Tips for Successfully Growing Herbs at Home


If you’re looking to add some fresh flavors to your cooking, growing herbs is a great way to do it. And the best part is, you don’t need a large garden or a green thumb to get started. You can grow herbs directly in your kitchen or on a small balcony with just a few simple steps.

First, you need to decide where you’re going to grow your herbs. Most herbs need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, so find a sunny spot in your home or balcony. If you don’t have a sunny spot, don’t worry. Some herbs like mint and parsley can grow well in shady areas.

Next, choose the herbs you want to grow. There are a wide variety to choose from, but some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors are mint, thyme, and parsley. You can find seeds or small plants at your local nursery or online. Once you have your herbs, plant them in well-rotted compost or potting soil in a pot or container with drainage holes.

Once your herbs are planted, it’s important to water them regularly. Herbs don’t like to be over-watered, so make sure the soil is just moist, not wet. You should water them every two to three days, or whenever the soil feels dry. Be sure to read the care instructions that come with your herbs, as some may have specific watering needs.

As your herbs grow, you can start harvesting them after a few weeks. To harvest, simply cut off a few leaves or sprigs from each plant. This will encourage new growth and keep your herbs healthy. You can use the fresh herbs in your cooking, or dry them for later use. Just remember to trim off any flowers that appear, as they can make the flavors of the herbs less intense.

If you’re growing your herbs outdoors, you may need to protect them from extreme weather conditions. Cover them with a lightweight cloth or move them inside during cold or hot spells. You should also fertilize your herbs every month with a balanced fertilizer to give them a boost.

Now that you know everything you need to grow herbs, it’s time to get started. Whether you have a big garden or just a small window ledge, you can enjoy the flavors and aromas of fresh herbs all year round. So why not give it a try and start growing your own herbs today?

How to grow herbs

If you’re a fan of fresh herbs and want to have your favorite flavors within arm’s reach, consider growing them in your own herb garden. Not only will you have a ready supply of aromatic and tasty additions to your meals, but you’ll also enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these versatile plants.

While you can find a variety of herbs in the supermarket, there’s something special about having them at home. In addition to being able to choose from an extensive variety not commonly available in most stores, you also have the satisfaction of having grown them yourself.

One of the best things about herbs is that they’re easy to grow. Whether you have a large garden or just a small space in front of your house, you can enjoy growing herbs. They’re also perfect for growing in containers, making it easy to grow them indoors or on your porch.

Start by choosing your herbs. Some popular choices include basil, chives, dill, mint, and savory. You can purchase seed packets or small plants from a local nursery or garden center. Alternatively, you can start some herbs from supermarket herbs directly by simply placing them in a glass of water on a window sill. Once you see roots forming, you can plant them in pots.

When it comes to potting, make sure to use a good quality potting mix. Herbs prefer well-draining soil, so add perlite or sand to improve drainage if needed. Keep the pots in a sunny location, preferably near a window. Herbs love the sun and require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Water your herbs regularly, but be careful not to overwater. Herbs generally prefer to be slightly on the drier side, so let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again. As a general guideline, water your herbs when the soil feels dry to the touch. Remember to water the plants from the bottom to avoid wetting the foliage, which can lead to diseases.

Harvest your herbs when they’re looking lush and full. You can start harvesting once the plants have enough foliage to sustain growth. To harvest, simply snip off the leaves or stems with a clean pair of scissors or shears. This will encourage the herbs to grow back and provide you with a constant supply of fresh herbs for your recipes.

If you have more herbs than you can use, consider drying or preserving them for later use. Herbs like basil and mint can be dried by hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated area. Alternatively, you can preserve them in oil or freeze them in ice cube trays with water or yogurt.

With a little time and effort, you’ll have a healthy and thriving herb garden to enjoy throughout the year. By growing your own herbs, you’ll not only save money but also have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where your food comes from.

How to choose between Annual and Perennial herbs

When it comes to growing herbs, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to grow annual herbs or perennial herbs. This choice will determine how long you can expect your herb garden to last and how much time and effort you’ll need to put into maintaining it.

Annual herbs are plants that complete their life cycle in one growing season. They typically grow quickly and produce a large amount of leaves, making them a great choice if you want to have a steady supply of fresh herbs throughout the summer. Some common examples of annual herbs include basil, dill, and cilantro.

Perennial herbs, on the other hand, are plants that come back year after year. While they may take longer to get established and produce at their full potential, they can be a more sustainable choice in the long run. Perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary, and oregano can survive winter and come back to life in the spring, saving you time and effort in planting new herbs every year.

