15 Best Herbs To Grow For Beginners (Easy Growers Guide)
If you are a beginner gardener and want to learn how to grow herbs indoors then you have come to the right place. Herbs can be used to improve your garden, patio, or simply to make the house smell good. They will attract many types of wildlife too, so it would be a good idea to have a small collection of herbs at your home.
Herbs can be grouped into the following broad categories: ornamental, medicinal, fragrant, aromatic and culinary herbs. Some herbs can be grown from seed as well, but most must be started from cuttings. When you think of planting herbs outdoors then likely the first herb that comes to mind will be chives, basil, parsley and dill.
Although they are all a part of the edible herb’s family, they are also able to be grown in any outdoor environment. However, chives and basil require much more regular watering and pruning than other plants, so you may wish to consider planting chives in a raised bed.
Perennials such as marjoram and basil also do not need much pruning during their initial growth years, and so it’s wise to plant them as annuals. You should however give them every other year of extra attention to make sure they get the extra water and fertilizer they need to grow strong and healthy.
One thing to remember is that annual herbs usually do not have a large root system so it is very difficult to transplant them when they have reached the size of a small tree. If you wish to move herbs around, be careful to plant them on their sides rather than their full-grown roots as the roots will eventually take over the whole area.
Table of Contents
The Best Herbs to Grow for Beginners
Chives (Allium cepa) is a delicate perennial flowering plant of the leek family. Chives have a white flesh and purple flowers that are full of vitamins, protein, and iron.
Chives is most commonly eaten as a fresh vegetable cooked with milk or added to soups and stews. Chives are often used as a garnish on baked potatoes, vegetables, meats, and cheeses.
How to Grow:
Planting chives is easier than you think. They are low maintenance, easy to grow, and they are so versatile that they can be planted almost anywhere. The most difficult to plant of all chives, though, are those that are not yet available from seed.
When you do finally get to start planting chives, follow these planting tips for success. The most important thing to remember when planting chives is that they need to have good quality potting soil. If the soil is soggy or has no drainage at all then the plant may not take off.
The best way to ensure that your chives will have optimal root growth is to divide them once they are about three to four inches tall into two pots. The next step in chives planting is to remove any old bulbs or seeds that are in your garden. Keep them away from your plants, as they will attract bees and other insects that will ruin your chives.
Once you’ve removed them, you can move them to their final location, which should be in a warm, dark place. The following day, dig out the old holes or clumps of bulbs and replace them into their permanent location.
Borage is a trailing shrub found in fields and forests. The plant is a member of the starflower family, and has a medium foliage; dark green leave and, a spiny surface.
The flowers, called petals, are large, dark green, almost white, and usually start out as a circle before opening up to show several tiny red blossoms.
How to Grow:
When planting borage, you need to be sure that it is planted in full sun, as this is its natural habitat. It prefers a warm climate, but you shouldn’t have a problem growing it in many areas that receive partial shade.
Since it doesn’t do well in drought, you might consider buying borage seeds ahead of time so you can save the seeds when you plant. Just remember that planting it when it is in season will make it much easier to grow, making your herb more popular with gardeners.
The first step of planting your own borage is to buy or make a batch of compost, which you can do with borage seeds indoors. You can either make the compost yourself, or buy it at a garden center.
Once you have compost ready, it is ready for planting anywhere you want. However, be aware that while you can plant it in the garden itself, it will not do well there if the soil is too acidic or salty. Borage compost should be a pH of 4.5 or so.
Catnip, also known as catnip plants, is aromatic species of the family Lamiaceae, indigenous to the Old World, specifically to the Mediterranean region, northern and eastern Europe, central Asia, and some parts of China.
In its native regions, it is common and readily available as a recreational plant. It is now becoming popular as a popular crop for indoor gardening because of its pleasant fragrance and its ease of growth.
How to Grow:
Planting catnip instead of flowerless catnip can be quite beneficial to your indoor plantings. The reason for this is simple: when you use a flowerless catnip instead of a flowery variety, you will have much better results with your indoor plantings.
