How to Grow Your Own Herbs

Overview

Herbs are ideal for any garden or sunny home windowsill. Whether you like to cook with herbs, use them in beverages or enjoy their aroma and color, growing herbs inside or outside is easy---with tender care and preparation.

Step 1

Pick herbs that are commonly used in cooking and simple to grow, especially if you're a beginner gardener. Good choices include mint, basil, parsley, edible flowers, oregano, purple sage, chives, chocolate mint, rosemary, thyme and lavender.

Step 2

Plant herbs in separate containers if you plant them indoors on a sunny windowsill. Plant them in large planters if you keep them outside (and remember to bring them indoors when the weather gets too cold). If planting outside, you can put at least two herbs in each planter. Match up a slow growing herb with a thriving herb, such as oregano and parsley. Make sure that the container has adequate drainage holes on the bottom, with a draining tray. Layer some pebbles on the bottom of the container.

Step 3

Prepare a good-quality potting soil with 15 to 20 percent perlite, which makes the mixture lighter and more suitable for growing herbs.

Step 4

Place indoor herbs in a sunny window or room where they will get at least six hours of sunshine. If keeping the herbs outside, make sure they get the same amount of sunlight. But if you live in a very hot or dry area, provide the herbs with shade in the heat of the afternoon.

Step 5

Water herbs whenever the soil feels dry, which will be about three times a week in moderate climates. In winter, mist the indoor herbs weekly because indoor heating can dry out the plants easily. Bring in outdoor herbs if you have a threat of frost in the winter, placing them in a sunny window in your house or using fluorescent lighting as a substitute.

Step 6

Fertilize every month and a half with an herb or plant food fertilizer, in dry or liquid form.

Step 7

Trim herbs regularly, cutting back any dead or broken areas, and cutting away any runners. Runners are extra growth in a vine form that grow along the top of the soil and drain from the parts of the herb that need the most nutrients. Runners can also take over other herbs' roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use any insecticides or pesticides on or around your herbs if they are intended for eating.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbs
  • Planters or planting containers
  • Pebbles
  • Soil
  • Perlite
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning scissors

References

  • Growing an Herb Garden
  • Caring for Herbs
  • Starting an Herb Garden
Keywords: herb gardening, growing herbs, caring for herbs

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.