30 Herb Garden Ideas for Indoor or Outdoor Spaces
Heather Bien is an expert decor writer for The Spruce. She splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Locust Hill, VA, receiving her B.A. from the University of Virginia. Her bylines include Apartment Therapy, MyDomaine, HelloGiggles, StyleBlueprint, The Knot, MindBodyGreen, and The Everygirl.
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Published on 03/26/23
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Whether you have a windowsill to work with or you’re building an elaborate raised bed garden, anyone can grow an indoor or outdoor herb garden. You may be wondering whether you can plant basil with lavender, rosemary with cilantro, or whether mint grows well indoors. Perhaps you’re trying to figure out the best way to make use of a sunny kitchen counter in your apartment, or you need inspiration for an outdoor garden that’s as beautiful as it is functional.
We’ve rounded up 30 herb garden ideas to give you all the tips and tricks for planting your indoor or outdoor herbs, how to plan a well-designed herb garden, and what kind of containers and materials are best for your garden.
Meet the Expert
- Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is an author and Master Gardener.
- Rebecca Sears is the CMO & Resident Green Thumb at Ferry-Morse.
Build Raised Garden Beds
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There’s something perfectly pastoral about raised garden beds. The minute you have them in your garden, you’re donning overalls, a straw hat, and writing neat little signs to label your rows of herbs and veggies. Plus, if you have the space, these are one of the best ways to keep your herbs out of reach of critters. Add chicken wire to deter taller animal friends, like deer.
Put Pollinator Gardens in Front of Your Raised Beds
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Let your flowers do double duty for you. Plant native flowers and pollinators directly in front of your raised beds to draw bees to your flowering herbs and also provide nutrients for butterfly larvae.
Create a Mobile Garden
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Just because you started your seeds outdoors doesn’t mean they have to stay there. If your plants are thriving as winter’s chill threatens, bring them in.
“Since I have a spot with southwest exposure, I can successfully over winter inside rosemary, parsley, chives, oregano and chocolate mint,” says Charlotte Ekker Wiggins, author and Master Gardener.
When planting herbs together, think about how they thrive. Lavender, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme are Mediterranean herbs that grow well in drier soil. On the other end of the spectrum, cilantro, parsley, and basil need lots of water, and do best in a damp, sunny environment.
Want to plant lavender and basil together? Not so fast. They both love sun, but, like other unfriendly herb combinations, it won’t work because of their water needs.
Hang Herbs Overhead Your Dining Table
Ferns and tumbling plants are gorgeous hanging from the ceiling, particularly in a sunny window. But reserve at least one of those hanging pots for the herbs that you most often use as garnish in the kitchen.
Grow Aromatic Plants Indoors
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Who needs candles when you have herbs?
“Spearmint is an herb I’d recommend growing indoors, as it’s highly aromatic and will release a strong minty scent in your home with just a light touch of the leaves,” says Rebecca Sears, CMO & Resident Green Thumb at Ferry-Morse.
Plus, spearmint can be used in tea for an herbal touch.
Hang Baskets Away from Pet’s Paws
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Whether it’s toxic or just too tempting, you can use your vertical space to keep certain plants away from pets (and children, too).
Wiggins says, “I grow catnip in a hanging basket to keep it safe from inquisitive paws.”
Spread Out Your Precious Plants
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While a lush look may bring to mind beautiful English gardens, resist the urge to crowd your herbs.
“Although having them stacked together looks good, allow for air circulation around each herb plant. This will also help reduce any pests that may have hitchhiked from garden starts,” says Wiggins.
Try Moisture-Loving Herbs in the Bathroom
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If you’re in a small enough apartment that the shower is just steps from the kitchen, move your water baby herbs, like basil or cilantro, into the bathroom. They’ll enjoy the high humidity and moisture, which is effectively like a greenhouse.
Keep Herbs by Your Bar Cart
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“It’s great to have mint within reach if you love making cocktails or mocktails that call for fresh mint for muddling or just to garnish,” Sears suggests.
Plus, a sprig or two in a summer lemonade can’t be beat.
Plant a Formal Herb Garden
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Herb gardens can work with whatever space you have and, if you have space aplenty, take advantage of it. Plant a formal herb garden, which is a take on a formal decorative garden but with a practical twist. With proper planning, you can have everything from bee balm to cilantro to tarragon to chamomile, all thriving in one place.
