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How to Transplant Herb Plants

By Amma Marfo ; Updated September 21, 2017

To have the look of a flourishing herb garden without having to wait for seeds to germinate, you can always purchase already started potted seedlings and transplant them into the garden. To transplant herb plants, no matter what kind of herbs you’re growing, just follow a few simple rules and watch your herbs’ progress as they transition from a small pot to your garden bed or a larger, more permanent container.

Select your herbs and read the spacing needs on the plant stake to know how much room you need in the garden bed to support them. Also check whether your herbs are an annual or a perennial so you know if the planting needs to be a permanent location or just for this season.

Loosen the soil in the garden bed with a shovel or hand trowel. Add a few inches of compost over the soil and work it in well. If you’re going to grow in a planter, layer the bottom with some gravel followed by potting soil to fill the pot.

Dig a hole where you want your herb transplant to go approximately the size of the existing pot the herb is in. Carefully remove the herb from the pot and break up the root ball gently if there are roots wound in a spiral at the base.

Set the herb into the prepared hole and position it so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the soil. Lightly press the surrounding soil around the plant to support it, but don’t pack it tightly.

Water the garden bed or container well to create moistness all around the soil of the plant. Water every two to three days to keep the soil well moist for the first month or until you start to see new growth appear on the plant.

Back off to watering just once or twice a week as needed once the plant has established itself and is growing well. Collect herbs and/or prune as needed depending on the type of herb you are growing.


Things You Will Need

  • Herb seedlings
  • Garden bed area
  • Shovel or hand trowel
  • Compost or garden soil
  • Large planter
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Water


  • For a complete collection of herbs, consider growing based on a theme such as culinary use, tea herbs, or fragrant herbs for making sachets of potpourri.