How to Grow Herbs in a Small Space


Herbs have been grown for thousands of years for culinary, medicinal and aromatherapy purposes. These hardy plants make a wonderful addition to any garden. Many thrive in poor soil, making them ideal to tuck into corners or small spaces. Planted near steps, or along walkways, these delightful plants emit aroma at the slightest touch. So, gather up the supplies and tuck those herbs into any space that receives adequate light and can be reached for harvesting.

Step 1

Consider the overall size of the mature plant. Some herbs like oregano grow to 2 feet or more, while gentle thyme creeps along the soil with a height of 6 to 8 inches. Look for miniature versions of herbs. Miniature basil is a delightful plant with all the aroma of regular basil, but maintains a small compact stature.

Step 2

Select herb seedlings that are short and compact. Tall spindly herbs have been grown under low-light conditions. Stalks should be thick and sturdy with healthy foliage. Look for any signs of insect damage or other stress. Dropped or yellow leaves indicate the plant has suffered stress.

Step 3

Plant herbs in prepared soil or in containers. An attractive window box overflowing with herbs takes up little room, but provides an abundance of fresh herbs. Tiered plant pots take advantage of extended height but take up little ground space.

Step 4

Pinch or cut back herbs often to encourage dense full foliage. Cut overgrown herbs back by a third to produce lush new foliage. Pinch center leaves with your thumb and finger to force new growth along the stems and branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tools
  • Herb seedlings
  • Plant containers
  • Potting soil


  • West Virginia University Extension
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension
  • University of Missouri Extension

Who Can Help

  • Common Herbs
Keywords: herbs, herb seedlings, small spaces

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.