I love planting herbs in pots. It allows me to fill gaps in my garden and take care of special herbs that may require a little effort. It's also great for herbs, such as Scented Geraniums and Rosemary, that don't overwinter in my region. This way I can acclimate them and move them into the house before the first frost.
I recently wrote a post, 5 Tips for Successfully Planting Herbs in Pots, for Countryside Network which includes Backyard Poultry magazine and Countryside magazine. Below are three of my five tips. You'll have to click through for the rest!
1. Pick out plants with similar requirements. Herbs aren't picky plants, but like everything, they do have some requirements to make them happy and healthy. So, it's good to look at the sun, soil and water needs for the plants you'd like to grow. Then group them accordingly so their companions have similar requirements and place your pots where those needs will be met. For instance, don't put shade-loving herbs out in full sun and vice versa.
2. Get the right pot. You can group your herbs to make a themed pot or grow them in single pots and put those together to make a wonderful display. But, either way, make sure your pot is big enough to hold your plants, not just on the day you're planting herbs in pots, but also when they mature to their full height. For instance, I love growing pineapple sage, but I never plant it in a container with other herbs. I plant it in a big deep container because it grows over two fee tall and a foot wide with large spiky red flowers. Anything other than maybe some trailing plants that hang over the side of the pot, is crowded out. And, while rosemary can be great in mixed containers, I always remember it likes deep feet so I stay away from shallow containers.
3. Allow for proper drainage. As a rule, herbs don't like wet feet. Many of them are native to the Mediterranean and don't appreciate standing water. So make sure to use the proper soil for your plant and make amendments to that soil if needed. For instance, I add sand to my rosemary containers to enhance drainage. Also, be careful of the pot you pick. Some pots are self watering. This is perfect for herbs like chives, parsley and mint but not so great for oregano and thyme that like to dry out between waterings.