~ Growing Herbs in Pots ~


Growing Herbs in pots is easy as long as you provide them with their basic needs, soil, nutrients, light and water.

Choosing a Pot

You can grow your herbs in almost any container providing it has drainage and is large enough to allow the herb you are planting to flourish.

When choosing your pot consider the growth of the plant when it is planted in a garden. Rosemary grows bigger than thyme in the garden, so would require a bigger pot.

Try growing your herbs in some of the following containers.

Hanging baskets

Terracotta pots

Bath tubs

½ wine barrels

Wheel barrows

Old wash tubs

Glazed pots


Large saucepans


Polystyrene boxes

Old tins

Make sure there is plenty of drainage holes in pots and containers used for your herbs.

Potting Mix

It is better to use a good quality potting mix rather than soil. Soil from the garden can become heavy and gluggy and does not drain properly.

When growing herbs in pots the drainage is of prime importance.

For some herbs such as rosemary, lavender and thyme you can add dolomite to increase the pH, as these Mediterranean herbs like an alkaline soil.


When herbs are first potted we either soak the plant or water them in with a seaweed based liquid fertilizer this helps reduce transplant shock and gives them a strong start. Organic extra or a similar palletized organic fertilizer can be sprinkled on the top of the potting mix every 4-6 weeks.



Most herbs need at least 2 hours of good sun a day to grow well. Herbs that do not get enough sun will grow leggy and lack the robust flavour that herbs with plenty of sun have. Herbs in pots can be grown in full sun providing you water them adequately.


Depending on the size of the pot, how much sun they receive, and whether they are exposed to wind, will determine how often you need to water.

In our nursery the herbs are grown on benches in the full sun. We water our herbs every day.

Most herbs like good drainage and don’t like constant wet roots.

The best way to determine how much to water your potted herbs is to stick your finger into the potting mix to at least 5cm depth if it feels dry, water well, if it feels moist hold off watering.

Do the finger test every day for a couple of weeks and you will know how often you need to water.

Potting up your Herbs

• Soak the container of herb to be potted in a bucket filled with seaweed solution, until all of the air bubbles have dispersed and the roots are soaked through.

• Place some potting mix in the bottom of the new container/pot.

• Loosen the herb to be potted by turning upside down, support the herb by holding around the base of the plant. Squeeze the pot gently to release the herb.

• Gently tease the roots and place in the new pot, back fill around root ball with fresh potting mix.

• Pat down gently, and water in well.

• You will not need to add any fertilizer at this stage as most good quality potting mix contain enough fertilizer to last for around 4 weeks.

I hope you enjoy growing some herbs in pots, let me know your tips.

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