Herbs in Containers

Medicinal and culinary herbs almost seem to have been designed to grow in containers, and the sheer range of pots, troughs, and recycled artifacts that can be successfully used is limited only by your imagination.

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Herbs © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Single Pot of Lavender

Lavenders can thrive in pots, especially the slightly more fickle Lavandula stoechas and L. pedunculata cultivars. The container needs to be at least 12 in (30 cm) deep and wide enough to accommodate the growing plant. Thin metal and plastic pots are easy to handle and can look fantastic in their myriad colors, but offer little protection to roots from freezing weather. Terracotta and wood afford more insulation, but are more prone to water damage.

Contemporary Pots

Modern pots are very effective and can also be used to simply conceal the plastic pot the herb is growing in. These pots may not have adequate drainage holes, so take care in wet weather or when watering to avoid drowning the plant. In midsummer, temperatures can rise substantially and shiny metallic or plastic pots can heat up sufficiently to cook the roots, so put them where they are not exposed to the midday sun.

Watering Cans

Old zinc or galvanized watering cans spring leaks and become useless for their original purpose, but they make useful planters. As long as it can hold sufficient compost for a herb to grow in over the summer season and without becoming waterlogged, pretty much anything could be appropriated or recycled from the shed or attic, scrubbed up, and planted.

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