11 Great Herbs That Grow Easily From Seed

Herbs aren’t just plants; they’re aromatic wonders that add flavor, fragrance, and therapeutic benefits to our lives. In this article, herbalist and gardener PNW Ana introduces 11 great herbs that you can easily grow from seed that will awaken your senses!

Brown paper pots arranged neatly along a white windowsill display a vibrant assortment of herbs, each pot brimming with life. The sun filters gently through the window, casting a warm glow that nourishes the delicate greenery.


If you are just entering the wild world of gardening – or venturing into starting your own seeds for the first time – start with herbs! Some herbs are easier to grow from cuttings rather than seeds, like rosemary and lavender, which is why you don’t see these herb staples on my list. The aim here is to provide you with herbs that are easy to grow from seed, which means: 

  • They require minimal care to germinate and grow.
  • They have high germination rates.
  • They are easy to find.

Herbs are what I call “generous plants”. Since you’re using just the leaves of the herb, they let you harvest from them again and again. In fact, the act of harvesting actually prevents pests, deters disease, and encourages more leaf production.

Note: We are not medical professionals. Always consult with your doctor before consuming herbs for medicinal use, and be sure to confirm correct identification of any herbs you consume.

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A close-up of a thriving basil plant featuring green leaves with a glossy texture. Each leaf showcases a rich, aromatic fragrance, making it a visually appealing and flavorful addition to any culinary experience.
Genovese basil offers larger leaves and robust flavor when flowers are pinched.
botanical-name botanical name Ocimum basilicum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Basil has several cultivars, with ‘Sweet basil’ being the most commonly found in grocery stores. A favorite for cooking is ‘Genovese basil’. I find it the most flavorful, with a slight peppery taste and stronger aromatics. It also has larger leaves and is incredibly prolific if you keep pinching the flowers and harvesting the leaves. 

If you’re building out your tea garden, Tulsi (Holy) basil is a powerhouse herb grown for centuries in India and used in Ayurvedic practices. It has a more bitter taste than other cultivars of basil, which makes for a great cup of tea! Pollinators also love the flowers and the sweet smell they provide. 

How to Grow

Start basil seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Transplant seedlings outdoors once the danger of frost has passed. Basil loves well-drained soil and consistent watering. Pinch off flowers to encourage leaf growth. Harvest regularly.


A close-up captures the delicate beauty of a winter savory herb. Its tiny green leaves form a lush cluster, while delicate white flowers add an elegant touch, hinting at the herb's aromatic essence and culinary potential.
These are favored in European cuisine and believed to aid digestion.
botanical-name botanical name Satureja hortensis/Satureja montana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-18”/6-18”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11/5-10

Savory is underrated in the United States. This versatile herb elevates a myriad of dishes with its delicate flavor. Summer savory is an annual herb that is believed to stimulate digestion while adding a burst of flavor to poultry dishes, as well as stews and soups with a slightly sweet, peppery flavor. 

Winter savory has a more robust, peppery flavor that is beloved in European cuisine, particularly in meat dishes. It is also used dry in sachets, potpourris, and herbal remedies

How to Grow

Summer Savory

Direct sow seeds in the garden after the last frost, spacing seeds (or seedlings) 8-12 inches apart. Choose a well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Water regularly, especially during drier periods, ensuring the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Summer savory is an annual herb, so pinch back the tips to encourage the plant to bush up. Harvest the leaves just before the plant flowers for the optimal flavor. To have a continuous harvest, sow seeds every 3-4 weeks.

Winter Savory

Start your seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost, or you can direct sow in the early spring or late summer. As with summer savory, be consistent with watering in well-draining soil with a slightly alkaline pH. Winter savory is a hardy perennial and is low-maintenance. Prune lightly to maintain shape.


Tall thyme plants stand proudly, their slender brown stems reaching upward, adorned with clusters of delicate green leaves. In the warm glow of the sun, they bask, absorbing its nourishing rays to thrive and flourish.
English thyme and its various cultivars are versatile herbs that enhance many popular dishes.
botanical-name botanical name Thymus vulgaris
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 6-12”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

In the kitchen, English thyme is the most commonly found and imparts a savory and earthy flavor. There are, however, many other thyme cultivars. ‘Lavender’, ‘lemon’, and ‘lime’ thyme are just a few with varying flavor profiles worth growing for the scent alone.