Install a Grow Light
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Don’t let your herb garden feel defeated just because you have less than stellar natural light in your home.
“No matter what type of herbs you grow indoors, I recommend a grow light to augment window light, as all herbs prefer full sun, which is 6+ hours of direct sun per day,” says Sears.
Use Your Seedlings for a Touch of Spring
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“Starting herb seeds indoors is a great way to get a boost of green in the off-season and to allow the seedlings to develop strong root systems before transplanting them to your outdoor garden,” says Sears. Who needs to go to the Trader Joe’s flower section for a touch of spring anymore?
Utilize a Grow Kit
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A grow kit gives you a ready-made home to start your plants, along with all the tips and tricks you need to success.
Sears says, “I recommend looking for a kit with as many of the fundamental seed starting supplies as possible, like seeds, seed starting pellets, and a tabletop greenhouse. You’ll also want to make sure you have a heat mat to help with seed germination and a grow light to give your plants the ‘sunlight’ they’re not getting from the outdoors.”
Incorporate Herbs Into a Rock Garden
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From thyme to rosemary to marjoram to sage, there are more than a few plants that thrive in a rock garden. It’s a desert-inspired look that you can accentuate with flowers, succulents, and, of course, herbs you can put to use.
Surround a Patio With Mosquito Repelling Herbs
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Herbs like lemongrass and lavender are known for their bug and mosquito-repelling qualities. While it won’t work quite as well as bug spray, it does add a lovely smell and a touch of green to your patio.
Buy or DIY a Hydroponic Garden
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While hydroponic gardens have existed for thousands of years, they’ve been getting a lot of attention recently as a small space saver. Whether you buy a pre-made hydroponic garden or attempt a DIY, these clever indoor gardens keep plants flourishing without soil. Instead, they use a nutrient solution based on water and various minerals.
Sears explains, “Most herbs can be grown both indoors and outdoors, but leafy herbs like parsley, basil, and cilantro can do particularly well indoors.”
She recommends starting with cilantro, since it tolerates partial sun. “More difficult to maintain indoors are woody or slow-growing Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, sage and lavender, which like strong sun,” says Sears.
Fill Terracotta Planters With Herbs
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Terracotta planters don’t have to be reserved for decorative plants only. Use herbs that will fill out like a bush—think rosemary or lavender—and treat them as you would any landscaping plant, only these you can harvest.
Contain Spread With Concrete Pavers
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Use concrete pavers to not only create a patio, but also contain the spread of fast moving herbs like mint. They’ll overtake a garden quickly, but not if you keep them intentionally aligned within the grid-like design of pavers.
Make Use of a Side Garden
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Do you have one of those side yards that turns into a no-man’s land? Use it for a fragrant garden full of herbs and pollinators. You won’t worry about bees if they’re all the way in the side garden, and they’ll keep your flowering herbs thriving.
Choose Small Decorative Pots for a Kitchen Garden
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If you have a sunny window, you can grow a darling kitchen garden with basil, thyme, and others. Choose small decorative pots and trim your herbs regularly, both for kitchen use, and to keep them healthy within the limited size of their containers.
Plant Woody Herbs for Year-Round Greenery
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For those who prefer a low maintenance approach to their herb garden, plant woody herbs like lavender and rosemary for year-round greenery. This herbs are evergreen in many climates and will continue to grow throughout the winter.
Use Self Watering Containers
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For herbs that drink up lots of water, like chives, parsley, marjoram, and mint, choose a self watering container that will keep them at an even level of moisture throughout the day, and even when you head out of town on a short trip.
Turn a Wood Pallet Into a Garden
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A multi-tiered wood pallet makes for the perfect up-cycled herb garden, with its many spots for planting different herbs and plentiful flat surfaces for labeling. You can lean one against a wall or even mount it in a city garden.
Install a Trellis Garden on a Balcony
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If you have a small balcony without room for pots and planters, install a vertical trellis garden on the wall. You can fit just enough room for all of your most-used herbs that do well when contained in smaller spaces: basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, and more.
Leverage a Railing
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A railing is often wasted space, only serving its functional (and important) purpose. But why not use it as a planter? Hang a rail planter off a sunny railing and watch your herbs thrive. Just watch out who might be below when you’re watering.
Build a Vertical Garden
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Even if you have a yard, the look of a vertical garden built from stacked terracotta pots or wooden crates has farmhouse appeal. For those with a DIY inclination, they are easy to build and great for herbs that either grow bushy or tumble out of their pots.
