How to Grow Asian Herbs


If you like to garden and cook Asian cuisines, chances are you may want to try growing some Asian herbs of your own. As with most other plants, Asian herbs are very climate-dependent. If you do not live in an area with a long season of sunny warmth, you may have better luck growing your Asian herbs indoors in pots. They do not take kindly to cold weather. Coriander (or cilantro), culantro, lemon grass, Thai basil, Chinese chives, and elephant ear are some Asian herbs you may wish to try growing.

Step 1

Obtain cuttings of Asian herbs if you can. Go to local Asian markets or order a bowl of pho from your local Vietnamese restaurant. Pho is always served with a number of accompaniments, including fresh herbs that you are meant to add to your soup yourself. Take the order home with you and save some herbs for planting. Asian herb cuttings are easier to plant than seeds. If you will be planting directly in the ground outside, proceed to Step 2. If you will be planting in pots, proceed to Step 3.

Step 2

Dig up and loosen the soil in your garden. Dig to a depth of 6 to 8 inches in total, and work compost into the soil. Finish with a layer of topsoil. Proceed directly to Step 4.

Step 3

Fill your pots loosely with potting soil. Do not pack the soil down. Use only as many pots as you have plants or types of seeds. If you are planting seeds, you may wish to overplant them to ensure that some do grow. You can always thin out excess plants later.

Step 4

Plant your herb cuttings carefully in the dirt. Only plant them deep enough that the dirt can fully support the weight of the plant as it stands upright. If you are using seeds, plant to a depth of about 1/18th of an inch in the dirt.

Step 5

Water your newly planted Asian herb garden lightly.

Step 6

Monitor your plants daily and water as necessary. They do not need to drown, but they should not ever be dry, either. If there is a frost forecast in your area, you may wish to move your Asian herb plants indoors to a sunny location.

Step 7

Harvest as soon as the plants are strong and healthy, but before they go to seed. Herbs worldwide are similar in that they taste best before they have begun to sprout seeds. Chinese chive flowers also make attractive garnishes in cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant cuttings or seeds
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Topsoil (optional)
  • Compost (optional)
  • Gardening trowel
  • Pots (optional)


  • Vietnamese Herbs: Growing, Identifying, Propagating, Using
  • Lemongrass and Sweet Basil; Khamtane Signavong; 2006
Keywords: growing asian herbs, asian herb cuttings, asian herb seeds

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.