Flowery varieties will provide blooms and fragrance, but they also require a lot of care. Catnip do not need as much maintenance, nor do they burn up as easily. It’s all about allowing the catnip to take root. A flowerless variety only needs to be watered a few times each month.
Catnip needs fertile, well-drained soil to grow, so you will need to make sure that the area you are planting it in has good drainage. If you are growing it in a container, you may need to add a little sand to the bottom to level it out.
Place a drop or two of liquid fertilizer at the base of each growing plant. Water your plants moderately during the first week and completely water them afterward, while the soil is still damp.
Keep your growing catnip in a location where it will not get direct sun, as this will dry it out, however you should not go too far without taking some water.
Basil, also known as sweet basil, is an aromatic culinary herb of the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is cultivated worldwide for its edible foliage and roots, which are primarily used as a seasoning in Italian cooking and as a spice in other cuisines.
Although Basil is one of the least-used of the essential oils, it has proven to be highly beneficial and healing for the body.
How to Grow:
Well, you should start off by selecting a spot that gets morning sun light, preferably direct sunlight. After that dig a hole about a foot larger in diameter and add half of your soil mixture into the hole.
Water well and let the soil settle. When the soil settles, fill in all the extra dirt. How to maintain: Add fertilizer, add extra water in the hot, dry summer months, mulch the roots, apply organic matter on the soil and consider regularly pruning the flower stems.
How to grow sweet basil is also important because it requires minimal attention. Sweet basil tends to have tiny blooms so you don’t need to water too often, and they do not require annual trimming. You may want to consider pruning your plant once a year because its leaves will become very lanky and bushy.
To prune healthy, vigorous leaves remove all the petals at the base but keep the uppermost leaf intact and allow the remainder of the plant to hang over the base. If you are considering planting in a window garden or container garden, the best time to plant them is spring through fall.
Mint herb is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is an aromatic perennial herb that grows up to three feet tall and has gray-green leaves. The leaves are pungently aromatic and are used both for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is used in cooking, for garnishing food, for tea, and as a flavoring agent in foods and drinks. The plant is cultivated all over the world.
Mint is one of the most common and easiest to grow herbs. It can be grown in any climate with little maintenance except a light frost during winter. It is an excellent ornamental herb.
How to Grow:
Plant mint in rich, fertile soil. Plant mint along the perimeter of your home or in containers on your deck, patio or balcony. Space mint plants at 18 inches apart. Mint needs well draining soil. If the soil is clay-based, add plenty of coarse sand or bone meal to the bottom half of the pot to make it more drainage-friendly.
If you’re growing mint in a container, add two inches of gravel to the bottom and fill with well-rotted garden compost to provide additional nutrients. If you’re planting more than one plant, place them together in large pots, making sure they are well watered.
Harvest and prune mint as needed throughout the season. Keep mint tucked away in a cool, shady spot during the hottest part of the day. Water the plants well after they have been planted and after every watering but avoid putting water directly on the leaves as this can cause leaf discoloration.
Mint will keep growing for the first year, but if you want to be able to harvest fresh mint leaves easily, it’s best to pick the plants frequently, rather than leaving them in the soil for an extended period of time.
Dill, a small annual herb, is a member of the celery family, Apiaceae. It’s naturally grown worldwide, particularly in Europe, but is now losing ground to the more familiar cress and chives. It’s grown most commonly in Eurasia, where it is used as a spice or herb for flavoring food.
Dried up dill herb is a low-growing herb. It grows up to four feet tall and up to two feet across. The Dill herb starts out life as a flowerpot full of long tubers, which grow into beautiful greenish-yellow plants. As the plant matures, these roots become the ground cover on which the seeds thrive.
How to Grow:
To germinate dill seed, you will need to mix coarse salt in one pint of warm water. When the solution is mixed and placed inside a wooden container, place about three-quarters of a cup of fertilizer and cover the container with a plastic lid. Within a few days, you should be able to see new shoots growing from the inside of the container. Remove the sprigs and re-pot the seeds.
