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Growing Herbs in Pots and Containers 

Herbs may easily be grown in pots and other containers of various types. The Pots for growing herbs can be terra cotta, plastic, metal, wood or any other material that containers are normally manufactures from.

There is a growing trend towards shiny galvanised buckets and the like. Whatever, Growing herbs in pots is a great way to have a herb garden in a confined area.

Pots of herbs on the patio - near the kitchen - can also be a good focal point. Or even a good 'vocal' point for when friends visit!

When you buy your herbs from the garden centre, they are - and have been - growing in pots anyway - even if a little small for continued growth. 

Several herbs growing in pots. Any contaners are suitable for growing herbs - Thyme, Sage and Rosemary are typical examples of herbs for growing in containers.Now we have established that there is no need for an actual 'herb garden' there is no excuse not to grow a wealth of herbs - in pots. Growing herbs in pots can be a good practical and also ornamental way of growing herbs! You can even start growing some types of herbs on the kitchen windowsill. Now you don't get much fresher than that!

A few different herbs can be grown in the same pot, or you can simply use one herb per pot. Some herbs are a bit invasive anyway, so would be best grown in their own pots or containers.

Thyme, Lemon Mint, Rosemary and Sage - Planted as one single type per pot.

The exceptions to the above, are one or two herbs that are grown for their long roots - such as horse radish and the taller growing herbs such as Angelica. These are best not grown in pots or containers, though there are some shorter varieties of Angelica available.

Some herbs are particularly 'invasive' and are best grown in a pot by themselves. Such herbs are mints, thyme, oregano etc. However, even some varieties of these can be grown in with other types of herbs in pots or other containers.

Planting your herbs in pots

Generally, a light open soil/compost mix is preferred. Just an ordinary potting compost, with perhaps a little grit or garden soil mixed in - to give it body. There will be no need to feed the pots on a regular basis, for most herbs are used to growing on weak soils anyway. I always add a little 'long term' fertiliser, such as osmocote. This will feed the herbs in their pots and keep them growing well for a whole season. Another good idea, would be to incorporate a little water retentive gel to the compost before you plant up your containers, which will vastly increase the water holding capacity of the compost.

It is not generally advisable to plant herb containers up with the peat composts. Most herbs prefer a solid root zone. Peat based composts tend to be open in texture to allow surplus water to drain away. This is particularly important for window box and basket grown herbs.

Do not plant too many herbs per container - use more pots! - for they do tend to increase quite rapidly in size. Try to aim for a colourful mix, so that you also get the benefit of colourful attraction with your planted herb container.

Some good herbs for growing in pots and container will include

  • Sages - there are several good colours to choose from,
  • Rosemary - does really well in hot dry conditions. There is a great low growing type.
  • Thymes - especially around the edges of large herb containers
  • Curry Plant (Helichrysum) for that evocative smell when you brush past it.
  • Camomile - needs no introduction
  • Oregano - There are several good foliage versions of out Herb Oregano - They are hardy and well suited to container growing.
  • Golden Feverfew - looks good as well as sorting headaches.
  • Chives - which can be cut as and when requires.

No garden - no problem. Just start growing your herbs in pots - or any other containers that suit!


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