How to Start a Medicinal Herb Garden


An herb garden, whether for culinary, aesthetic or medicinal purposes, is an ideal addition to any landscape. It can be as small as a single herb container or as large as an entire garden plot. When starting a medicinal herb garden, the best method is to start the plants indoors to help them grow strong and sturdy, then transplant them outdoors. Most medicinal herbs are perennials and will return the following year. There are several types of medicinal herbs to choose from--pick the ones that will benefit your lifestyle and suit your climate.

Step 1

Research herbs and choose the medicinal herbs you want to grow in your garden. Popular varieties include chamomile, feverfew, echinacea, St. John's wort, primrose and horny goat weed.

Step 2

Use peat pots or small terra cotta pots from a gardening center. Fill the containers with your soil.

Step 3

Plant the seeds according to the seed package directions for each medicinal herb variety, as planting instructions may vary from plant to plant. Also make sure to keep in mind the depth of planting and the spacing you'll need for when you transplant them outdoors. Mark the herb name on each pot, or write it on a wooden or plastic stick you can insert into the soil.

Step 4

Keep your containers on a sunny windowsill where they will get about six hours of sunlight per day. Every day, use a water misting bottle to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.

Step 5

Observe your plants every day, keeping them moist and in the sunlight. They will germinate after about three weeks. At six weeks, transplant them to a larger container (about three times the original size), or outdoors in the ground. If you live in a climate that has cold winters, it's a good idea to keep the plants in containers so you can bring them indoors during cooler weather.

Step 6

Whether in the ground or in containers, plant you medicinal herbs according to each one's specific needs. Place shorter ones in front of the larger ones; seed packet information usually will give their maximum height. Plant them facing towards the east so they can get the morning sun.

Step 7

Water the medicinal herbs deeply when you feel the top 1 inch of the soil is moderately dry. Don't let them dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Medicinal herb seeds
  • Containers
  • Potting soil
  • Bottle mister
  • Compost (optional)
  • Garden tools


  • Herbs Guide: Medicinal Herbs
  • Mountain Rose Herbs: Medicinal Herb Seeds
  • Backyard Gardener: Medicinal Herbs For Sale
Keywords: medicinal herb gardens, planting herbs, start herbs indoors

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.