Herbs for Container Garden – All You Should Know

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best herbs to grow in a container garden

Container gardens are the perfect option for people with insufficient space to plant a garden. They are also quite convenient and accessible. Additionally, container gardens are relatively easy to maintain, with fewer weed problems.

If you would like to test your hand at gardening, container gardens can help determine if tending to plants is something you can manage. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to be able to access fresh, homegrown herbs right outside your door.

While vegetables like tomatoes usually thrive in a backyard garden, herbs do better in smaller spaces. Basil, chives, and mint are some of the best herbs for a container garden. All you have to do is follow the right tricks to help them flourish. 

In simple words, you can grow just about any herb in containers when provided with suitable conditions.

Best Herbs for Your Container Garden

One of the crucial aspects of a flourishing container garden is the right choice of herbs. Herbs with shallow root systems are ideal for container gardens as they don’t require a lot of space. Some of these are as follows.

●     Basil

herbs for container garden - basil

Basil is one of the best hot-season herbs for container gardens. The fresh, aromatic herb needs hot, dry conditions to thrive. Plus, you can put it in a container of any shape or size.

Adding compost to the container before planting basil seeds supports plant growth in the early stages. You must also apply compost during the growing season to help the herb thrive.

Fresh basil comes in different varieties, which can be grown indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, basil is the perfect herb to plant near your kitchen for quick access.

●     Cilantro

herbs for container garden - cilantro

The vegetative part of the coriander plant is called cilantro. It is a flavorful herb you can use to garnish your meals or salads. The herb requires total sun exposure and seeds grow relatively quickly. Therefore, you can regularly grow cilantro multiple times during spring.

Sowing the coriander plant in a deep container is best to provide its roots enough space to spread out. It also helps the soil retain moisture. It is best to use fresh cilantro, as the herb becomes unusable after dehydrating.

●     Chives

herbs for container garden - chives

Chives are another fresh herb that can enhance the taste of your meal. The plants can flourish in both full sunlight and partial shade. Additionally, it requires well-nourished, fertile soil.

Another factor you need to keep an eye on is soil drainage. Chives usually grow better in well-drained soil.

Periodically divide your plants while reusing the same container to grow your herbs to ensure they do not become root bound. Not to mention, chives can grow from seeds and even by dividing their roots. Continue picking the leafy part of the plant to extend harvesting time.

●     Sorrel

herbs for container garden - sorrel

Sorrel is the perfect herb for your container garden if you enjoy mixing herbs in one container. It is among the early sprouting herbs as it grows in the early spring. You can grow this herb from seeds or through root division.

Sorrel is a well-regarded herb that adds a lemony tanginess to food, making it perfect for you to use as a dressing in your salads. Moreover, cooking sorrel can tone down its flavor to serve those who like a mild tanginess.

●     Mint

herbs for container garden - mint

Mint is a reasonably popular herb best grown in a container garden. This aromatic herb has aggressive growing habits as it spreads underground. Therefore, mint can choke the nutrition of other plants if grown in the same garden.

Contrarily, growing it in pots helps to keep its growth under control. However, use a deep pot with 10-12 inches of soil to ensure the herb gets sufficient nourishment to thrive.

You can use fresh, homegrown mint in tea or garnish your meals with it. Additionally, maintenance of mint is relatively easy, but the herb is hard to grow from seeds.

●     Oregano

herbs for container garden - oregano

Oregano is another herb that is best grown in a separate container. The herb tends to spread and grow rapidly. Therefore, it is important not to overcrowd the pot and leave at least a 6-8inch distance between the plants.

Also, you can utilize the herb’s insect-repelling properties to protect other plants from insect damage. You can even grow the herbs on a windowsill, getting sun exposure for easier access. Oregano can also retain its flavor after it is dried, which means you can store it for months.

●     French Tarragon

herbs for container garden - french tarragon

French tarragon can also thrive well in container gardens. These easy-to-grow herbs can even be sustained in sandy soils with nutrient deficiency.

Additionally, they are best grown through root division. You can use French tarragon to add a smack of flavor to any meal!

●     Thyme

herbs for container garden - thyme

Thyme is full of flavor but small in size, so it is a perfect container herb. It has tiny fragrant leaves supported by wooden stems and spreads slowly.

