Plants for Container Gardens – Herbs


Sage
Sage, a perennial plant, loves lots of sun in soil that drains well.

Rosemary
Rosemary craves attention, the sun and lime-rich soil.

Chives
Moist, rich soil and plenty of sun and trimmings or “haircuts” will result in healthy chives. Common chives are mostly evergreen in mild climates, but become dormant in harsh winter regions.

Dill
Dill or dillweed, a popular annual, loves fertile garden soil and lots of sun. Dill is night-length sensitive, so your dill and its flowers will grow steadily if you plant seeds in the early spring.

Basil
Many types of this thirsty, tender, tropical annual exist, but most varieties of basil grow quickly and easily in warm soil that should be fertilized lightly two or three times a season.

Saw Palmetto
Saw Palmetto appreciates well-drained but moist soil and lots of sun. This tropical palm attracts bees which make honey from its flowers.

Thyme
Common thyme, which adds great flavor to meat dishes and soups, doesn’t mind being neglected a little bit, since it thrives in light, warm and fairly dry soil.

Cilantro (Coriander)
Cilantro, a self-sowing annual, is wind-shy, but thrives in just about any type of garden soil.

Chamomile (Camomile)
Chamomile enhances the growth of any nearby plants. This herb also loves full or partial shade or sun and moist, well drained earth.

Garlic
You can buy and plant garlic cloves from your local supermarket if you don’t want to acquire cloves from someone else’s nursery. Garlic likes fertile soil and full sun, though it can survive in some shade.

Mint
Mint prefers moist soil and shade and a little sun.

Oregano
Oregano, which enhances the flavor of your beans in your garden, also repels insects that bother your broccoli.

Lemon Balm
The herb lemon balm likes just about anything: full sun or lots of shade and this plant can be grown from seeds, cuttings or divisions.

Calendula
Calendula craves rich well drained soil and partial shade, since it prefers cool temperatures. This annual steadily grows to about to about two feet.

Lavender
Several varieties of this semi-hardy perennial exist, but all dislike frost. Lavender, which makes a nice edging or hedge, prefers plenty of sun and loose, fast-draining soil.

Catnip
Catnip prefers sun or partial shade, but if you grow your catnip in full sun, the plants will be sturdier and shorter.

Anise
Anise needs consistent watering, though you mustn’t overwater it. Plant in full sun and make sure the soil drains well.

Nasturtium
The annual herb Nasturtium prefers sun and regular waterings, but does not need a highly fertile soil.

French Tarragon
This shrubby perennial enhances the growth of surrounding vegetables and prefers sandy loam and full or partial shade.

Fennel (Sweet Florence)
Sweet Florence fennel, which resembles dill, does not grow as tall as common fennel, but this variety likes plenty of sunlight and well-drained, fertilized soil.

Summer Savory
Summer savory craves rich, loamy soil and lots of sun.

Sweet Marjoram
Sweet Marjoram can be propagated easily from seed or cuttings indoors or outdoors.

Scented Geraniums
Over 200 varieties of geraniums exist. Most scented varieties prefer well drained soil and at least 6-7 hours of sun a day, but cannot withstand excessive heat.

Parsnip
Parsnip prefers fertile soil that does not bake, though this plant sometimes is difficult to grow.

Sesame
Sesame craves well-drained and fertile soil, but don’t add too much nitrogen.

Ginger
The tropical plant ginger is highly adaptable.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rose Mary Blaase March 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

Just getting to container garden for the first time. Really excited but confused about the potting soil.

Reply

lars March 22, 2010 at 10:24 am

@Rose Mary Blaase,

Here’s an article from an old issue of Flower & Garden magazine.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1082/is_3_43/ai_54851905/

And here’s a good one from the University of Illinois extension.
http://www.extension.org/article/20982

Reply

Jennifer April 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Hi,

I plant in plastic containers because that is what I am able to afford, however, the last two years of the four that I have been planting herbs and tomatoes I have gotten root rot. I do not want this to happen again this year, so I have limited my items that I have decided to plant. Please give me some instruction on how to avoid the root rot with the plastic planters or let me know what I can do to try to prevent it. I live in Northern NJ and I am in area #6. Just to let you know I have not planted anything yet, I am starting my seeds this week. Thank you so much for your help.

Reply

lars April 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

@Jennifer,

Are you using the same containers that caused the root rot in the past? Because if so, that is probably what is causing your problem.

If the containers are not expensive, you should just throw them out. If they are too expensive to throw out, then you need to empty them out, get rid of all of the soil that was in them, and sanitize them with bleach before you use them again.

Here is a good page about root rot:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/pdc/Factsheets/Diseases/RootRotHouseplants.htm

To avoid root rot with new soil and new pots, you’ll want to make sure the soil drains well. And do not over water. Do not let pots/containers sit in water-filled saucers.

FYI, have you seen these fabric grow bags? They are inexpensive, and I like them. They are quite popular at Clean Air Gardening, where I work.

http://www.cleanairgardening.com/tomato-smart-pot-planter.html

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