The next step is to choose a spot on your garden where you will be planting your dill crop. Proper spacing between your dill plants is very important for success. For example, if you have six plants to be planted, make sure you plant them six feet apart. If you have three plants to be planted, then make sure you plant them three feet apart.
Once the dill plant starts to bloom, they stop growing buds, so be sure to only harvest any leaves on that plant. Fertilize your garden with compost and water frequently during the growing season, especially during the growing season, because dill leaves will turn brown quickly if left for too long.
Cilantro (Cilantro officinalis) is a Latin name meaning “herb of brassica.” It’s a small evergreen perennial herb native to Mexico and Central America. It’s now popular worldwide for its tasty green foliage and aroma. Cilantro is actually an annual plant in the mint family, Apiaceae. It’s also called Chinese parsley, mania, or chives.
All parts of the cilantro plant are edible, although the green, leafy tops are where most people prefer to enjoy it. In addition to the cilantro bulb and the green foliage, the plant also contains many smaller flower stalks called coriander leaves. Coriander has a strong, pungent flavor that is used as a spice in Chinese, Italian, and Indian cooking.
How to Grow:
Growing cilantro indoors has several advantages. It is extremely easy to do and you can usually place it right into your kitchen garden to enjoy in the late spring. This way you get fresh cilantro right on the spot.
One of the most important things to remember about growing cilantro, whether it is indoors, or outdoors, is that the soil must be extremely moist. The soil should be dry before you even plant cilantro so you don’t run the risk of the roots pulling moisture from the soil, which can cause rot and disease.
If you are planning to transplant your cilantro outdoors, make sure you know the area where it will be planted so it can have adequate drainage. When the weather is warm and muggy move your cilantro indoors until the weather becomes temperate and then transplant into the new area.
The best time to trim your flower buds is after they bloom, but you should never prune them before they have flowered. When cutting away any excess stems on top remove about 2 inches of stems along with them.
Sage, a woodland vine plant, is widely known by two names, shrub sage, and celandine sage. It’s commonly known as salvia officinalis, a Mediterranean subshrub, with grayish to purplish leaves, woody gray stems, and pale blue to purple flowers.
It’s a member of the mint genus Lamiaceae and indigenous to the Mediterranean area, although it’s naturalized in a number of locations throughout the rest of the world. It’s a beautiful deciduous plant, climbing up and down hillsides and fences. When deciduous it retains most of its leaves during autumn, which is why it’s best planted as a garden plant, bearing pink or red blooms.
How to Grow:
Planting sage is very simple. The best place for planting your sage is in full sunlight. Your sage plant needs to be placed in a deep, well draining soil, since sage does not like its root system to stay wet. Sage usually comes from extremely dry, warm climate and can thrive in conditions such as these.
In late spring you will notice that there are sage leaves starting to turn an attractive shade of green. In the fall you will see sage turning a dark green color, and in the early winter you will find that sage has changed to a fine dusting of powder.
It’s important to have your sage planted in well-draining soil, and you will see them growing quite quickly, but this herb does not do well in dry soil.
Parsley is perhaps one of the most versatile herbs in the world. There are literally hundreds of uses for the herb, both for cooking and for medicinal purposes. For example, it is often added to stir fries (as in Thai and Chinese cooking), sauces, and salads. It can be eaten raw in salad, or added to a vinaigrette or other dish to enhance the flavor.
Not only is parsley a healthy herb, but it also plays a key role in our health. Parsley has strong antioxidant and antibiotic properties and helps prevent the free radical formation and cell mutation that may lead to cancer. As a side note, parsley is also a rich source of folate, an important vitamin that helps regulate our blood pressure.
How to Grow:
How to grow parsley is similar to learning how to plant most other herbs. It starts with planting the seeds in good soil, such as compost. Cover the area completely with organic mulch, like straw, until the seeds are germinating and the plant roots have time to form a strong root system that will hold the plant in the ground.
If you are not concerned about the flavor of your parsley, leave it alone and let nature take its course. When the plants start producing leaves and growing toward the sunlight, pull the plants from the area.
