Planting And Growing Herbs In Containers

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This article will teach you how to plant and grow herbs in containers.
by Brett · All Zones · Planting · 0 Comments · August 25, 2010 · 12,529 views

Herbs in PotsMany herbs can be grown successfully in containers on a patio, balcony or terrace. There are many reasons why you may want to grow herbs in containers rather than in the garden. First, many of them are small and tend to get lost in a landscape; growing them in containers brings them closer to the viewer. This is especially true of ornamental herbs that have unique qualities that should be viewed upclose. Container growing is especially recommended for herbs that need good drainage and tend to rot in overly wet garden soils, or for tender herbs that need to be overwintered indoors. Containers are easily transported and can be arranged in attractive groupings with containers of flowering plants.

Choosing A Container For Growing Herbs

Any container is suitable for growing herbs as long as it has a drainage hole.

Clay pots are often preferred because they are more porous than plastic. Other containers that work well include window boxes, strawberry jars, and hanging baskets.

Soil For Herbs In Containers

The soil you use should be loose and well-drained. A recommeded mix for container grown plants can be made by mixing equal parts of potting soil, peat moss, and perlite (or vermiculite), or just use a premium potting mix. Mixes containing fertilizer are not recommended.

Choosing Herb Plants For Containers

Small and slow-growing herbs look best in containers. Some examples are variegated sage, purple sage, golden sage, parsley, Greek oregano, rosemary, prostrate rosemary, marjoram, bush basil, thyme, chives, and summer savory. Window boxes, strawberry jars, and large pots can accomodate a combination of several herbs and flowers.

Care Of Herbs In Containers

Watering Herbs in Containers: Though herbs are very easy to grow, perhaps the the most difficult part of growing them in containers is watering. Plants growing in containers dry out faster than in the ground. On a hot, sunny day, a container may require water once or twice daily. Of course, the water requirements vary from plant to plant. When the top of the soil feels dry, apply enough water to allow a small amount to come out the drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

Fertilizing Herbs in Containers: Since most herbs do not require high fertility, you should not need to fertilize them as much as you would other container-grown plants such as flowers or houseplants. Small dosages of a slow release organic fertilizer such as fish emulsion should work fine. During the growing season, pinch the plants back to keep them bushy and compact and remove any dead or diseased leaves to keep them healthy.

Pruning Herbs: Pruning should be done during spring and summer; avoid excessively cutting the plants back in the fall. The growth serves to catch leaves that help insulate the plants.


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