How to Grow Herbs Upside Down


Herbs are among the easiest low-maintenance plants to grow . Most herbs require very little water and are happy as long as they're planted in bright sunlight. If growing herbs sounds like a good idea but you have no space, or if you're tired of bending and stooping, consider growing herbs upside down. You can plant herbs at easy-picking level right outside your kitchen door.

Step 1

Choose a good location for the herb plant. Select a sturdy beam or other support that will hold the weight of a bucket filled with damp potting soil. Most herbs need a sunny location where the plant will be exposed to at least six hours of daily sunlight.

Step 2

Drill a 1 1/2-inch diameter hole in the bottom of a 5-gallon plastic button. Place the hole in the center of the bucket.

Step 3

Cut a small X in the center of a paper coffee filter. Place the paper coffee filter inside the bucket over the hole. The coffee filter will prevent potting mixture from washing through the hole.

Step 4

Hang the bucket at a low level to enable you to reach it while planting the herb. One solution is to put a broomstick across two chairs and hang the bucket from the broomstick.

Step 5

Hold the herb plant in one hand and guide the roots of the plant up through the hole in the bottom of the bucket. Continue to hold the plant securely as you scoop a good quality commercial potting soil into the bucket with your other hand. For best results, use a potting soil that includes a time-release fertilizer already pre-mixed. Fill the bucket to about an inch from the top.

Step 6

Hang the bucket in its permanent location. Gently water the soil with a watering can or a garden hose until water drips through the hole in the bottom of the bucket.

Step 7

Water the herb only when the soil is dry, and then water until the water drains through the bottom of the pot. Nearly all herbs prefer dry soil and won't do well with wet feet. However, don't wait so long to water that the plant begins to wilt.

Step 8

Water the herb plant with a general purpose liquid fertilizer every third or fourth time you water. If your potting soil includes a time-release fertilizer, wait at least two months before fertilizing again.

Step 9

Snip leaves from the herbs as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Coffee filter
  • Broomstick and two chairs (optional)
  • Commercial potting soil with added time-release fertilizer
  • Watering can or garden hose
  • General purpose liquid fertilizer


  • Utah State University: Herb Container Gardens
  • Gardening Know How: Upside-Down Gardening
Keywords: herbs upside down, plant herbs, growing herbs

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.