Herb Growing Guide: How to Grow Herbs

Learn When to Plant and How to Grow Common Herbs!

June 28, 2019
Fresh Herbs

Growing herbs is not difficult to do! Our helpful chart will take you from seed-starting to the kitchen table.

Herb Planting Calendar & Growing Guide

Herbs are a great addition to the garden. Not only do they complement your home-grown veggies in the kitchen, they also make for excellent companion plants in the garden itself. 

Click here to open an expanded version of this chart in a new tab: Growing Guide to Herbs

For more planting and growing advice for a specific herb, see our library of Herb Growing Guides!

How to Grow Herbs


Start Seeds Indoors (Weeks before last spring frost) Start Seeds: Outdoors (Weeks before / after last spring frost) Height / Spread (Inches)


Light** Growth Type
Basil* 6–8 Anytime after 12–24/12 Rich, moist Annual
Borage* NR Anytime after 12–36/12 Rich, well-drained, dry Annual, biennial
Chervil NR 3–4 before 12–24/8 Rich, moist Annual, biennial
Chives 8–10 3–4 before 12–18/18 Rich, moist Perennial
Cilantro / Coriander NR Anytime after 12–36/6 Light Annual
Dill NR 4–5 before 36–48/12 Rich Annual
Fennel 4–6 Anytime after 48–80/18 Rich Annual
Lavender, English* 8–12 1–2 before 18–36/24 Moderately fertile, well-drained Perennial
Lavender, French NR NR 18–36/24 Moderately fertile, well-drained Tender perennial
Lemon Balm* 6–10 2–3 before 12–24/18 Rich, well-drained Perennial
Lovage* 6–8 2–3 before 36–7⅔6 Fertile, sandy Perennial
Mint NR NR 12–24/18 Rich, moist Perennial


6–10 Anytime after 12–24/18 Poor Tender perennial


10–12 3–4 before 18–24/6–8 Medium-rich Biennial


8–10 Anytime after 48–72/48 Not too acid Tender perennial


6–10 1–2 before 12–48/30 Well-drained Perennial


6–10 2–3 after 20–48/12–14 Rich, organic Perennial
Summer savory 4–6 Anytime after 4–1⅚ Medium rich Annual
Sweet cicely 6–8 2–3 after 36–7⅔6 Moderately fertile, well-drained Perennial
Tarragon, French NR NR 24–36/12 Well-drained Perennial
Thyme, common* 6–10 2–3 before 2–12/7–12 Fertile, well-drained Perennial
*Recommend minimum soil temperature of 70°F to germinate
** full sun partial shade
‡ Not Recommended

Click here to open an expanded version of this chart in a new tab: Growing Guide to Herbs

Do you grow your own herbs? Leave your tips in the comments below!


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Growing Herb Guide

it is so small and if you try to enlarge it, the image becomes blurry.

hey there im trying to

hey there im trying to propagate rosemary in water. but the tips of the leave s leep on curling up and going black, then i got this reply from another herb site
"Sorry for the delay in response. You cannot root rosemary in water, as the oxygen content is too high. The only herb that roots well in water is mint. Rosemary cuttings have to be rooted in a special cutting medium with sand, perlite, and peat moss. They have to be kept misted in indirect sun to root properly. It is not an herb that roots easily"
which is correct thanks 

Every June (in zone 5

Every June (in zone 5 Illinois) I root Rosemary in water. Cut some 8" branches- strip 3" of leaves and put in a container of 3" deep rainwater. Leave in dappled sunlight (under a tree). In a few weeks they will have plenty of roots. Remember to change the rainwater so that you don't grow mosquitoes.
I have also grow them in soil. Again cut some 8" branches- strip 3" of leaves -then sprinkle with rooting powder. Poke 3" holes with a pencil -in your potting soil in the container of your choice. Important - Carefully place the rosemary cutting in the hole then push the soil from the side to secure the cutting. The idea is to not rub off the rooting powder.
I am not sure why your cuttings turn black - it has happened to me a few times. I would guess it was too humid or too cold. Please try again this summer!

I know for a fact you CAN

I know for a fact you CAN root Rosemary in water because I've done it. Are you cutting off a big enough piece?