Then just cover the plants with mulch and keep them mulched during the cold winter months, when the weather will be colder and the leaves will drop off. In the spring, pull the plants from the ground and repot them with fresh, new soil and cover them with organic mulch, once again to give them room to grow.
Salvia rosmarinus, also known as Rosemary, an aromatic evergreen shrub with rigid, needle-like green leaves and pale pink, purple, blue or white flowers, indigenous to the Mediterranean area. It was first recognized by the medical name Rosmarinus Officinalis, later a synonym for Salvia species.
The name Salvia comes from the Latin “salvae” meaning salt or saltwater. A well-known representation of Salvia russellii is a dried flower in the shape of a rose, which is used in perfumes and as a spice.
How to Grow:
Planting Rosemary is easy. It can be grown in many areas and all sorts of soil, including gravel, sand, and mulch. Rosemary tends to prefer fertile, well drained soil with a low percentage of nitrogen.
Rosemary would probably do best in your home and there are also commercial Rosemary shrubs available from many garden centers. In addition to planting Rosemary plants, you can also propagate by division, also known as pruning.
Divisions should be done just before the plants start growing tall. Make sure you divide the divisions prior to the first frost. Pruning will also aid when attempting to keep dead branches from building up around the base of the tree.
Planting Rosemary in containers is an excellent option for those who have trouble maintaining a thick, well-draining soil, but would still like to have a lush, green shrub in their yard.
Oregano has been used for many medicinal properties since ancient times. One of its most well-known uses is as an antibiotic, particularly to treat infections of the skin, throat, and stomach. It is highly recommended for use in food preparation and in salads and soups because it fights both bacteria and viruses.
However, it is also effective for use as a pain reliever, especially for muscle and joint pain, arthritis, menstrual pains, and toothaches. Oregano contains a powerful compound called thymol which has antiseptic and antifungal properties.
How to Grow:
Planting oregano in pots is very easy to do because it has a thick sturdy branch that makes it easy to support the plant when in full sun. If you live in an area where it snows or you live in a dry climate, be aware that this plant won’t grow well outdoors due to the cold temperatures and lack of moisture.
If you’re planting the herb in a sunny area, it will need about six hours of sun. As far as keeping the plants from becoming weed-ridden, be sure to mulch them. Also be sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Fertilizer should be added once a month to keep the soil moist and growing well indoors.
Where can you plant oregano? You can plant it in the ground if you live in an area that has perennial gardens or a garden that doesn’t need annual maintenance. If you do plant it in the ground, however, be sure to mulch it and add a light layer of organic mulch over the soil so that the plant doesn’t get buried under the mulch.
The herb thrives best when it gets the regular watering it needs and when the soil is kept moist. If you’re planting seeds, they should be planted at least two weeks before the actual season in order to germinate.
This herb has also been used for centuries in the Americas, where it was used to sweeten products such as Mexican salsa and pinto. Many people today use Stevia to sweeten certain fruit desserts such as pears and bananas, although Stevia is now gaining in popularity for being used to sweeten foods in the United States.
There have not been any side effects reported by using Stevia to sweeten your food, although you should be sure to use Stevia in moderation. Stevia is an excellent natural sweetener, but because of its relatively low calorie and low fat content, you should be sure to avoid excess consumption if you want to lose weight.
Many people choose to add Stevia to their diet to sweeten recipes without affecting their blood sugar, but Stevia does not go down very well with some people who have a sweet tooth.
How to Grow:
Once you have decided to use stevia as a sweetener in your daily diet, the next thing you need to do is to plant stevia. Planting Stevia outdoors should be done in late spring or early summer. You can also plant it in the late summer, if you are growing it indoors under grow lights.
In order to ensure the best growing conditions for your plants, you need to provide them with an adequate amount of sunlight. Also, you need to water the plants thoroughly especially during the periods of summer.
When it comes to planting stevia, you should only use healthy plants. This means that you should choose plants that don’t have shallow roots or are grown under poor soil conditions. If you are growing them indoors, it’s advisable that you use plants that have a higher tolerance to cold weather.
