Culinary herbs are both easy and inexpensive to grow. A fresh, home-grown supply of basil, parsley or thyme will cost much less than shrink-wrapped packs from the supermarket and when harvested just before use will likely have a higher nutritional value, too.
Herb boxes and planters are ideal for cultivating your own herb garden. There are many styles available depending on what you’re growing and where you’re growing it, as we explain in more detail, below.
Some herb planters are also available as starter kits for first-time growers. Others are ‘statement’ pieces for design-conscious gardeners, with outdoor options for a patio, terrace or balcony and on-trend choices for stylish interiors.
After explaining what to look for in a herb planter and outlining some of the most common styles available, we run through a range of products to buy for yourself, or as a gift.
When choosing the best herb planter for your home or garden there are various points to consider.
First, you’ll need to decide whether you want to grow herbs indoors or outdoors. Some herb boxes are suitable for both locations but others aren’t, so bear in mind the practicality as well as the aesthetics of the materials used.
Size is also a key factor. Some herb planters are designed to fit onto windowsills, which might be useful for crops you cook with often. And how many different herbs will you be growing? Think of how much space you’ll need for each.
Bear in mind the height of your planter. Larger, outdoor planters may be raised, while others will be ground level, sitting directly on a surface.
Some products can be personalised – perfect if you’re buying them as a gift.
There are various types of herb planter available, outlined below:
If you’ll be growing herbs indoors opt for a compact planter that can fit on a kitchen windowsill, for ready access while you’re cooking. Choose one with space for a few types of herb that you’ll use often.
Windowsill planters are also often available as kits, which include compost and seeds. These could make great gifts for foodies or beginner gardeners.
Outdoor herb planters
These planters are usually larger than indoor products and they may also be suitable for growing other types of plants. Some planters are raised, making them easy to access and maintain without needing to bend down or kneel on the ground – very useful for gardeners with limited mobility.
This style of planter would work well in a paved area or where ground space is at a premium.
Smart herb planters
Do you ever forget to water your plants? A ‘smart’ planter that automates the watering process could be the best option for you. Simply fill up a built-in reservoir and leave the planter to dispense water as needed.
Vegtrug RHP6002N Herb Garden
This raised, outdoor herb garden is made by popular brand Vegtrug. The durable wooden planter includes a preformed liner, so it has everything you need to start planting. It’s worth noting that the Vegtrug requires home assembly. This herb planter is also on the large side, so will suit a more spacious garden or patio space.
Cole & Mason Fresh Herb Range Self-Watering Potted Herb Keeper
This clever indoor herb garden uses self-watering technology which the manufacturer claims can keep herbs fresh for up to 10 days longer than standard planters. Simply add the felt pads supplied to the base of the planter and keep it topped up with water – the planter will take care of the rest. There are 12 pads included.
Zinc Black Planter
This stylish, modern planter by Primrose is made from steel that’s been electroplated with zinc for strength and durability. The Zinc Black Planter can be used both indoors and outdoors. Clean it with a metal-safe cloth or brush after heavy rain to keep it looking good.
Higgledy Troughs Water Feature & Planter
This plant-cum-water feature doubles as an unusual garden ornament. Made from UV- and frost-resistant polyresin, it comes with a water pump.
Vertical Scottish Larch Garden Ladder Planter
This multi-layered wooden planter is made from Scottish larch wood, sourced locally by the independent maker. The larch will age naturally into silver over the year or you can oil it to preserve the original shade. There are various sizes to choose from depending on how many herbs you’ll be growing and each box has drainage holes in the base.
Price: from £75
NKUKU Jara Terracotta Planter Stand
These stylish terracotta herb planters arrive in a specially formed iron stand which can store a total of nine herb pots at any one time, in three neat rows. It could also be suitable for displaying succulents and other small plants.
Little Kitchen Garden Personalised Box Planter
This herb box can be personalised with an engraved message – ideal if you’re giving it as a gift. Alternatively can opt for the standard inscription ‘Little Garden Kitchen’. It’s made from FSC-certified Scandinavian Redwood in either a natural, unstained finish or an antique pine effect. The compact planter would sit well on a window ledge for ease of access while cooking.
Curved Earthenware Planters
This terracotta planter can be used to display both house plants and culinary herbs. It has a classical vase shape, with a crackle effect on the glazed exterior.
Outsunny Garden Rectangular Wooden Planting Raised Bed
This raised wooden planter is ideal for outdoor use and would work well on a patio or in a space with limited planting room. Made from fir wood, the elevated planter is also ideal for gardeners who need to minimise back and knee strain. It has enough space for a combination of herbs, veg crops and flowers. Home assembly required.
EarlyGrow Urban Grow Table Raised Planter for the Home and Garden
This raised planter comes with a cover, protecting your herbs from pests and extreme weather. Built-in recesses channel water to plants within the micro-climate created by the cover. You can also remove the legs to lower the planter to the ground, if preferred.