How to Grow Herbs in One Pot


If you're tired of paying big money at the supermarket for one small packet of fresh basil or thyme, or if you like the idea of having fresh herbs at your fingertips, consider planting a one-pot herb garden. A one-pot herb garden is especially nice in the wintertime, when outdoor gardening is out of the question, and the attractive plants will add interest to your indoor environment. Depending on the size of the pot, you can enjoy a variety of herbs.

Step 1

Select a large, deep, sturdy pot. Any container will work, but good drainage is a must for growing herbs. If the pot doesn't have drainage holes, drill at least two or three holes in the bottom. Buy a tray to prevent water from draining on the floor.

Step 2

Purchase a variety of herbs from a garden center or nursery. Choose healthy, compact herb plants in a variety of colors, textures and sizes.

Step 3

Fill the container with commercial potting soil, leaving about 3 inches unfilled at the top. Add water to the potting soil and mix it so the potting soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Mix a time-release granular fertilizer into the potting soil. Read the label for specific rates of application.

Step 4

Slide one of the herb plants from the nursery container and loosen the roots slightly with your fingers. Dig a small hole with a trowel, just large enough for the herb's root system. Plant the herb in the hole and tamp potting soil lightly around the roots.

Step 5

Plant the remainder of the herb plants, allowing 3 to 5 inches between each plant.

Step 6

Place the pot in bright sunlight. If light is low during the winter months, place the plants under a grow light for 12 to 14 hours every day.

Step 7

Move the herbs outdoors during the summer months, as herbs will benefit from fresh air. Place the pot where the plants will get six hours of sunlight every day, but where they will be protected from hot afternoon sunlight. Check the potting soil daily, since containerized herbs require water more often.

Step 8

Water the herbs when the top of the soil feels dry to the touch, or if the plants begin to look wilted. Don't over-water, as herbs rot in excessive moisture.

Step 9

Trim the herbs for use, as desired. Trimming keeps the plants neat and compact.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep, sturdy pot
  • Drill (optional)
  • Drain tray
  • Herb plants
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Time-release granular fertilizer
  • Trowel
  • Grow light (optional)


  • University of Illinois: Growing Herbs in Containers
  • Re-Nest: How To: Make a One-Pot Indoor Herb Garden
Keywords: grow herbs, container herb garden, plant herbs, one pot 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.