growing herbs in containers (or pots)

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)April 2, 2009

Eventually I would like to grow herbs in containers or pots; which method I use depends on which is the most practical and most feasible.

I don't plan to grow herbs now as it too late to really grow anything I would like due to where I live. Any information acquired from this thread is for future reference.

These are the herbs I'm interested in growing:












The only questions I really have are these. I know herbs are much smaller than most veggies that are grown, so I'm guessing they need smaller containers/pots to be grown in correct?

What I need to know for the list of herbs listed above, is for each herb what size pot or container do you need to grow them in? Please specify this information via the size of the container (in gallons) and for the pot size required, please specify the rim of the diameter of the pot in inches (12", 8", 10", etc.)

I would information for both because as said before I don't know whether I'll be growing them in containers or pots yet.

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Do some research about the mature size of each of the herbs you are considering growing. You'll be amazed at just how big herbs can get, and how far some of them can travel underground.

Take a look at the lemongrass I had to get rid of because it was taking up too much room in my tiny garden! My rosemary is now much bigger than that, and I have to keep chopping it back. Mint can travel vast distances. It has a very aggressive root system and you'll either need a very large container, or keep repotting it to accommodate those roots.

Sure, most plants will be stunted when grown in containers, but they can still get quite large. Even chives can grow into a large clump quite quickly, and need to be divided from time to time to prevent it from getting root-bound.

As a very rough guide, take a good look at a mature, fully-grown plant, and try to imagine trying to put it into a container upside down - ie the top bits under the soil, and the roots above. If you can't see the above-ground bits fitting into a pot, then find a large pot it COULD fit into! It depends on the plant, of course, but the under-ground bits are frequently about the same size as the above-ground bits - at least in the garden where they can spread as far as they please.

I'd say, one 30cm (12") pot per one parsley plant. That'll give you some idea of how big a parsley plant can get. I consider a 30cm pot to be a very small one.

Read up in this forum by searching for each herb in turn and you'll learn a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:01PM
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I have all of my herbs in containers...they do fine. I have 8-24" pots, with my sage and rosemary in the larger pots and all are outside (Northern TN).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Container /pot planting.

There is, in my opinion, some truth to what DAISYDUCKWORTH has said. Although, as long as I have garden spot(which I do) I will not plant in pots, but I would not use such big pots , for so few plants. Just an exapmple; In a 30cm(12 in) pot I would plant at least 4 parsleys, three of them around, one in the center. First, it will take a while for them to grow. Second, they can overgrow the pots top sdurface, cascade. Third, they will grow more tender parsleys. I can always repot or divide them if needed.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:34AM
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im starting my garden this year and i would have to agree with everyone here. A nice Big Pot to plant some parsley in would be nice and one for rosemary and one for basil. But remember the space requirements for your containers vs. the space in which you have to put them on. i. e. patio ledge, proch ect.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:20AM
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Yea...I agree...Basil will get huge. My basil plant last year was about 3 feet tall and about 1 & 1/2 ft wide. Pictures Of Basil Plant Towards Bottom Of This Page

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:54PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Genovese basil is a bushy low plant about a foot all. Compared to most regular basils that can go up to 4 feet tall

Here is a link that might be useful: Herb fertilizer

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 2:16PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

Wow! I had no idea that lemongrass would get that big!! In my area, it won't make it though the winter; I wonder if it would get anywhere NEAR that big in pots??

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:11PM
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I have grown a lot of herbs in containers since I have moved a lot. I started growing basil in pots when I knew I would be moving in August. This is also good if your light is not can move the pots around with the sun. I put 3 plants in an 18" (about) pot. I think I plant about 10 pots! They do get huge! In mid August I make pesto to freeze for the winter. By the end of September the plants are ready to be cut down for another huge batch of pesto. I have also grown pots with combinations of chives, thyme, oregano and parsley. They look lovely and the thyme drapes over the edges. Sometimes I add a few annual flowers to the mix. And I always plant mint in pots (usually strawberry pots) to keep it from overtaking the beds.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:31PM
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I've grown everything you listed in containers except lemon grass and dill.

I grow mine in the largest pots i can find (24"?) and make mini gardens with 2 or more plants. putting a larger plant in the middle sometimes to one side and smaller plant or more around them.
One pot i've got has sage with thyme hanging down the pot. another has peppermint and chammomile and an onion.(i had an extra onion left from another pot.)

i also have a rosemary i planted in with a daylilly and the rosemary got enormous over the winter. It may be the daylilly that has to go.
I also have a bad habit of sticking a petunia in with them.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 3:06AM
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I grew lemongrass in a 24" pot & it got about 3' tall & overwintered for 2 years indoors until I tried to divide it & killed it (it got too big for the pot). I've grown basil routinely to 2' in 12" pots, but it doesn't get all that bushy & I'd rather put it in the garden. I have chamomile in a 12" pot which I left out all winter by accident--It has reseeded & I will have way too much chamomile for it this year so will have to transplant when it's a little bigger. Chives volunteered in a pot of garden sorrel, (a temporary situation that turned permanent also because I forgot it) so I left them there & they're about to bloom. The sorrel is struggling & needs to go back in the big dirt. I bring the rosemary in during the winter & it gets very woody, but blooms, too! I have had little luck with lavender overwintering in pots & only marginal success with sage.

Last year, my kids and I grew peanuts in a 24" planter-- the plants looked horrible & sickly all summer long but produced a handful of peanuts each...

Basically, I think if you baby them right, you can grow just about anything in a pot. My neighbors go fantastic, wildly overburdened tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets, but I can't do it worth sh*t, so in the ground they go... Wild Mullein only grew to 3-4' in planters one year (it can get 7'+ in the wild)-- which made picking the flowers very easy & gave the deck a kind of exotic look; the reseeds went into the garden, where they promptly died. They come up great in the cracks in the sidewalk, however...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 11:34PM
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