Planting herbs in pots is a simple substitute for maintaining a traditional herb garden outdoors.
How Herbs Are Grown in Pots?
Planting herbs in pots is a great way to grow herbs for a variety of reasons. It might be because you lack room, your soil is poor, you need to extend the flowering season, you need to preserve the herbs nearby for usage in your kitchen, you need to hold unwanted herbs at bay, or you live in an apartment and want to enjoy natural herbs but don’t have a garden in which to grow them. Regardless of your motivations, the majority of herbs are suitable for growth in planters or pots as long as they have access to enough water, sunlight, and healthy soil.
Choosing Pots for Herbs
The choice of pots will be greatly influenced by the amount of room you need and if you intend to maintain your plants indoors or outside. As long as the container has proper drainage, herbs may thrive in practically any kind of container. Plastic, wood, or steel pots work just as well as terracotta ones do. If you’re not using a standard container, ensure the pot has draining holes in the base of it, and if you’re maintaining them inside, offer a dripping plate or saucer underneath. Herbs may be planted independently in separate pots or collectively in a single big container, like a window box planter, as long as you take care never to over-crowd the pot and give every plant sufficient room to thrive. Also, make sure you plant herbs together with similar requirements.
Your pot options are nearly endless, with containers available in a variety of styles, colors, sizes and materials. Plastic pots are lightweight and inexpensive, but they can deteriorate over time outdoors. Ceramic, stone or cement containers are heavy and durable but they are often heavy and difficult to move. Clay pots are porous and therefore allow water to escape, drying your herbs out quickly, which makes them well-suited to growing Mediterranean herbs such as thyme. However they are breakable and subject to damage from freezing conditions.
Planting Herbs in Pots
When mature, certain herbs can grow to be enormous. Make sure to use containers that are the right size for your herbs. As a general rule, pots as small as 10 inches wide and larger can be used for single herb plantings and a minimum of 18 inches wide is needed when growing larger herbs, multiple herbs in one pot, or cooking herbs that you wish to pick frequently for your favorite dish.
When planting herbs in pots, you must first add a coating of pebbles, gravel, or Polystyrene granules to the middle quarter of the selected container prior to adding soil to aid with drainage. That also works well with cracked terra cotta planter chips. But using the Polystyrene pellets to reduce the weight of the pot is a good substitute if you want to move the pot indoors or outdoors to either get direct sunlight or away from the colder weather.
Bring your containers to about 2 inches (5 cm) of its top using a high-quality potting mix of specialty herb and garden soil to provide enough room for watering. Many herbs require some fertilization, especially during the growth season, if they are maintained in containers. Herbs grown in pots should be watered often since they dry up more quickly than those grown in the ground though be careful not to over water – they just need to remain moist.
There are also indoor herb garden kits you can buy or hydroponic growing systems perfect for indoors if that is something that is of interest. Like the Click & Grow or Idoo solutions. For other herb pot ideas, have a look out our herb accessories.
When to plant herbs in pots?
The best time to plant herbs is when the temperature starts to heat up in early Spring, so this is a good time to purchase herb plants form garden centers or nurseries or to plant seeds. Herbs that grow in wintertime are susceptible to root rot in cold, moist potting soil.
What herbs are best for pots?
Learners may easily learn ways to cultivate several of their favourite kitchen herbs by planting herbs in pots. So, what herbs are best for pots? If you have a slightly more shaded area I recommend starting with chives, cilantro/coriander, lemon balm, mint and parsley. If full sun, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme are popular herbs. There are also starter kits available for growing herbs in pots if you want a no fuss solution.
Maintaining Herbs in Containers
Firstly, giving your herbs the right amount of water is a big part of growing thriving herbs. For herbs that like a more moderate amount of water, like chives and basil, keeping the soil moist is key. For Mediterranean herbs and those preferring dryer conditions letting the soil dry a little between waterings is recommended. When you do water, check to see there is water running out the bottom of the pot. If the soil is dry to touch about 2 inches below the surface it is probably time for a water.
Secondly, feeding your herbs, especially when in pots is a good idea. Typically, when in the ground, roots can spread to find nutrients, but in a pot they are more restricted. If using premium or specialty potting mix, this usually contains slow-release fertilizer which will last up to three months. After that it is best with an organic liquid fertilizer (e.g. kelp, fish emulsion) to feed herbs every 3-4 weeks during the growing season or use a slow-release fertilizer 1-3 times a year.
Lastly, picking or pruning herbs is recommended to encourage growth and bushiness within your herb plant. Pinching faded flowers and leggy stems will promote stronger, new growth.
Planting herbs in pots is a great way to have a variety of herbs when you want the flexibility of moving them or do not have the space for an outdoor herb garden. Having herbs in the kitchen, within easy picking range for your favorite dish, adds freshness and flavor. Planting herbs in pots is easy and hopefully this guide will help you succeed in growing healthy, thriving herbs.