Thank you so much.. I noticed

Thank you so much.. I noticed that within a few minutes of my last post, the concern I had was addressed and fixed.. Very helpful knowing the dates.. Blessing to everyone at Almanac.com and all other farmers & gardeners. I will get the hang of this gardening, I promise..lol
Moving from Zone 9b to Zone 5 has been a blessing as I have always wanted to garden and the hot sun, very little rain and dry winds in the Desert of California doesn't allow for much gardening.. We have so many plans for the second half of our lives together.. It is wonderful to have a site like Old Farmers Almanac to fall back on for good advice.. My Dad & grandparents read your book like a bible and I look forward to ordering and receiving my hard copy.. Thanks again Almanac Team <3

As a new gardener it would be

As a new gardener it would be helpful to know when these comments are posted. Maybe I missed something.. Sorry, but it is hard to know if I am reading a new comment or one that is years old.. also, some comments say plant now, but when is now without knowing when they left this much needed advice.. is there a way to change the layout here to include when comments are posted.. thanks. Oh, and it is the beginning of August 2014.. Again, thanks

I was told when I lived in

I was told when I lived in N.Y. to plant garlic in Sept and to harvest following July. It worked for me got beautiful clumps and they were very tasty.Hope this helps, I now live in N.C. and have been learning a whole new time zone( no fun). But, I've gotten tons of zucchini,tomatoes,peppers,broccoli,and cabbage. the worst problem is weather and bugs,uggg!! But, after a long season I am now getting ready for my fall crop, which will include garlic,lol. Dont give up hope, just do what you can, a little everyday.My weeds are never ending but, I do what I can and just enjoy my daily harvest. Next year I ve learned to put my weed cloth on top after planting as well as underneath, hopefully that will help, and weed preventitive too,lol.Have fun people <3

Also, wanted to say, I used

Also, wanted to say, I used cooking garlic from the little red box,lol. I used 2 cloves and seperated them, I think I had 22 cloves. They all came out around the same size, average.Hope this helps.

my dad buys garlic in the

my dad buys garlic in the grocery store then separates the bulb. he then plants the
garlic along side of the green onions.when the leaves start to turn yellow he then hangs in the barn in a cool place then we have garlic for the whole year.,

Ssunshine: As mentioned,


As mentioned, knowing where you are would help to give a more accurate answer. Garlic is easy to grow acceptably, a little harder to grow spectacularly. But you can do it. This is a down-and-dirty (read: "short") compendium of advice.
- The most commonly grown garlic - and the longest keeper - is a softneck called "White Silverskin". But there are many others, all with different plusses and negatives.
- Plant only the 6-8 large outer cloves of your seed garlic. Big cloves - big bulbs. Small inner cloves - small bulbs. If you get a good crop, save the largest bulbs for your next year seed (selective breeding!)
- In the northern tier of the USA, it's best to plant garlic after the first fall frost - it will winter over, and the end result is bigger bulbs next summer. But you can plant it in early spring and get a good crop - just somewhat smaller bulbs.
- Garlic doesn't need a ton of fertilizer, but it DOES need loose, well drained soil with a goodly amount of organic matter. It grows best in full sun. It's ready to harvest when about half of the leaves have yellowed (mid/late summer). Let it air dry out of the sun for 2-4 weeks, and (if it's Silverskin) it will keep virtually a year if stored in a cool, dry place. Good luck!

I am wanting to move a herb

I am wanting to move a herb bed that is hard for me to get water to. It contains herbs such as rosemary, lavender and oregano. Can I safely move them?

looking for information on

looking for information on growing garlic and the only thing found is it is great to grow near roses. I really need to know planting times and such.

I have started several clumps

I have started several clumps of garlic. I don't know what area you are in but I live in TN. I have never give it much thought about what time of year I put mine in the ground, they seem to grow pretty prolific. Be careful not to let it take over a small area. Needs room to grow. I do think that early spring or fall would be the best time to plant them even though I have planted some in the middle of summer and they lived.

Need more info on planting

Need more info on planting garlic! Me too!

Now is the time to plant

Now is the time to plant garlic, which will be harvested next fall