Types of Herb Seeds and Planting Advice

herb seeds

Luckily if you love herbs, you can plant many herb seeds. Most herbs are easy to plant from seed, allowing the gardener to incorporate them into a vegetable garden, within a patio container, or a windowsill.

About Herb Seeds

Some herbs are perennial while others are annual. In many cases it depends on the climate zone or where the plants are sown. Many annual herbs also re-seed themselves each year, providing the experience of a perennial.

Where to Plant

Plant herb seeds where you will get the greatest satisfaction from these fragrant plants. Keep them near a window for the lovely scent. For a cook, they are perfect nearby the kitchen or in a vegetable garden. They are also good for protection against many pests in your vegetables. Parsley and basil are good choices to surround the perimeter of a garden. Dill and coriander do well planted between tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli.

Types of Herb Seeds

While some herbs cannot be started from seed, many can. The following is a list of common garden herbs and basic advice on seeding.


Plant by seed after all danger of frost has passed. Place there in the exact spot you plan to grow them as seedlings do not transplant well.


This widely used herb is very sensitive to winter's chill. Either start basil seeds indoors six to eight weeks early, or plant outside after all danger of frost has passed. While your basil will try to re-seed itself throughout the growing season, be sure to pinch back the flowers before they bud. Once basil has gone to seed, the plant's leaves turn bitter.


Sow seeds in a sunny location, early spring.

Caraway Seeds

This herb seed not only grows the plant, but also is used as itself in cooking. A biennial plant, you can sow the seeds in late fall or early spring. Harvest them after the flowers turn brown.


Even if you don't have a cat, catnip is great as a tea. If your neighborhood harbors many cats, this herb seed is best planted away from their tromping ground, like a patio, deck, or indoor herb garden. Catnip is a perennial, so the seeds can be sown in fall or early spring, in a sunny or partial shady spot.


This tart herb's seed needs light to germinate. While its seeds can be planted in fall or early spring, do not plant them too deeply.


Plant chive seeds early spring in a sunny spot.


After the danger of frost as passed, plant coriander seeds in a sunny location where you plan for it to grow.


Sow these seeds after the last frost; place in a sunny spot.


Another herb seed that is delightful in cooking dishes. Plant fennel seeds after all danger of frost have passed.


Lavender seeds must be started indoors as they are extremely fickle. With a low germination rate per seed, it is best to plant many. Place seedlings outside once all danger of frost has passed.

Lemon Balm

A great herb for teas or its lovely garden smell, lemon balm will typically keep re-seeding itself year after year. Plant seeds indoors ten to twelve weeks early, or outside after all danger of frost has passed. These seeds also need light to germinate, so cover only lightly with soil.


Marjoram is a plant that can go both ways, annual or perennial, depending on your zone. It is best to start seeds indoors eight to ten weeks early and transplant to a sunny spot.


One of the easiest herbs to grow, this plant has been know to become quite invasive if left untamed. Plant seeds early in the spring.


Seeds are best sown in a partial shady location after all danger of frost has passed.


Plant these seeds near your vegetables in late fall or early spring.


Sow sage seeds outdoors in early spring.


Seeds are sensitive to frost, so thyme must be started indoors four to six weeks early or planted outside after the last cold snap.

Where to Buy

Herb seeds are amazingly easy to come by. You can find them in most plant nurseries, Seed Catalogs, and many grocery stores. If you have a particular variety in mind or want to join a seed exchange, contact the Herb Society of America.

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Types of Herb Seeds and Planting Advice