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Thyme pairs beautifully with a range of dishes, from roasted meats and vegetables to stews and soups. The aromatic oils are also a popular choice for infusions and herbal teas, offering a soothing and aromatic beverage with potential health benefits

How to Grow

Thyme thrives in various climates and is usually an evergreen (in zones 5-9). Seeds can be sown indoors or directly in the garden. Choose a well-draining soil mix and keep it consistently moist until germination. Once established, thyme is drought tolerant.


Lush cilantro plants, their green leaves adorned with distinctive lobes, flourish in rich, brown, moist soil, nourished by the earth's bounty. Their delicate foliage basks in the nurturing environment, promising a harvest of aromatic herbs for culinary delights.
Genetic variations in olfactory receptors can make cilantro taste soapy to certain individuals.
botanical-name botanical name Coriandrum sativum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 12-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Cilantro, also known as coriander leaves, has a fresh, citrusy taste. However, some don’t love the flavor due to genetics: some individuals have a variation in a group of olfactory-receptor genes that make the taste of cilantro perceived as soapy! For the rest of us, fortunately, we get to enjoy this herb in salsas and sprinkled in a variety of dishes.

How to Grow

Cilantro seeds can be directly sowed in the garden after the last frost or sown in flats six weeks before the last frost. Provide well-draining soil and consistent moisture, and harvest those leaves regularly to prevent bolting.


A vibrant parsley plant showcasing its lush, lobed leaves that add a burst of greenery. Sunlight filtering through the parsley leaves, creating a captivating glow that emphasizes the herb's natural beauty.
This herb offers versatile culinary and nutritional benefits beyond garnishing.
botanical-name botanical name Petroselinum crispum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 9”-12”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Parsley is often relegated to garnish status, but the use of it extends far beyond this role. It has a bright, fresh flavor, and adds crisp notes to salads, soups, and sauces (like chimichurri!). It’s rich in vitamins K,C, and A. Use it in teas and infusions, offering a nutrient-packed beverage. 

How to Grow

Soak parsley seeds overnight and then plant them in rich, moist soil. Water regularly and mulch to retain moisture. Harvest outer leaves to encourage continuous growth.


A brown pot cradling lush mint herbs with textured, glossy leaves that gleam under soft light. In the blurred backdrop, an array of plants adds depth and color to the tranquil setting.
Highly versatile mint adds a burst of flavor to various dishes and drinks.
botanical-name botanical name Mentha spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 12-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-10

Mint is a global favorite for its versatility and delightful flavor profile. From mint-infused teas, marinades, and desserts – you’re going to get a burst of flavor with mint. Beyond the kitchen, mint’s essential oils are useful for their soothing properties, from digestion to headaches. 

There are many cultivars of mint, and they are incredibly fun to work with to achieve different flavor profiles. I love ‘Moroccon’, ‘Strawberry’, and ‘Swiss Ricola’ to use for tea and infusing into simple syrup. Harvesting mint to dry for later use is incredibly easy, and once you start using it, you’ll want it all year long! 

How to Grow

Mint is a vigorous grower, so it’s best to contain it in pots to prevent it from spreading. However, some have been successful in reigning it in. Provide rich, moist soil and water consistently. Pinch back often to achieve bushiness. Press seeds into soil indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date and keep evenly moist.

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Long, slender chives stand gracefully, their verdant stalks reaching towards the sky. Bathed in the warm glow of sunlight, they create a delicate and picturesque scene, as the sun filters through their verdant leaves.
Infuse purple chive blossoms in vinegar for delicious dressings and marinades.
botanical-name botanical name Allium schoenoprasum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to part shade
height height 12-18”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

A subtler alternative to their larger Allium relatives, chives offer a milder alternative. There is a ‘Common’ and ‘Garlic’ variety with their own distinct flavors. The milder ‘Common’ cultivar enhances salads, dips, and omelets – though I truly love infusing those beautiful purple blossoms in vinegar for dressings and marinades. 

How to Grow

Start indoors 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. You can also sow seeds directly in the garden in early spring in well-draining soil. Trim the leaves often, and new growth will be produced throughout the season.


