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How to Grow Herbs on a West Facing Balcony

herbe image by repti from

Container-grown herbs taste just the same as garden-grown herbs. Plant pots of herbs on your west-facing patio, in hanging planters or on your west-facing balcony. Herbs require sun for at least six hours a day. Select medium-height herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, tarragon, oregano, mint and rosemary. They take up less space than tall herbs such as fennel and dill.

Select sturdy herbs with fresh green growth. Old, tired herbs won't do well. Herbs should all be about the same size so one won't crowd the others out.

Scrub out the pot with a bleach solution of 1 part household bleach to 8 parts water. Rinse the pot and let it dry.

Place the saucers where the pots will be. Place the pot feet on the saucer and the pot on the pot feet. The saucer keeps the excess water from running all over the balcony. The feet keep the drainage holes of the pot open.

Put a layer of newspapers on the bottom of the pot and one-third of the way up the inside of the pot. The newspapers keep the water in the pot a bit longer so the soil has a chance to absorb more.

Fill the pot with potting soil. Tamp it down. Plant the herbs. More than one herb can be planted in a pot if the herbs have the same growth pattern and the pot is large enough. A 24-inch pot accommodates three to five herb plants. Plant the herbs equidistant from each other.

Protect the herbs from the hot sun on a west-facing balcony by using shade cloth. Or if the herbs only get sun in the afternoon, wrap the pots in bamboo reed fencing.

Cut the fencing 2 inches taller than the pot and long enough to wrap around the pot. Wrap the pot and secure it with twist ties.

Water when the soil dries out to a depth of 2 inches in the pot. This can be as often as every day on a west balcony.

Fertilize once a week with half-strength fertilizer if you're watering every day. Fertilize every two weeks if you water more than twice a week. Fertilize once a month if you water once a week.


Pinch back the herbs to keep them bushy or harvest the herbs on a regular basis.


Herbs on west-facing balconies might need protection from the wind as well as sun.

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