So, how do you choose between annual and perennial herbs? Well, it depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a quick and abundant supply of herbs for fresh use or for making recipes like pesto, annual herbs would be your best bet. They can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and you can easily find them at your local garden store or nursery.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more permanent herb garden that requires less maintenance, perennial herbs might be the way to go. They have a longer lifespan and can provide a continuous supply of fresh herbs over many years, particularly if you take the time to properly care for them. Perennial herbs are also great for adding beauty and fragrance to your outdoor garden, and many of them have medicinal and culinary uses as well.

Keep in mind that some herbs, like basil, can be grown as both annuals and perennials, depending on the variety. So, if you’re looking to grow basil, for example, you can choose to grow it as an annual in a planter or move it indoors for the winter, or you can plant it in the ground in a sunny spot and let it come back year after year.

Ultimately, the choice between annual and perennial herbs comes down to what you value most in your herb garden – a quick and abundant supply of herbs, or a more sustainable and long-lasting herb garden. With a little planning and knowledge, you can create a herb garden that suits your needs and provides you with delicious and healthy herbs all year round.

How to grow herbs outside

When it comes to growing herbs outside, there are a few things to consider in order to achieve the best results. If you’re a beginner, these tips will guide you in the right direction.

First and foremost, choose the right herbs to grow outside. Some of the best options include parsley, thyme, oregano, dill, basil, and savory. These herbs are delicious, easy to grow, and can be used in a variety of dishes.

If you’re starting from seed, plant them indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Once the seedlings have sprouted, you can move them outside. However, make sure to harden them off by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over a period of 1-2 weeks.

Find a suitable location for your herbs outside. Most herbs require full sunlight, so choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you’re short on space, consider using a planter or balcony to create your own herb garden.

Before planting your herbs, prepare the soil by adding compost or sand to improve drainage. Herbs prefer well-draining soil, so make sure the water doesn’t pool around the roots. Water your herbs regularly, but be careful not to over-water them as it can lead to root rot.

As your herbs grow, keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of damage or infestation. If you notice any issues, treat them accordingly using organic solutions.

When it comes to harvesting your herbs, the best time is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the heat of the day. Use sharp scissors or shears to cut the stems just above a set of leaves. This will encourage new growth and ensure your herbs continue to thrive.

If you’re looking to store your herbs for later use, there are a few methods you can try. One option is to hang them upside down in a dry, well-ventilated area. Alternatively, you can chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays with a little water or oil.

By following these tips, you can successfully grow herbs outside and enjoy the fresh flavors they bring to your favorite dishes. Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony, there’s always a way to incorporate herbs into your outdoor space.

When to plant outdoor herbs

Growing herbs outdoors can be a rewarding experience for beginner and experienced gardeners alike. Knowing when to plant your outdoor herbs is crucial to ensure their successful growth and survival. Here are some tips on when to plant your herbs:

1. Consult an almanac or daily gardening guide to determine the ideal time to plant your specific herbs. Different herbs have varying temperature and sunlight requirements, so it’s important to know the best time to plant each herb.

2. Start by checking the hardiness zone of your region. This information will give you an idea of your area’s average frost dates and help you plan accordingly.

3. For frost-tolerant herbs like thyme, oregano, and parsley, you can begin planting them outside as early as late winter or early spring. These herbs can withstand cooler temperatures and even a light frost.

4. Warm-season herbs like basil, tomato, and savory prefer warmer temperatures and should only be planted after all danger of frost has passed. This is usually in late spring or early summer, depending on your region.

5. If you’re growing perennial herbs like rosemary or mint, it’s best to plant them in the spring or autumn. These herbs are hardy and can survive colder temperatures, but planting them in extreme heat or cold may stress the plants.

6. Consider starting your herb garden indoors. By growing your herbs from seeds or seedlings inside, you can get a head start on the growing season. Once the danger of frost has passed, you can transplant your young herbs outdoors.

7. Choose a sunny spot in your outdoor herb garden. Most herbs thrive in full sunlight, so pick an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

8. If you live in an area with strong winds or heavy rain, consider planting your outdoor herbs near a building or fence for added protection. This will help shield the plants from harsh weather conditions.

9. Water your newly planted herbs regularly, especially in the first few weeks after planting. While herbs don’t need as much water as other plants, they still require regular hydration to establish themselves.

10. Harvest your herbs throughout the growing season to promote healthy growth. Regularly picking off leaves and stems will encourage the plants to produce more foliage. You can store or dry your harvested herbs for later use in cooking or making herbal remedies.

By following these tips, you’ll have a better chance of growing thriving herb gardens outdoor. Remember to choose the right herbs for your region and provide them with the necessary care to ensure their success. Happy herb gardening!

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.