How To Water an Herb Garden


Herbs grow well both indoors and outside. Many herbs are attractive enough to double as ornamental plants in the garden bed or to add a natural touch to indoor windowsills. Herbs are grown for their flavorful leaves, seeds or flowers. Proper watering ensures the plants grow well and develop their flavor fully. Many herbs are drought tolerant, but it's best to always verify the exact irrigation needs of each herb before deciding upon a watering schedule.

Step 1

Plant herbs in well-drained soils that aren't prone to standing water. Use soil-less potting mixes for container-grown herbs. In beds, spread 2 inches of compost over the bed and work it into the top 6 inches of soil before planting.

Step 2

Check the soil moisture of potted herbs once weekly for indoor plants and once daily for outdoor pots. Stick your finger into the soil and water when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry. Water until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the pot, as this ensures the soil is evenly moist throughout.

Step 3

Water garden herbs once weekly, moistening the soil to a 6-inch depth. Irrigate at the base of the plants and avoid wetting the foliage as much as possible.

Step 4

Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark or wood chips, around the herb plants. Mulch helps preserve soil moisture between waterings, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not leave standing water in the drip tray under potted herbs. This can cause waterlogged soil that damages the herb plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Growing Herbs for the Home Gardener
  • University of Illinois Extension: Growing Herbs in Containers
Keywords: watering herb gardens, container herb irrigation, herb gardening

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.