Dill herb flourishes in nutrient-rich, dark soil, its verdant stalks reaching upwards. The feathery leaves sway gently in the breeze, adding a touch of elegance to the garden bed.
Leaves and seeds of dill herb enhance salads and seafood dishes.
botanical-name botanical name Anethum graveolens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24-60”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Best known as a companion to pickles, dill leaves, and seeds offer a refreshing addition to salads, dressings, and seafood dishes. The word “dill” derives from the Norse word “dilla”, meaning to soothe, reflecting the herb’s historical use in calming digestive ailments and colicky infants.

How to Grow

You can directly sow dill seeds in the garden in late spring. Choose a location with well-draining soil, watering regularly. You’ll need to provide support for the tall fronds and long stems. You can harvest the leaves and seeds for culinary use.


A thriving oregano plant flourishes in the soft glow, its fuzzy stems creating a delicate dance with the light. The veiny leaves, a testament to its vitality, contribute to the overall beauty of this aromatic herb.
The ‘Hot and Spicy’ variety of oregano enhances the culinary experience with its intense flavor.
botanical-name botanical name Origanum vulgare
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Aromatic with a slightly bitter taste, oregano enhances dishes from pizzas and sauces to salads and salsas. You can use oregano both fresh and dried, with the dried form often more potent in flavor.

There are several cultivars – ‘Hot and Spicy’ is one of my favorites to add an extra punch to culinary adventures. Oregano also has potential health benefits due to its antimicrobial properties and being high in antioxidants. 

How to Grow

Start your seeds indoors 6-10  weeks before your last frost. Use a seed starting tray and barely cover the seeds. Use a heat mat to keep the soil warm to speed up germination. Once you’re ready to plant out in the garden, provide well-draining soil and water regularly until established. Prune to shape and encourage branching.


A close-up reveals sage leaves, their elongated shapes defined, appearing powdery to touch. In the blurred background, leaves from another plant create a verdant tapestry, contrasting with the focused detail of the sage foliage.
This herb enhances rich and savory dishes like poultry and stuffing.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Sage is one of those revered herbs with a history rooted in both ancient wisdom and culinary excellence that has long held a place in diverse cultures. Its scientific name, Salvia, derives from the Latin word “salvere,” meaning to save or heal, underscoring its historical association with medicinal properties.

In the kitchen, sage pairs well with rich and savory dishes, adding depth to poultry, pork, and stuffing. 

How to Grow

Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Sage benefits from an early start indoors to ensure robust seedlings when it’s time to transplant. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged – using a spray bottle for a more gentle watering helps to avoid disturbing the seeds. Transplant outdoors when the threat of frost has passed.


A radiant orange calendula flower basks in the sun's warm glow, its delicate petals unfolding gracefully. Surrounding it, a soft blur reveals a tapestry of similar blooms and verdant leaves, creating a harmonious backdrop of nature's beauty.
This serves as an effective repellent against pests like asparagus beetles.
botanical-name botanical name Calendula officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Calendula has vibrant, daisy-like flowers. It’s beloved for its ornamental appeal, as well as its historical use in herbal remedies and culinary applications. Pollinators love it, too. You can find calendula in a handful of colors, from pale yellows to peach to deep orange (‘Resina Calendula’) (and best for herbal use).

Calendula is amazing at repelling asparagus beetles, nematodes, and tomato hornworms. Plant these beauties around your asparagus, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkins, and tomatoes.

How to Grow

Calendula seeds are some of the coolest around – like c-shaped little worms! You can plant them directly once you are past your last first date. You can start them indoors 4-6 weeks prior to your last frost date.

Final Thoughts

Growing anything from seed can seem daunting, but the herb seeds listed here germinate well, grow strong, and will provide you with many seasons worth of culinary and herbal delight. Plus, there are so many uses and cultivars of these herbs that you will never bore of them. Happy gardening! 

A wooden crate overflows with an assortment of aromatic culinary herbs, showcasing vibrant shades of fresh green. The lush leaves of basil, mint, and thyme add a burst of color against the backdrop of a flourishing garden.


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Close-up of a woman's hands holding freshly picked Chamomile flowers over a basket of freshly picked herbs in a wicker basket. Chamomile flowers are charming and daisy-like, with delicate white petals surrounding a central, vibrant yellow disk.


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