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Container Gardening: The Best Way to Plant Mint and Other Herbs

Herb gardens are a cook’s best friend! You don’t need a lot of land to grow wonderful, delicious, fresh herbs, either. We recently talked about “How to Grow Herbs in Containers.” Now we’re going to teach you which herbs are the best for container gardens. Even though herbs will grow well indoors, the best results come from outdoor container gardens.

Here are some of the best herbs for container gardens:

Mint needs to be a container-grown plant as it’s incredibly invasive if grown in-ground. Depending on the type, it prefers full sun or partial shade and likes richer soil. Mint is great in smoothies!

Lavender is another perennial. It prefers full sun and grows best in potting mix with good drainage. Don’t fertilize this lovely shrub and keep it a little dry.

Lemon balm, like mint, is an invasive plant perfect for container gardening. Give it either full sun or partial shade and rich, moist potting mix with good drainage.

Rosemary likes dry, sunny, hot locations, being that it’s a Mediterranean plant. It needs quick-draining soil to be successful and is drought-tolerant. If you grow it indoors, keep it moist, but not wet.

Thyme likes soil with good drainage and does best in full sun. There are many varieties from which to choose and they all prefer these conditions. Don’t over water thyme, it won’t thrive. Thyme is commonly used when making soups.

Basil is an annual herb. It prefers full sun and rich, moist dirt, though it can survive short droughts after its root system is strong. This is typically six weeks after planting. If you’re using a larger (five-gallon) container, basil grows well with parsley, thyme and some other herbs. If you’re using smaller containers, it’s best to grow smaller types of basil like “Spicy Bush.” Basil is a staple in the kitchen and great for sauces to dressing up dishes. Put some in your salad if you love the taste!

Sage reminds everyone of Thanksgiving, as it’s a great poultry seasoning. It prefers moist potting mix with good drainage and full sun. Sage is also perfect for use in making soup.

Oregano is popular in most Mediterranean dishes and is a perennial that favors full sun and potting mix with good drainage. It becomes more flavorful the more sun it gets, but doesn’t do well in wet soil.

Chives are basically small, grassy, hollow-leaved perennial onions. Use the leaves, not the bulbs. You can also use the pink-purple fragrant spring flowers. Chives like rich potting soil with good drainage and, though they can handle light shade, they prefer full sun. Chives make an excellent garnish.

Tarragon is a French herb often used in seasoning fish, but is also delicious with eggs. It likes full sun and potting mix with good drainage. It is a drought-tolerant plant and doesn’t fare well when over-watered. Like chives, tarragon can handle some shade, but prefers full sun.

Cilantro, aka coriander, provides both tangy leaves and dried, ground seeds. It’s an annual plant that prefers soil with good drainage. It has a long taproot, so it needs a container that is about 12″ deep and also prefers full sun, though it’s somewhat shade tolerant. Having cilantro readily available is perfect for making your favorite Mexican dishes. If you love cilantro, you’ll probably be putting this in everything from sandwiches to salads and soups.

Marjoram is related to oregano, but is sweeter with a milder fragrance and flavor. It prefers full sun and potting mix that is well-drained. This perennial does well indoors during the winter.

Lemon verbena prefers full sun and no fertilizer. In fact, it grows best with minimal nutrients. It’s a tropical plant typically grown as an annual.

So, find some attractive containers, choose your favorite herbs and get started planning a great container herb garden.


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