Best Herbs for Container Gardening

Time to get your hands dirty and start planting some herbs. Some of you with small outdoor patios, decks or balconies will really love this post. You don’t have to have a big garden to grow herbs. You can grow them in containers, and they will flourish, even if you don’t have a green thumb. Here are some common herbs that you can easily grow in containers, so time to put your gloves on and start planting!



Cilantro needs to be grown in an area with well-drained soil and the herb grows best in sun, although some shade is fine. This herb is a good candidate for a hanging herb garden, although it has a long root system, so use a deep container. Harvest the herb before it gets too tall.



Basil3Alyson W. Kast/Shutterstock

Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow because it goes well with so many other foods in dishes. This herb does best in full sun with moist soil. When growing basil in a container, try a compact variety of basil, which can be found at most garden centers. Harvest the leaves from the top down. You can cut the stalk back to 3about a third of the total height. You don’t need to refrigerate basil, instead, keep it in a little water to maintain flavor.


fresh mint3Rattana/Shutterstock

Mint is a great addition to your patio garden. This herb likes to spread, so growing it in a pot is a good choice for gardeners with limited space. Mint grows in both full sun or partial shade and thrives in most soil types. When you need some, cut the stems 1 inch from the ground. You can also just pick the leaves individually as you need them. Mint can also be used in pest control.



Chives are a great plant for container gardens, especially if they have well-drained soil and a lot of sun. When you’re ready to harvest, use scissors to cut the stalks near the soil. If you live in zones 3-10, you can leave chives outside year-round.



Oregano likes full sun, well-drained soil and is a good candidate for small container gardening since it won’t spread too much. The flavor of oregano intensifies the more sun it gets. Harvest the leaves as you need them. Oregano will thrive late into summer in a pot, and you can freeze the leaves to use during the winter months.


rosemary2Ari N/Shutterstock

Rosemary is a hardy herb that likes sun and heat and is drought-tolerant. When you’re ready to harvest rosemary, cut off the top 3 inches of each sprig. Rosemary can be brought inside for the winter and placed near a sunny window, just be sure to keep the soil moist when indoors for optimal growth.


terragonMARGRIT HIRSCH/Shutterstock

Tarragon can be grown in both partial shade and full sun, so try growing it in a deck planter. This herb grows best with a well-draining potting mix soil and it tolerates drought well, so be sure not to give it too much water. Harvest tarragon regularly and you can cut the leaves off as you need them. Tarragon can be dried and frozen, but the herb tends to lose some of its flavor when dried.


thymeMagdalena Kucova/Shutterstock

Thyme grows best in a planter with full sun in soil that drains well. It also comes in several varieties, including lemon thyme that pairs well with grilled chicken, fish and vegetables.Thyme is best when harvested just before the plant blooms. Cut at the stem, then strip the leaves from the stem and discard the stem.


sageJoerg Beuge/Shutterstock

A popular herb for hearty fall dishes, sage likes full sun and moist soil. Since sage doesn’t spread too much, it’s a good choice for a smaller container or on a tiered plant stand. You can pinch the leaves off individually for harvest or cut at the stem.

Spring is here…time to roll up your sleeves and get dirty!




Parsley Karlevana/Shutterstock

Parsley should be grown in a bigger pot, at least eight inches deep and in sun or partial shade. Don’t over water the plant, and wait until the stems are divided into three sections before harvesting. Younger plants have the most flavor and you’ll need to harvest throughout the season.


                                Patio Plants that You Can Eat



These peppers are just the right size for growing in a pot and perfect if you like adding some heat to your dishes. The key is sunlight: Jalapenos need a lot of it for successful growth, and they don’t tolerate the cold very well.

Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree

These beautiful miniature lemon trees may be one of the most popular patio plants for those who want a little utility. These edible patio plants can be grown in pots and over time will form a fragrant and well-contoured bush shape. The key is always tending to the lemons and removing any fruit before it starts to rot.



