herbs newport RI prosecco & plaid

For the last few years I’ve bought fresh herb plants to keep in my kitchen. The fantasy was that when needed, I could add a sprinkle of oregano onto grilled pizza, muddle sprigs of fresh thyme into a cocktail or use leaves of fresh basil to top my caprese salad.

herbs hand newport RI prosecco & plaid

And every year I’m disappointed that I manage to kill these pretty plants. Every. Single. Year. So instead of repeating old mistakes, I’ve done a little research to help out those of us (raises hand) that might not have the greenest thumb. Here are five helpful herb growing tips I’ve discovered:

 1. Decide whether you want to grow your herbs inside or outside. In the past, I’ve opted for indoors but be cautioned that some (not all) herbs need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight. This year I planted my herbs that need direct sunlight in a terra-cotta pot outside so I can eventually bring them indoors at the end of the season. So wherever you plant them make sure they are getting adequate amounts of sunlight. Read up a little on each herb you purchase to see if they need direct or indirect sunlight.

2. Adequate drainage is important. If you’re planting them in a container make sure that the container bottom has holes and/or add a layer of small stones to the bottom of the planter. It ensures that the plant is getting what it needs but not being drown by extra water in the bottom of the pot.

herbs sage newport RI prosecco & plaid

3. Always repot your herbs. Even if they come in little plastic containers replant them into a larger container with room for them to grow and a mix of healthy potting soil. You’ll be surprised how large hearty herb plants like basil, rosemary and mint can get.

4. Don’t overwater them. Wait till the top layer of the soil is dry and then water until the soil is moist. Again see above tip about proper drainage.
herbs clipping newport RI prosecco & plaid
5. Be careful when you go to take clippings from your herbs. Don’t cut all of the leaves off, but instead take a mix of mature and new leaves from the plant. Make sure that you don’t clip the leaves off of just the top or bottom. The plant photosynthesizes using its leaves and will die if there aren’t enough leaves to get the job done.

What are your favorite herbs to cook with at home? Do you grow them yourself? Here’s hoping we have more herbs than we know what to do with this summer!

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  1. Rach wrote:

    This is so helpful! I always struggle keeping mine a live as well!


    6.16.16 | Reply
    • Caylin Harris wrote:

      The struggle is real! Glad we could help.

      6.19.16 | Reply
  2. I need this post, I have just moved into a new flat and finally have space for some herbs. The first lot literally didnt even last a week! I will be trying some of these tips now

    CharlotteSamantha // http://www.charlottesamantha.co.uk

    6.16.16 | Reply
    • Caylin Harris wrote:

      The second batch will be better! Thanks for reading Charlotte.

      6.19.16 | Reply
  3. Rox-Anne wrote:

    This could not have come at a better time! I just killed my second mint plant of the season – and summer hasn’t even started! I love having mint for quick cocktails, as well as thyme and rosemary for cooking. I always have good luck growing basil but I grow that one outside (the others are in pots in my kitchen) and as soon as I read your tips I know what I have been doing wrong. I have been overwatering them and not snipping a mixture of old and new growth! I will follow your tips and think of you while sipping a mint julep! xx Rox-Anne, Celebratingthislife.ca

    6.16.16 | Reply
    • Caylin Harris wrote:

      Cheers Rox-Anne! Best of luck with your next batch of mint. It’s so tasty to have around.

      6.19.16 | Reply
  4. Julie wrote:

    Hi Jess! This is exactly the type of post I needed. I have had so many issues with basil. Like you, every single pot I bought ended up looking dreadful! I have been more successful with chives and mint but this year I decided to up the challenge and go as well for thyme. So far so good but your tips will help me to keep all those nice smelling herbs alive on my London balcony for as long as poss. Adding fresh herbs really makes a difference in a dish and since I love flavours I need to have fresh herbs within easy reach! Cheers for that post! Hugs from London, Julie


    6.17.16 | Reply
    • Caylin Harris wrote:

      Thanks so much Julie, I’m glad my post could help out. Wishing you an abundance of herbs on your balcony!

      6.19.16 | Reply