GardenSMART :: Best Herbs to Grow Together in a Pot
Best Herbs to Grow Together in a Pot
By Amy Grant, Gardening Know How
Photographs courtesy of Gardening Know How
Having your own herb garden is a thing of beauty. There's nothing better than fresh herbs to enliven even the blandest dish, but not everyone has garden space for an herb garden. Luckily, most herbs do very well grown together in containers. Mixing herbs in a pot isn't as easy as it sounds, however. There are some general rules of thumb when growing herb plants together. Read on to find out what herbs will grow in one pot and other helpful information about growing herb plants together.
Herbs to Grow Together in a Pot
Consider height when selecting herbs to grow together in a pot. Tall herbs, like fennel, will look rather ridiculous for the scale of a smaller pot, and they may even become too top heavy, causing the container to fall over. If possible, mix in some trailing herbs to cascade over the container edges.
Be sure to choose plants with common irrigation needs when mixing herbs in a pot. While pretty much all herbs love sun, some have more water requirements than others. For instance, rosemary, thyme and sage like it fairly dry, but tender basil and parsley need more consistent moisture. Also, if you know that you are forgetful and likely to miss a watering here and there, you might want to select only those herbs that are drought tolerant.
Plant mint by itself. All mint has a tendency to rampantly grow over and into other plants' space. Be careful about which mint varieties are grown together. For example, if you plant a lemon mint with spearmint, they might cross-pollinate. While this might turn out to be an interesting experiment, the results might be less than palatable.
What Herbs will Grow in One Pot?
Quite a few culinary herbs hail from the Mediterranean and thus share a love of the sun and the need for fairly arid soil. Examples of Mediterranean herbs that will grow well together in containers are:
Some of these herbs can get rather woody and large after a time and might do better if transplanted into the garden when they get too large.
Creeping thyme looks lovely grown with prostrate rosemary and a variegated sage, a slower growing cultivar of sage.
Moisture loving herbs such as tarragon, cilantro, and basil should be grouped together. Parsley should be included as well but be aware that parsley is a biennial and will die back after 2 years.
For a truly aromatic pairing, try growing lemon verbena and lemon thyme together. The lemon thyme will spread around the roots of the verbena to help retain moisture, plus the combination of the two will smell divine.
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By Nancy Buley, Communications Director, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
Photographs courtesy of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
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