Jump to Navigation

We've moved! The new address is http://www.henriettes-herb.com - update your links and bookmarks!

Herbs in pots.

Date: Thu, 9 May 1996 11:46:17 EST
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Esther Czekalski <E.Czekalski.M.BULL.COM>
Subject: Re: Herbs to plant in pots...

> I would love to have some potted herbs around my kitchen. Can anyone suggest which herbs grow well in pots and give me suggestions on how to grow them? Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

The majority of culinary herbs can be grown in pots, although many will go weak and spindly in kitchens for any extended period, not enough light. A sunny spot outside the kitchen door is great!

A few that I am growing in pots: bay, rosemary, lemon verbena, several kinds of scented geraniums. I grew basil last year and it does fine, but I get more and faster growth in the garden. Basil likes a lot of water but it likes it evenly, that's more difficult in a pot. But if I didn't have the garden I would definately grow it in a pot.

Start with a good soil-less potting mix. In my experience water issues are more difficult than feeding in potted herbs and the soil-less mixes are better at draining properly. Don't over water or fertilize often. In the list above, the basil would be wilting from lack of water long before the others needed a drink.


From: Colette Dunkley <gb81.DIAL.PIPEX.COM>

> I would love to have some potted herbs around my kitchen. Can anyone

Lemon basil, sweet basil, dill, sweet marjoram, coriander. all do well indoors over here.


From: Esther Czekalski <E.Czekalski.M.BULL.COM>

>> Start with a good soil-less potting mix. In my experience water
> Do you fertilize the herbs? If so, what do you use and how much.

Someone else might have a better suggestion; I tend to be lazy. When potting them I put a little slow release vegetable fertilizer, something like 4,5,4 (just because I keep that on hand). I use less than half of what I would use on vegetables. Maybe a teaspoon in a big pot. That's probably enough, maybe more than they need, to get most herbs through the summer. In subsequent years they get some Miracle Grow or nothing. (I'll have a little solution in the bottom of my watering can and remember that I haven't given them anything for a month or so, fill the can again and water them.)

Basil would get fed more often at my house but still conservatively.

I would stop any feeding in August. I haven't overwintered a lot of things yet but my scented geraniums did so well this year that I'm kicking myself for not trying before. They looked really awful, leggy and weak, in January. I took cuttings in February which are nice startups and the plants have started to look better, too. I will just trim them way back when I put them out and fertilize them once.

But the point about fertilizing is that you don't want to do that to a plant that you are just holding over to put out another summer. If possible you want to encourage dormancy by keeping it in cool temps and watering even less.


Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 11:55:06 +0000
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: sheila <sheila.FREENET.VICTORIA.BC.CA>
Subject: Another Newbie

I'm sure all you experts out there will be saying, "Oh not another one" but I'm afraid it is true. I am new to this list and have never grown herbs either in a garden or in pots. So I need all the help I can get. My great daughter-in-law has given me some thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, chives and chocolate mint to get started but I have so many questions.

  1. These plants are in small pots at the moment. Can any or all be put in a window box or do they need the space of a garden?
  2. Do any of them not get along with any other?
  3. What would you substitute chocolate mint for? In my relatively large recipe database, can't find it mentioned anywhere. Does chocolate refer to the colour or the taste? The aroma is not plentiful at the moment, so I can't really tell.
  4. If planted in a window box, what would you use to fertilise?

I would prefer to have these in a pot in the kitchen area but have a gorgeous cat who gets high on carrot tops, so what these would do to him, who knows? But a window box outside would be my next preference and if all else fails perhaps an area outside, albeit a very small one.


From: Mindy Vinqvist <mvinqvist.MTA.CA>

Hi Sheila,

>1. These plants are in small pots at the moment. Can any or all be put in a window box or do they need the space of a garden?

Keep the mint separate from everything else, ie in a container, otherwise it will take over the whole garden eventually

>2. Do any of them not get along with any other?

Well, they sound like a happy group to me.

>3. What would you substitute chocolate mint for?

Anywhere you'd use mint you can use chocolate mint

>Does chocolate refer to the colour or the taste?

to some people there is a chocolate tase and smell sort of behind the mint one - it is not strong so don't worry if you haven't noticed it yet, and some people don't really notice it at all. Despite that, it is a darn fun name for a plant, don't you think? (I envision PEP bars growing off a small bush everytime I think of it)

>4. If planted in a window box, what would you use to fertilise?

Anything not toxic, since you do want to eat these babies. Lots of sun is even more important. Only fertilize them once if at all as lots of folks say that herbs rather enjoy roughing it.

>I would prefer to have these in a pot in the kitchen area but have a gorgeous cat who gets high on carrot tops, so what these would do to him, who knows?

I hear ya, my cat has a fetish for green things too.

Have loads of fun. I am relatively new at this too but loving it.


From: Esther Czekalski <E.Czekalski.M.BULL.COM>

> I would prefer to have these in a pot in the kitchen area but have a gorgeous cat who gets high on carrot tops, so what these would do to him, who knows?

I see you've gotten some good answers. I just wanted to comment on the cat thing. You just never know what they will eat. Two of mine ignore all green things. Georgia took a liking to impatients and eggplants of all things, which worried me because I KNOW people aren't supposed to eat the leaves of eggplants. Even worse is the green goo she would upchuck on the grey carpet. Maybe she needed a purgative but eggplant?


From: Pat Peck <arpeck.FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU>

Hi Sheila,

Your plants should do fine in pots. I started that way and had 5 8 foot tables on decks around my house. It's a way to start and find out what herbs you like best. I also still have hanging basket with chives, oregano and parsley and strawberry jars with dill, majoram, sage, and thyme. I keep these on the deck so they're handy to the kitchen when I just need a small amount for a recipe. They do need supplemental food though as they can't get it nutrients from the soil. I'll have to look up what I use. Maybe someone else knows of a good one and don't over water. My daughter in Charlotte grows seven of her favorite culinary herbs in a plastic oak barrell. She uses a lot of the same recipes, but she modifies them accordingly to fit the amount of herbs she has.

There are drawbacks though. Last year I was surprised to find a Carolina Wren had decided to make a nest in my hanging herb basket. It was facinating watching the process, but I had to carefully transplant the nest. Don't know how the strong smell of chives and oregano didn't chase it away. Also as a result of my experimenting with potted herbs I am now the proud owner of over 100 terracotta pots. Haven't the foggiest idea what to do with them all. Maybe someone has suggestions. One idea I had was to pulverize them and stage another train station scene like the one in "Gone With the Wind". It my understanding that they filmed that on a back lot in California but not having enough Georgia red clay. They used thousands of pulverized pots. Oh well it's a thought.

Y'all have fun.



Main menu 2