How to Plant Herbs in Pots

Potted basil image by SP Veres/


Creating your own kitchen herb garden gives you a never-ending supply of fresh seasonings to use in your favorite dishes. A potted herb garden is suitable whether you live in an apartment or house. Keep the pots indoors year-round or move them outdoors in summer and back inside before winter. Potted gardens supply fresh herbs throughout the year, so there is no need to dry or freeze the leaves.

Step 1

Choose containers with drainage holes and drip trays. The containers should be at least 6 inches in diameter for most herbs, or 2 inches larger than the diameter of the full-grown plant for larger herbs.

Step 2

Fill the pots with a general potting mix or make your own from 1 part peat moss to 2 parts compost. Add a handful of perlite if desired for even moisture retention.

Step 3

Sow seeds to a depth equal to twice their diameter in the center of the pot. Sow two to three seeds in case they don't all germinate. Sow extremely fine seeds on the surface of the soil and cover them with 1/8 inch of vermiculite.

Step 4

Water the soil until it is moist, then cover the pot with plastic wrap. Place the pot in a warm place to germinate--seven to 14 days for most herbs. Light is not required for germination.

Step 5

Remove the plastic once the seeds germinate and relocate them to a warm, sunny window. Herbs typically require six hours of full sunlight a day or 12 hours under artificial lights.

Step 6

Keep the soil moist at all times after germination unless otherwise advised on the seed packet for the particular herb variety.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not place herbs where they will be subject to warm or cool drafts, both of which may damage the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Container
  • Potting mix
  • Vermiculite
  • Plastic wrap
  • Grow lights


  • University of Missouri Extension
  • Penn State Extension
Keywords: potted herbs, growing herbs indoors, kitchen garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. 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.

Photo by: SP Veres/