How to Grow Herbs in Pots Outside

Updated July 20, 2017

Growing herbs in containers is fun and easy for both experienced and novice gardeners. Herbs grown in outdoor pots require essentially the same conditions as those grown in gardens: fertile, well-drained soil; sunshine; and water. Growing herbs in containers allows you to move them to different locations during inclement or hot weather episodes. Herbs in pots are also less apt to suffer from disease or pests that may infest the garden. A variety of different types of herbs can be grown in the same pot: culinary, aromatic, ornamental and medicinal.

Purchase healthy herb seedlings from a nursery or garden centre that you want to grow in pots. Culinary herbs--chives, oregano, lemon thyme, rosemary, marjoram and sage--grow well together.

Select terra cotta pots for culinary herbs. Plastic pots are best for herbs that are moisture-loving. All pots must have adequate drainage holes in the bottom.

Place rocks or broken pottery pieces over drainage holes to prevent soil loss.

Fill containers two-thirds full of organic potting soil.

Arrange the herbs in the pot so the tallest ones are in the centre; place the others around the sides.

Dig appropriate-size holes for each herb seedling. Set seedlings in holes and backfill gently with the soil mix. Add additional soil until it's 2 inches from the rim.

Water herbs after planting and water again when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Fertilise herbs once a month during growing season.


Harvest herbs in the morning. Move perennial herbs indoors in cold-weather climes.


Don't use glazed ceramic pot for growing herbs, as some may have lead in the glaze.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Organic potting soil mix
  • Small spade
  • Herb seedlings
  • Organic mulch
  • Organic fertiliser
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About the Author

Naomi Mathews has been writing since 1998. Her gardening articles appear on Garden Guides, ICanGarden and GardenHomeAccessories. Mathews also contributes to eHow and maintains two blogs. She earned a Certificate of Accomplishment in executive secretarial studies from Yakima Business College..