How to Grow Exotic Herbs


Thinking outside the box can lead you to some interesting choices when it comes to growing herbs. "Exotic" can refer to plants that come from distant locations or countries, or it can refer to something that is unusual. For example, oregano is a common herb, but the oregano known as Dittany of Crete is more "exotic." Whether you want to grow herbs that are used in Thai or Indian cuisine or you just want to grow less common herbs, such as angelica or santolina, the growing instructions are the same for most herbs.

Step 1

Prepare a garden bed for your exotic herb plants that is in full sun. Because most herbs do not require rich soil, average garden topsoil is often sufficient. To make sure your exotic herb grows well, you can dig in one part organic compost to every four parts of soil.

Step 2

Dig holes in your prepared area that are large enough for annual exotic herb plants' root systems. Then set one plant into each hole and fill in with the soil/compost you dug out.

Step 3

Plant frost-tender perennial herbs in containers filled with standard potting soil. Choose pots with drainage holes that will be large enough to accommodate the plant when it reaches its full size. If you purchase 10- to 12-inch pots, they should be adequate for most exotic herbs.

Step 4

Water both in-ground and container-grown herbs after you plant them. For in-ground herbs, run a sprinkler over the planted area for about 20 minutes or until the soil is well-soaked. For container plants, water until you see drainage from the pot's hole. After the first watering, allow the soil to dry slightly before you water them again.

Step 5

Fertilize your exotic herb plants with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, one month after you plant them and again once each month until early August.

Step 6

Scatter iron phosphate granules on the soil around your exotic herb plants if you notice chewed leaves, trails and other signs of snails and slugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Average soil with good drainage
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Containers
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Iron phosphate (optional)


  • Gardening Know How: Spicing It Up With Exotic Herbs
  • West Virginia University: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • The Thyme Garden Herb Company: Welcome
Keywords: herbs exotic unusual, growing gardening, angelica santolina foreign

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.