This herb can withstand drought conditions, and it can thrive in relatively unfertilized soil.

●     Sage

herbs for container garden - sage

Apart from having culinary uses, sage is also a medicinal herb. It can flourish in a container garden and add to the visual and aromatic appeal. The herb has various exciting varieties with distinct flavors.

Primarily, sage has an earthy spiciness in its aroma. Moreover, the herb needs maximum exposure to the sun and good drainage to grow healthily.

●     Parsley

herbs for container garden - parsley

Your container garden will remain incomplete without parsley. This herb offers a lot of versatility and goes well with almost all dishes. Additionally, it is an easy-to-grow herb that can flourish in both full sun and partial shade.

It can be challenging to grow parsley from seeds. Instead, purchase the plant and let it grow, as parsley takes longer to mature.

Taking Care of a Container Garden – Tips to Know

It is reasonably easy to maintain a container garden. However, there are a few crucial factors to keep in mind, like the following.

Planning Your Herb Container

Depending on your choice of herbs for your container garden, you can use the same container. However, to mix different herbs in a container, you need to ensure that they require the same growing conditions.

For example, given the difference in their needs, you cannot grow parsley and rosemary in the same container. Parsley grows well at a steady humidity level. On the other hand, rosemary thrives in a relatively dry environment. Therefore, you should strategically plan the herbs you want to pair together.

Don’t forget that species with vigorous growth patterns can choke the nutritional needs of other plants in the same container. As a result, one may thrive well while the other may wilt or not develop at all.

You can use any pot as an herb container. This may include wooden, concrete, clay, or plastic pots. Grow bags also make an excellent choice for container gardens.  

Furthermore, the container size is also not an issue, given the herbs’ relatively underdeveloped root systems. Nevertheless, the container of your choice must provide proper drainage.

Also, a smaller container means less soil, giving you a margin for error in watering. Before you plant your herbs, consider the conditions they require. While some plants thrive well in self-watering containers, the constant hydration contradicts the needs of others.

Container Picks for Herb Garden

D’vine Dev Set of 2 Terracotta Pots

HOMENOTE Pots for Plants

Boldly Growing Cedar Raised Planter Box

Koolkatkoo Cat Ceramic Planter

VegTrug 8 Pocket Herb Garden

Empty plastic bottles are great planters too!

If you have empty plastic bottles lying around at home, repurpose those into containers for your herb garden. Indeed, they make very good planters, not just for herbs, but for veggies and succulents too!

Remember to punch holes at the bottom for drainage. Check this post for samples and inspiration: 20 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles for Gardening

Planting and Caring

As with all the other plants, you will need to provide the herbs in your container garden with the appropriate conditions to flourish. Thus, they must have suitable soil and sufficient exposure to sunlight.

Additionally, fertilizers help to replenish the nutritional content of the soil. However, over-fertilization is a significant issue that may even kill your herbs. Thankfully, herbs don’t need much fertilizing, saving you time and effort.

Needless to say, water is a primary need for plants, but watering your herbs can be challenging in a container garden. Some containers dry out the soil quickly, while others retain moisture for a long time. An ideal condition for most plants is well-drained yet moist soil. Therefore, you should use a good-quality potting mixture to help prevent over-drainage and excessive moisture.

Besides water, sunlight is also an essential requirement for almost all plants. They need it to be able to synthesize their food. Depending on the climate in your region, you will have to be careful about sun exposure and provide sufficient shade for your herbs.

Start your herb garden today!

Containment gardens are your savior if you are a gardening enthusiast with limited space. You can feed your hobby by growing fresh, aromatic herbs to add to your dishes. Before you choose an herb, consider its growth requirements and ensure you can fulfill them.

In addition, choose a suitable container depending on how deep the roots of your chosen herbs grow. Furthermore, use a good-quality potting mix that allows sufficient drainage. If needed, use compost and fertilizers to replenish the nutrients in the soil.

Water and sunlight are two primary needs of every plant. Therefore, you should be mindful of the amount of sun exposure your herb needs and remember to water it consistently.

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Season your meals with fresh homegrown herbs all year round! Here is our recommendation of the best herbs for a container garden!

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