It is also good to try and trim the growing plants regularly, especially when they start growing big. Finally, remember that you should keep in mind that you should never keep stevia outside in a frost-free zone or in a cold frame, because it will not thrive there.
Winter Savory is a deciduous perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to warmer subtropical areas of central and southern Europe, southern Asia, Africa, and North America.
It has pale green leaves and flowering flowers ranging from pale pink, lavender to pale white, with a pair of flowers appearing in April and May. When you use dried leaves of winter savory as a seasoning for stews, soups, salads, and other dishes.
How to Grow:
Planting Winter Savory should be done in the early spring when the ground is warm and the soil structure is well-drained. The planting location should be about two to four feet away from the growth habit of the plant as it grows.
This is to ensure that the best growing conditions are developed. If you are planting it in a well-drained soil, the winter savory seeds should be planted about four to six inches deep. The spacing should be such that the plant has room to grow.
When planting the seeds, place them carefully, so they are covered with soil as much as possible. The seed will germinate in a few weeks but the timing will vary depending on the weather conditions.
It is better to avoid planting until the last frost or after the planting season. Avoid planting next year’s seeds as well. You will end up wasting the seeds and you don’t want to do that with a perennial herb like winter herb.
Thyme essential oil is made from the leaves and stems of a perennial herb, Thyme Officinalis, which is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and some parts of North America. Thyme is native to the mountainous regions where the climate is cool and varied and it is a climbing plant that prefers deciduous trees and shrubs.
In the United States, Thyme flourishes in fields planted with oats or alfalfa and in Europe it is grown in fields for their fruit. The Thyme flower has a long-lasting yellow flower that is closely followed by a long-lasting green herb. Thyme is an annual herb that must be seeded each year in warm conditions and then planted out in the spring.
How to Grow:
Planting Thyme in a pot is a good idea for a number of reasons, the most important of which is that Thyme can withstand a lot of the same conditions that other plants may struggle with. This is because of its naturalistic flavor and scent and is able to tolerate moisture from the soil, fungus, and light frost. It will not grow quite as fast as some other herbs, but it does well if you don’t over-water it.
Planting Thyme in a container is a good idea is that it is a herb that tends to thrive and spread in sunny and dry climates. In the autumn, Thyme would be perfect for cutting back, and if you are looking to fill in bare patches in the garden, then it would be the herb for the job!
A key tip about planting Thyme in a container is that you should ensure that you plant it up high, so that it has plenty of good sunlight to work with. It should not be planted too close to any fences or walls, as this herb likes to get a lot of sun, but it does do well if it is planted in a fair distance from these objects.
When you plant herbs in soil, it is very easy for them to spread and get all over the area, but Thyme needs to be contained, so that it doesn’t end up spreading all over the yard and destroying your garden.
Tarragon, is native to the temperate to tropical climates of the north and eastern parts of North America and Eurasia. It’s widely cultivated for medicinal and culinary purposes and is widespread throughout much of Northern Europe, Asia and northern India. It’s often used as a flavoring for sauces, as a food seasoning, or as an ingredient in gourmet cooking.
How to Grow:
Planting Tarragon is an excellent way to deter garden pests from taking over your garden, and even eliminate the need for insecticides. Tarragon is a perennial herb that will grow quickly and be useful for the perennial herb garden.
Planting Tarragon needs to be done after the last frost, or else it will not produce the maximum quality of the herb. You should always plant Tarragon after the last frost, as leaves will not produce their highest aroma if they are exposed to cold weather beforehand.
After planting, keep the leaves dry and clean, and do not harvest until all the foliage has fallen off. If you want to get rid of any excess foliage, you can cut off the very top of the leaves and use scissors to remove the leaf clusters. Keep in mind that this herb requires dry soil, so sandy soils may be suitable for some varieties.
Mulch should be used to prevent weeds from taking root in your garden, and it will also help to protect the tender roots from being damaged by weeds and dry weather. Mulch can also add a layer of natural fertilizer to the soil, especially during dry periods.