Photo: Gekko Gallery/Shutterstock

An herb garden is easy to care for and makes an ideal additional to a patio or deck. We want to call out basil in particular, however, since it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing herbs with its bright, leafy green nature. Basil is also easy to grow and comes in a number of different varieties, if you want to experiment a little.



StrawberriesJurga Jot/shutterstock

If strawberries have a problem (besides hungry pests), it’s that they tend to lie flat on the ground and the fruit can easily be ruined unless it is picked at just the right time. Keeping strawberries near your patio or in a pot can help alleviate this issue, making strawberries another great choice. As soon as they’re ripe, pick ’em and eat ’em!

Small Cucumbers

Small CucumbersAnna Hoychuk/shutterstock

Vine cucumber patio plants are suitable for patio planting because they tend to form smaller cucumbers and may produce several crops a year under the right conditions. Bushy cucumbers are a bit hardier, but they usually grow too quickly and too large to put on your patio or deck – unless you keep them carefully confined to a pot. The same is true of smaller varieties of squash.

Jade Gem Lettuce

Jade Gem Lettuce

If you can keep this leafy lettuce protected from bugs and rodents, then you will be surprised at just how beautiful these edible plants look when fully grown. These patio plants don’t grow much above 8 inches high, either. Just make sure to pick the younger lettuce leaves for peak flavor.

Plantain Lily

Plaintain Lily
The plantain lily (not really a plantain or a lily, but rather a hosta) is frequently thought of as an ornamental, but you can actually eat those beautiful leaves. When picked as young leaves and shoots, they can be cooked like asparagus and have a similar flavor profile. If you don’t want to eat the shoots, they’ll grow into a stunning plant, so it’s a win-win, just make sure they have plenty of shade. USA, LLC


58 thoughts on “Best Herbs for Container Gardening”

  1. Yesterday, I told myself I wanted to plant some herbs! We do a lot of cooking in our house. I have been googling about the best ones to plant and how/when. Thanks to you I have it all it one place! I’ll definitely be planting cilantro, chives, Rosemary, and probably some green onions! Thank you for a great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If possible, citrus really should be grown in the ground. However, with few exceptions, ‘Meyer’ lemon happens to be one of the easier citrus for containers if kept small by regularly pruning.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. great post. I grow basil in a concrete boot planter it is in partial shade and it grows and grows, I harvest it well into October after cutting it down in early September.

    I have mint that a dug up a cutting from my parents garden ( its been there 30 plus years) and in 2 years it has spread wild, but im ok with it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I didnt it was a $2 find by is large too bigger then a real work boot. I was wanting to take a work boot ans make it into a planter with flowers as a memorial for my dad….hubby surprised me with this so i went with basil. Dad did mostly parsley chives and mint but we love basil so i grow that.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. WOW Sheree, that is so awesome! You have all the yummys! The chives are good to keep pests away. Have you ever grown garlic? You just peel off a clove, bury about an inch in the soil, and wait a couple of weeks and it sprouts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so envious of people who have a place to grow their own herbs! I have cats inside, and especially your little friend Pyshka who pilfers herbs and salad greens right out of my hand. Outside is also not an option as South Beach is famous for feral cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Isn’t it wonderful having the fresh herbs right there when you need them. All you need is to grow some garlic and you have all the ingredients for a Italian dinner! Garlic is easy. Have you ever grown it?Garlic! Add garlic to your garden! It’s soooo easy!It helps keep the pest away.
      I just love the fragrance of the rosemary, it just smells so good in the garden. Your so awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I moved, I dug up and filled trash cans with the dirt from the garden. It was so organic and perfect. Took lots of time to get it that way, I wasn’t going to leave that gooooood soil.
      I would love to see your garden when your finished with it. Remember the banana peels and coffee grounds!


      1. Oh my gosh, you have so many wonderful projects going on! How great. You will love that pool. I love the idea of a pool house. We had one in the backyard when I was young too. I thought it was so cool!


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