How to Grow a Medicinal Herb Garden


Bee balm tea can sooth a sore throat, chamomile can help you sleep and goldenseal may help ward off a cold. While medicinal herbs may not be able to cure everything that ails you, these time-tested remedies are useful to have on hand. Medicinal herbs often grow wild, but you can cultivate them in your garden also, where they'll provide beautiful flowers and pleasing aromas in addition to healing benefits. Grow herbs to make your own teas, tinctures and tonics.

Step 1

Select a well-drained, sunny location for your herb garden. Most herbs require 6 hours or more of sun a day and grow best in moist but not soggy soil. You don't need a very large space for medicinal herbs, since you will usually only need a single plant of each variety. You can grow a small medicinal herb garden in a half-barrel on a sunny deck.

Step 2

Select your herb plants. While most herbs can be grown from seed, you'll be off to a faster start if you choose plants. This will also allow you to judge the size and condition of each plant. You may choose plants based on symptoms you wish to treat, or merely choose an assortment with which to make pleasing teas such as lemon balm, chamomile, bee balm and chicory.

Step 3

Decide how you will place the plants in the garden. Strive to include a variety of textures and forms, so that your herb garden offers aesthetic as well as physical benefits. Many medicinal herbs, such as bee balm, feverfew, lobelia and echinacea, have beautiful blossoms, so be sure to include some of these in your medicinal herb garden. Others, such as mint, chamomile and lemon balm, are known for their aromas. Include herbs from each category in your garden. Draw a plan of your garden on graph paper in different variations to see how they will fit. It's much easier and less harmful to the plants to move them around on paper than it is once they're in the ground.

Step 4

Transplant the herbs into your garden. If you're working with immature plants, be sure to leave space for the plant to mature and grow. Place taller plants such as echinacea at the back of the garden so they won't shade shorter plants such as chamomile. If you have good garden soil, you shouldn't need to add fertilizer. Most medicinal herbs do better without extra fertilizer. The plants may not be as large as ones grown with fertilizer, but some people feel smaller plants have a greater concentration of flavor and medicinal properties.

Tips and Warnings

  • Medicinal herbs should be used in moderation and with caution. Consult your physician before using any herbal preparations.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper and pencil
  • Herb plants


  • Medicinal Herbs
  • Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • Growing Herbs in Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • Growing a Herb Garden
Keywords: medicinal herbs, herb garden, herb plants

About this Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University. Before turning to freelancing full-time, Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.