Line a Rock Wall
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You can plant herbs in a rock garden or you can line a rock wall with herbs that will cascade over its sides, both benefitting from the protection of the wall, while growing with it. Try summer savory or creeping thyme.
Grow Herbs in Upcycled Containers
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There’s no need to run out and buy all new pots, planters, and specially designated containers for your herb garden. Use what you have on hand, whether that’s a metal bin, old wood box, tin can, or even a cut off plastic soda bottle. Make sure there’s proper drainage and your plants won’t know the difference.
Grow Your Herbs in Water
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For a small indoor garden, forget the pots, the soil, and the mess. Plant herbs like basil, thyme, mint, and parsley in water and let them take root. They’ll continue growing, you’ll always have fresh garnishes on hand, and you never have to worry about pests lurking in soil.
Repurpose a Broken Mug
Have you ever broken the handle off one of your favorite mugs and wondered if there’s any way to save it? Use it as a container for a mini version of your favorite herb, like rosemary, oregano, or thyme—just be sure it has proper drainage.
9 Creative Vegetable Garden Ideas
46 Indoor Herb Garden Ideas That Will Inspire You to Start Planting
Who doesn’t love using fresh herbs for dinner? Everyone that I know does!
Herbs are great because they can easily be grown indoors and don’t take too much maintenance to keep them happy. But where to grow them? That’s where this article comes in!
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme grow happily in old wooden boxes, in recycled bottles, in glass mason jars, and even in used tin cans. You can grow them vertically on the wall, or dedicate a spot for them right on your dining room table.
Your house will smell great, your food will taste better, and you will love taking care of your indoor herb garden.
1. Baking Tin
Check out this awesome way to convert an old baking tin into a chic wall planter to home your herbs.
2. Hanging Boards
This is a fun and easy DIY project that has a functional and super chic design!
3. Chalk Painted
A rustic look is given with chalk painted terracotta pots and then stamped with cute letters.
4. Hanging Rope
I am in love with the look of this indoor herb garden and also the convenient location!
This is a great way to give a unique and rustic look to your indoor herb garden.
6. Crooked Pots
Throw your guests for a loop with this fun illusion of falling pots.
7. Plastic on an Angle
Lightweight and simple pots can make for a great option when working with a vertical herb garden.
Although the plants in the photo are not herbs, you can easily imagine how cute it would be if they were!
9. Pastel Colors
Another idea for hanging wall planters to store your kitchen herb garden, using soft pastel colors.
10. Wooden Box
A rustic and cool wooden box turned into a windowsill herb garden! So cute with the chalk writing!
11. Ikea Hack
An Ikea hack using a regular wine rack and replacing the bottles for cups of soil and fresh herbs.
Make use of scrap pieces of PVC piping you have laying around by turning it into a herb garden bed.
13. Mason Jars
A vertical garden using scrap wood and recycled mason jars! So clever!
14. Plastic Bottles
I’m always looking for ways to reuse plastic bottles so you can be sure I’ll be trying out this project!
Get out your paint and stickers for this charming and fun windowsill herb garden project!
16. Table Top
Make a box out of old pallet wood and then simply place your mason jars inside for fresh herbs right at the table!
17. Old Kettles
I am really digging this vintage and unique look using old kettles to house your herbs!
Turn an old chandelier into an artistic way to hang your herbs at the dinner table!
19. Crooked Mason Jars
Don’t just go for the obvious, change things up and try something different!
20. Tea Tins
These little herb tins make for great gifts and look super stylish in the kitchen!
21. Coffee Mugs
How beautiful does this indoor herb garden look? A wonderful way to make use of that coffee cup collection!
22. Copper Tin Cans
Do you have a copper theme happening in your kitchen? Keep it going!
Decorate your farmhouse kitchen with its own miniature indoor herb garden using galvanized buckets.
24. Herb Pallet Wall
Hang up an old pallet and stuff it full of herbs and delicious plants!
25. Shoe Organizer
Do you have a lot of herbs that you need to house? Here’s a clever idea on how to do so!
Make your centerpiece something useful like a fresh herb garden that you can sprinkle your pasta with!
27. Tea Cups
We have seen coffee cups, we have seen tea tins, and now let’s take a look at teacups!
28. Galvanized Buckets
Frame some galvanized buckets, number them, give them some life, and enjoy your abundant flavors!
