Top tips for a thriving herb garden (and common mistakes to avoid!)

Is your indoor garden not doing so well? You might be committing these common mistakes!

(image: Museum Homes)

  1. Overwatering: This can “drown” the plant, cause roots to rot and fungus to grow in the soil. Soil should be moist but not waterlogged, so make sure your pot has drainage holes.
  2. Not enough sun: Most herbs are sun-lovers, so they won’t thrive unless they get at least six hours of sunlight a day.
  3. Not pruning enough: Regularly harvesting your herbs strengthens the plant and encourages new growth.
  4. Picking the wrong part of the plant: Don’t pick the big leaves at the bottom. Instead, always harvest the smaller new leaves at the top.
  5. Using bad soil: Good-quality soil is a must, so always use a potting mix.


Choose a sunny spot
They don’t need full sun exposure all day, but most herbs will need at least six hours of sunlight a day. Morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.

Use quality potting mix
Dirt is not just dirt, so don’t go and get any old soil. You need to use a potting mix – not topsoil, garden soil or potting soil for containers. Other types of soil are too heavy and dense for herbs to thrive.

Water wisely
Too much and they’ll drown, too little and they’ll die. Your plant will let you know how much water it needs. If the leaves are wilting and the soil is dry, it needs water. Keep watering until water runs out the bottom of the drainage holes.

Plants in pots deplete nutrients from the soil more quickly than those in the ground, so mix a little compost in the potting mix and regularly add a slow-release organic fertiliser to the soil.

Use the right pots

When in doubt, go for slightly larger pots as herbs don’t like to be planted too close together, and need space to thrive. The more space roots have to grow, the bigger the plant will get. Always make sure the pots have good drainage at the bottom.