How to Grow Herbs From a Seed


Herb plants thrive in either an indoor or outdoor kitchen garden. Many common herbs are easily grown from seed. Basil, thyme and mint are just a few of the low-maintenance plants you can grow from seed in your garden. While each herb has specific growing considerations, there are general requirements that most of the plants share. Check the seed packet for specific planting times and verify that there are no special germination requirements for the seeds you have selected.

Step 1

Fill seed-starting pots with a sterile potting mix. Leave a 1/2 inch between the top of the potting mix and the rim of the pot.

Step 2

Sow two to three seeds in each pot, placing them in the surface of the mix. Cover them with 1/4 inch of potting mix, or to the depth recommended on the seed envelope.

Step 3

Water the potting mix until it is evenly moist throughout. Cover the pots with a plastic bag, which helps retain the moisture in the soil during germination.

Step 4

Place the pots in a 60 degree F room to germinate. Most herbs germinate within seven to 14 days.

Step 5

Remove the plastic bags once seedlings emerge. Place the pots in a warm, sunny window and water them when the soil surface begins to dry.

Step 6

Thin the herbs to one per pot once they grow in their second set of leaves. Cut the weaker plants off at soil level with a small pair of scissors, leaving the strongest plant in each pot.

Step 7

Transplant the herbs to permanent pots, or garden soil, once they are 5 to 6 inches tall. Plant them at the same depth they were at in their seedling pots. Most herbs grow well in 6-inch diameter pots.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed pots
  • Potting mix
  • Seeds
  • Plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • 6-inch pots


  • Ohio State University Extension: Plant Propagation
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Herbs at Home
Keywords: growing herb seeds, starting herb gardens, planting herbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.