29. Copper Shelf
How stylish is this copper pipe shelf that is made to hold terracotta pots perfectly? Love it!
30. Hanging Tins
Hanging upside down so you can easily reach their delicious leaves!
This just might be my favorite design! The geometrical trellis shape mixed with beautiful leather pot holders! So chic!
32. Berry Cool
Get creative, be artistic, and have fun making your indoor herb garden!
Upcycle your empty shampoo bottles and lotion containers into a colorful garden!
34. Bottle Garden
Make sure your herb garden is always happy by letting it drink when it’s thirsty!
35. Painted Mason Jars
Personally, I’m a big fan of colors in the house which is why I really dig these lovely jars!
36. Raise the Roof
Don’t take up valuable counter space when you have all that room above you!
Give your herbs their own personal space on a rolling kitchen cart!
38. Colorful Two Tier
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme… Blues, pinks, yellows, and oranges… What’s not to love?
39. Wooden Table
This cute herb table makes it easy to transport all your herbaceous friends from one place to another.
40. Cork Labels
Obviously, your herb garden is going to need some labels so you know what you’re picking!
41. Wash Tub
What I like about this indoor herb garden idea is that it has its own place and makes quite a statement.
42. Milk Carton
Don’t throw out your milk cartons quite yet! They can have a second life and serve you again!
43. Minimal Modern
Make your herb garden blend in with a sophisticated and modern wooden fence look.
44. Bucket Wall
I really like this symmetrical design. It’s simple, functional, and looks great!
A cool and chic design using metallic colors contrasting white and recycled tin cans.
46. Old Wooden Box
Use old treasures that you find at flea markets and thrift stores to create a vintage feeling.
Amazing! I love the creativity of all the unique ways you can create your own indoor herb garden. From decorative tea cups holding rosemary and thyme to unique hanging structures with space for every herb imaginable!
It’s fun to get creative with making your own indoor herb garden by utilizing unique objects you have around the house or building something new.
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15 ideas for setting up your own herb garden at home
Growing herbs at home.
1. Mini garden
Various herbs in one pot.
2. Multi-level garden
Multi-level herb garden on the windowsill.
3. Step ladder
Step ladder garden.
Herbs in cups.
5. Glass jars
Herbs in glass jars.
6. Old crockery
Herb garden in a metal container.
7. Inverted Mini Garden
Growing plants upside down.
8. Pallet garden
Vertical garden in a wooden pallet.
9. Hydroponic garden
Growing herbs without soil.
10. Vertical garden
Vertical garden in the kitchen.
11. Herbs in bottles
Vertical garden in plastic bottles.
12. Hanging pots
Herbs in tins.
13. Garden in drawers
Herbs in desk organizer drawers.
14. Irrigation system
Vertical garden with its own irrigation system.
15. PVC tube garden
Growing plants in a plastic tube.
Top 10 Herb Garden Ideas • inTrends
For those interested in gardening, I would suggest starting with a simple herb garden. Even in the smallest apartment there are pots for herbs.
Isn’t it great to cook with fresh herbs? Any time a recipe calls for lemon balm, parsley, or chives, you simply head to your kitchen garden and gather what you need. Each dish will become more fragrant, and you will enjoy the fresh smell of growing herbs.
It is not necessary to plant a full-fledged garden, you can get by with a small indoor garden that will fit on your windowsill. Here are some ideas on how to start growing your own plants for culinary purposes.
Backyard garden ideas
Some herbs grow by themselves around the house. These are plants that calmly endure the change of seasons and cold weather. These include lavender and rosemary. They grow on their own, reaching several feet in size. If you are planning a backyard garden, consider the size of the herbs you will be planting. Higher ones are better placed further away, and lower ones are closer. This will make harvesting easier. Herbaceous plants are very beautiful, why not plant them so that you get a real garden.
Some perennials, such as lemon verbena, bloom beautifully throughout spring and summer. Therefore, you can organize a small place to relax, to which a brick or paved path leads. Then you can sit outside and enjoy the natural aroma. It would be nice to put small elegant plates with the name of each species. Anyone who will admire your plantings will know what exactly you grow.
Balcony or rooftop garden
Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can make a man-made vegetable garden inside. Hang planters on the railing, for example. Group the plants according to how much sun they like and what kind of soil they prefer. If you have enough floor space, set up a rack for a few pots. There are high greenery racks with individual stands for each pot.
