Problems Growing Herbs
Your Tips Needed

We live in a condo in Hawaii and have tried a few times to grow herbs in pots on our lanai. The pots we have now are new, good drainage and the potting soil is new.
They get about 5 hours of sun a day, yet like other attempts they don't seem to grow well.

Parsley is lanky and grows very slowly. Greek oregano looked good for a few weeks then shriveled up and died. Basil is hanging in there but lots of leaves with brown tips. Thyme just seems to sit there and has not really grown for 4 weeks.
We don't let the pots get dry. We are stumped. We thought this climate would be easy for growing.

Any ideas on what we're doing wrong?

Dan & Marion

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Your Tips Needed

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Aug 04, 2010
by: Veronica

Hey guys,

I have a garden that is going crazy, but I dedicated one 4ft x 4ft area to herbs. I couldn't actually germinate cilantro or parsley, but got sage, rosemary, chives, oregano,and mint from my neighbor and planted. They took awhile, but finally started growing (much more slowly than my annual vegetables) ... I bought some parsley and cilantro plants from Walmart and they did fine. I germinated some thyme, but it took FOREVER to actually start growing in the ground. I babied it most of all of my plants. My basil is an out-of-control jungle.

If things are withering, my thought would be natural fertilizer or compost (like Rick suggested) and definitely sun. I also would suggest, the larger the pot, the better. The basil I still have in a smallish pot is 1/5 ths size of the basil in the ground.

If things just seem to be taking forever, I just wanted to share that my herbs have taken longer to "take off" than anything else I'm growing. Patience?

(I completely failed at marjoram and dill :( ).

Next year!


Jul 25, 2010
Hawaii Herbs-one more thing
by: Anonymous

One more thing-I think you may be over watering the Basil.

Jul 25, 2010
Hawaii Herbs
by: Anonymous

I suspect our growing conditions are similar, Don and Marion. In Florida, we currently have 90 plus deg. temps and frequent (usually) afternoon rains.

My herbs are slightly bedraggled right now as well. But I think there are a few things you can do to help yours.

1) The plants that are long and lanky are having issues with light. Cut them back so the lower leaves can get sun. You might need to move the plants to a location that gets direct sun early in the day and partial shade in the afternoon.

3) Consider sacrificing a dying plant to investigate the soil. Pull it from it's pot and observe the following:

-how deep does the water line go down? If it goes down to the bottom, you are watering too much. If all but the top 1/4" is wet, you are not watering enough. I generally give my herbs about 1/2" inch of water once weekly. If the plants start to wilt, I water again about half way through the week.

-look for pests in the roots and under the leaves.

Jul 25, 2010
Bit of a mystery this one....
by: Anonymous

Hi Dan & Marion,

Bit of a mystery this one.
I'm just guessing wildly here, but my immediate instinct was to blame the PH of the soil. Is it right for the type of herbs you are growing?

Sometimes people might buy "ericaceous" soil/compost by mistake, thinking it is the same as regular soil/compost, but ericaceous soil is acidic and may cause issues.

Apart from this, I'm not sure - hopefully somebody out there will be able to come back with a more definitive answer.

Good luck,

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