Growing herbs in pots is an ideal choice for homeowners or renters with limited space, making them more accessible to a kitchen area if they are grown in small pots on a windowsill, or in large pots on a patio. Herbs grown in containers need adequate drainage and may be moved throughout the day to capture sun and shade. Additional watering is required for herbs grown in containers as container plants tend to dry out quickly and not retain moisture as well as plants grown in the ground.
Basil (Ocimum sp.) is an excellent herb for growing in pots. It is an annual that will reseed and will thrive in summer warmth. This herb needs a large amount of light every day in order to grow well. To ensure best growth, basil should have a minimum of 10 hours of sun every day. Basil is hardy enough to grow well during high temperatures and little rainfall.
Oregano (Origanum spp.) is easy to grow from seed and does well in containers. Oregano can produce a harvest in the first year. This herb can grow to between 1 and 3 feet in height, therefore a large, wide pot is the best choice to accommodate oregano.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) grows well outdoors in most conditions. When growing in a pot, rosemary needs to have good drainage and plenty of sun. Because it is not hardy in most planting zones, rosemary needs to be brought inside for overwintering. When bringing a rosemary plant indoors, place it in a sunny but cool spot.
Thyme (Thymus spp.) has more than 300 species which are generally divided into two types: culinary and ornamental. Growing thyme in a container requires good drainage and full sun. Variations of thyme include upright growers and creeping growers. Thyme plants have small flowers that vary in color---pink, red, white and lavender.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an annual herb that grows quite tall (3 feet). All varieties of dill can be grown in pots as long as the containers are large enough. Pots should be large and wide to provide balance for the height of the plant. Tall varieties of dill should be staked or caged when grown in containers. Fernleaf dill is a smaller variety that is well suited for container growth.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) will grow best in full sun. As a hardy perennial, this herb will return year after year. If grown in pots, the plant will need to be divided when it spreads and outgrows the container, so choose a large pot initially. Chives produces pink- or lavender-colored flowers that are edible. After flowers fade, cut the plant back to about 2 inches in height. New growth will begin within 10 to 21 days.