On the balcony, it is best to arrange the flowers vertically. Try to store materials at the bottom to leave as much room as possible for plants on top.
Place the tray slightly on its side against the wall. Use cross beams for planting small herbs. Additional wooden pieces may be needed to keep the soil from crumbling. You can buy a trough or bath on a stand, fill it with soil and plant your favorite spices.
Container gardens are great because you can change the size depending on the space available and the amount of herbs you want to grow. Let’s say you have a few small clay pots that fit in your hands and a few large ceramic pots with tall herbs. Not all pots need to be the same size. Small herbs grow, transplant them into a larger container, and plant new ones in their place.
Place some of the pots on tiered stands so they look great. Remember that we care not only about beauty, but also about ensuring that each plant receives a sufficient amount of light. You may have to arrange everything on the same level, even if it does not look so great.
Creative flower pots for the garden
Of course, you can use ordinary flower pots for growing, but there are many other ways that you can try. You can create an indoor garden by hanging pots outside the kitchen window, or you can set up a hanging garden inside. Hang small pots on kitchen shelving or on a pole placed in a corner or near a window.
If your kitchen has open shelves, why not place a row of stone jars on one of them to hold houseplants. It will breathe life into your kitchen and add some simple décor. In addition, fresh herbs will always be at your fingertips. You can even label each jar so you know which species grows where.
If you want to set up an outdoor herb garden, try building a spiral. Such a unique option looks like a winding pyramid. You can place the plants in a spiral from bottom to top. What is good about this design? One side of the pyramid is dry, the other is wet. Some areas get more light, others remain in the shade. This gives you the opportunity to grow a wide variety of varieties.
Creative gardeners use wheelbarrows, an old grill, a vintage chest of drawers, or barrels cut in half to grow.
Pallet garden idea
The use of pallets in design is very popular and there is a reason for that. They are easy to put on their side, thereby closing the voids, turning them into an ideal place for growing small herbaceous plants. It is necessary to cover the bottom of the voids so that the soil does not fall through. Pallets are great because you can customize them to fit your space. You can paint them, decorate them or just leave them wooden.
Most people install pallets on the ground, although it costs nothing to mount it on a wall. If you don’t want to plant your herbs directly in the tray, you can hang pots on it. Small round pots or long rectangular boxes with hooks can be attached to the pallet beam. This design is convenient because it allows you to easily transplant herbs without damaging neighboring ones. Seeds can be germinated indoors, and when they grow up, they can be transferred to a hanging pot.
Herb Garden Ideas
If your backyard garden is already well-decorated, consider splicing it up with halved wine barrels. Cover them with earth and plant one or two types of herbs inside. It will add color to your garden and diversify the table with fresh herbs.
If there is room on the wall, a hanger with multiple pockets can be installed. You can save on this if you use an old shoe rack. It is better to buy a special installation. Fill all the pockets with soil and plant some grass in each. This idea is great because the sprouts don’t interfere with each other, they don’t steal nutrients. If a plant outgrows its pocket, it is easy to remove it without damaging the neighbors.
Raised Bed Herb Garden Ideas
A raised bed is our definition of a mound that is several feet above ground level. This type of beds is used for growing vegetables, it is great for grass. The beds themselves can be made less wide, because the grass does not need much space.
You can also use a raised bed with legs. Many gardeners really appreciate this method of growing because it allows you to care for plants without bending over or squatting. Look for beds with a shelf underneath for extra storage space for your gardening tools.
Small Herb Garden Ideas
Each plant only needs about 8 inches of soil to grow, so several herbs can be planted in a tiny space. To ensure success, you need to choose companion plants that help and enrich each other. In this case, you will get more greens for cooking.
The ideal mini-garden is a garden in a basket. You will have a handle in the center and compartments on the sides. Any toolbox will work. You can easily transfer the crop from the place where they grew to the kitchen. You do not have to endlessly walk back and forth to bring the right spice.
Vertical Growing Ideas
Herbs do not need deep root systems. Why not create a blooming vertical garden? This will allow you to grow a large number of plants in a tiny area. The easiest way is to use flower stands. It can be a stand alone or one that rests on a wall. There are several levels available that start at the ground and go up 150-180 cm.
If you have a big enough space, why not divide it up with a vertical structure. It will be a free-standing wall that can be approached from different sides. When the plants grow, they will turn into a screen and will drown out the sound.