8 Planters That Will Help Keep Your Herbs Alive No Matter What

updated Mar 2, 2023
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

As kids, we’re taught that plants need soil, water, and sunlight to survive. Easy enough! But, if you’ve ever tried to keep a pot of herbs alive on a windowsill, you know it can actually be pretty tricky. Too much sun will scorch tender leaves, and erratic watering can drown or dry them out completely. If this sounds like your gardening track record (nice to meet you!), there’s good news: You don’t need a green thumb to grow beautiful, healthy herbs at home. Heck, you don’t even need a windowsill. You just need the right planter.

There are a slew of clever solutions that offer smart lighting schedules, manage soil moisture, and even provide a combination of both. Plus, there are tons of stylish options depending on whether you want to grow from seeds, use potted herbs, or like the convenience of pre-seeded pods. With minimal work, you’ll have fresh, abundant greens for all your herb-based recipes — no matter the season or the color of your thumb. Need some suggestions on which planter is perfect for you? We’ve rounded up the best options to get you started.

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Click & Grow

If you’re looking for a planter that does it all right out of the box with minimal mess, this grow set is a great option. The planter comes with pre-seeded smart soil capsules that control nutrient, pH, and oxygen levels for plant health (it actually uses technology inspired by NASA). Place up to three capsules into the removable cavities and set them into the reservoir that holds enough water for up to three weeks. The app-controlled LED lighting schedule is designed to spur plant growth, and since the light arm is adjustable, it can move vertically right along with your herbs. Available in four colors, the set includes three basil pods, but you can choose from 50 pre-seeded plant capsules or experiment using your own seeds with their refillable capsules.

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was $45.00

Designed to fit a standard-sized window sill, this compact planter box is ideal for small spaces. The two-tiered design features an integrated waterfall and drainage system, so you don't ned to worry about over watering. Customize your Giardino Planter Box with its three stamped metal name tags, which can go in either the top or bottom tier of the rust-resistant planter.

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was $99.95

The AeroGarden Sprout comes with pre-seeded pods that go directly into a water reservoir without the need for additional soil. Using LED light, water, and liquid nutrients, you’ll be able to grow herbs up to five times faster than traditional soil gardens. As your herbs thrive, the adjustable light arm extends as high as 15 inches to provide the right level of lighting. You can control the lighting schedule manually via a touchpad on the base or through a connected app, which reminds you when it’s time to refill the water reservoir or add nutrients. The kit includes seed pods for basil, curly parsley, and dill, but you can buy additional pods if you want to switch up what you’re growing.

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By using a combination of special fiber soil and self-watering hydroponic technology, this sleek planter provides plants with the balance of root zone water and oxygen that they need to thrive. Depending on your preferences, you can grow your herbs from seeds by placing them directly in the soil or using it to keep store-bought herbs healthy. The straw-like fibers in the soil provide three times more oxygen to plants than traditional potting soil, and they draw only as much water as needed from the planter’s reservoir. A water level indicator sits directly in the soil so you can quickly see when it’s time to refill.

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If you’ve got a few inches of space and decent sunlight exposure in your home, this petite planter from Cole & Mason is a cute and effective way to grow a single pot of herbs. Using an absorbent hydro pad tucked into the base of the planter, your herbs will pull just as much water as they need to stay hydrated. You only have to set a reminder to fill the reservoir once a week. It’s perfect for the small potted herbs you find at your local garden centers and grocery stores.

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was $129.95

This modern wall planter from Glowpear is almost 2 feet wide and 10 inches tall, so your herbs can develop a healthy, resilient root system. Unlike other planters that hold herbs in pots, this lets you place herbs directly into the container with additional soil. Water is added to the self-watering reservoir through a small corner flap on the top of the planter, and a reminder tab pops up when it’s time to add more. Due to the generous 8-inch depth, you can stagger a handful of different herbs to build a lush — and edible — wall feature.

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If you've barely got a green thumb, this Home Grown starter kit is perfect for you. It comes with everything you need: five different types of herb seeds, soil, plant markers, reusable bamboo pots, trays, and instructions. The kit also includes an instructional eBook with all kinds of tips and tricks on planting and germination. Plus, the seeds are non-GMO, so your herbs will not only taste good, but you can feel good about them, too.

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This minimalist self-watering planter has a simple-to-use water reservoir and fits neatly on windowsills or countertops. It's available in four sizes (in case you want to grow slightly larger plants) and works with most household herbs. The roots will draw just as much water as they need through some absorbent wicks that pull from the reservoir, so you don't have to worry about over watering.

What’s your hack to growing healthy herbs indoors? Let us know in the comments below!