recommended on the label. Or, fertilize with Bonnie Herb and Vegetable Plant Food according to label directions.

The Container

Containers must have drainage holes and be large enough to accommodate the roots as they grow.

Put heavy pots on casters to make it easier to move them around.

Consider a spaghetti tube drip irrigation system if you have many pots clustered in a single place that is easy to run water to. It will make watering a breeze.

Suggested Herbs

Many herbs require drier soil and lower humidity. Pebble mulch helps accomplish these conditions.

Mulching herbs with white pebbles helps keep the foliage healthy in humid climates. The pebbles, which dry out fast, reflect light and keep the damp soil from creating even more humidity for the plants.

All herbs will grow in containers.

Combine herbs according to their shape so there is room for more than one in a pot. For example, pair upright rosemary with creeping thyme. If the pot is large enough, you can add sage or chives, too.

A large strawberry jar is a perfect vessel for compact herbs that you only use a pinch at a time. These include mint, oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary (in the top of the jar). See our article, Herbs Well Suited to A Strawberry Jar, in the container gardening section of the Gardening Library.

In humid climates, use pea gravel mulch in the pot to help keep leaves from rotting.