When you want to start an herb garden, you have two choices to obtain plants. You can start the herbs from seed yourself, or you can purchase herb transplants for your container or garden plot. Because herbs are quite popular plants for container or garden plots, they are widely available at many garden centers and in the garden division of many large chain home stores.
Determine what types of herbs you want to buy before you purchase them. Herb selection may be based on the type of garden you wish to grow, such as a culinary garden containing basil and oregano, or a medicinal garden filled with lavender, purple coneflower and chamomile. Other factors to consider are light and water availability in your garden plot or patio area.
Herbs that do not transplant well, such as anise, cumin, fennel, coriander, borage, caraway and dill, should be grown from seed rather than purchased as a transplant.
Learn all you can about an herb before purchasing it, including lighting needs, watering needs and warnings. Some herbs, such as mint or oregano, are invasive. You should only plant these plants in containers.
Contact your local garden centers, nurseries, health food stores and home stores with garden divisions to ensure that they have the herb that you are looking for. Many chain stores only carry herbs seasonally. Others do not carry rare herbs. You may have to purchase hard-to-find varieties of herb from specialty nurseries and have them shipped to you.
Search at your local farmer's market for locally grown herbs. Herbs grown from local stock may be better adapted to your local climate and more resistant to pests and diseases prevalent in your area. Additionally, they may be healthier due to the fact that they have not undergone stress from repeated shipping and handling.
Examine each herb before purchasing to make sure that it is healthy and free of diseases and pests.