Asian Herbs You Can Easily Grow at Home

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Growing your own herbs at home has many benefits. It ensures a fresh supply of ingredients for your kitchen and gives you access to medicinal plants that can enhance your health. Asian herbs are particularly versatile, offering unique flavors and therapeutic properties. Whether you have a spacious garden or a small balcony, you can cultivate these herbs easily. In this article, we’ll explore a selection of Asian herbs that thrive in home gardens and containers, making it simple to bring the essence of Asian cuisine and traditional medicine into your home.

I. List of Easy-to-Grow Asian Herbs

1. Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Ram)

Vietnamese Coriander, also known as Rau Ram, is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. Its peppery flavor is a great addition to salads, soups, and various dishes. This herb thrives in warm climates and requires moist soil to grow. For detailed planting instructions, check out our guide on how to grow Vietnamese Coriander.

Vietnamese coriander plant with its flowers
Vietnamese coriander plant with its flowers.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun to partial shade
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.0
Minimum Container Size8 inches (20 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-90 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPinch back regularly to encourage bushy growth. Mulch around the base to retain soil moisture.

2. Galangal

Galangal is a key ingredient in Thai and Indonesian cooking, known for its aromatic and spicy flavor. It resembles ginger but has a more citrusy and pine-like taste. Galangal needs well-draining soil and warm conditions to flourish. Learn more about growing this unique herb in our Galangal planting guide.

Fresh galangal rhizomes, a type of ginger used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Fresh galangal rhizomes, a type of ginger used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun to partial shade
Watering NeedsWater regularly but do not overwater
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH5.5 – 6.5
Minimum Container Size12 inches (30 cm) pot
Time to Harvest10-12 months
Growing EnvironmentOutdoors
Additional TipsUse rich organic compost to improve soil fertility. Provide a sheltered spot if grown in cooler climates.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is widely used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines for its vibrant color and earthy flavor. Besides its culinary uses, it is also renowned for its medicinal properties, such as anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric grows well in pots and requires warm temperatures and plenty of water. Find out more about how to grow Turmeric in our detailed guide.

Hand holding a bunch of freshly harvested turmeric with long, leafy stems and plump, orange rhizomes.
A bunch of freshly harvested turmeric, showcasing its long green stems and vibrant orange rhizomes.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun to partial shade
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeWell-draining, fertile soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.5
Minimum Container Size12 inches (30 cm) pot
Time to Harvest8-10 months
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsUse a light mulch to retain moisture. Protect the plant from strong winds.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a versatile herb used in numerous Asian dishes and teas. Its spicy and aromatic flavor is well-loved in both savory and sweet recipes. Ginger prefers indirect sunlight and moist, well-draining soil, making it ideal for indoor gardening. For step-by-step instructions, see our guide on growing Ginger.

A healthy ginger rhizome ready for planting in a home garden.
A healthy ginger rhizome ready for planting in a home garden.
Sunlight RequirementsIndirect sunlight
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Optimal pH5.5 – 6.5
Minimum Container Size8 inches (20 cm) pot
Time to Harvest8-10 months
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPlant ginger in wide, shallow containers. Rotate the container occasionally to ensure even growth.

5. Rice Paddy Herb

Rice Paddy Herb is commonly used in Vietnamese soups and dishes. It thrives in wet conditions and can even grow in small containers indoors. This herb is perfect for adding a unique flavor to your meals. For detailed planting instructions, check out our guide on how to grow Rice Paddy Herb.

Rice paddy herb plant with long, thin leaves
Rice paddy herb plant with long, thin leaves.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun to partial shade
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently wet
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.5
Minimum Container Size8 inches (20 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-90 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsEnsure the soil remains wet. Use a tray underneath the pot to catch excess water and maintain moisture.

6. Goji Berries

Goji Berries are known for their health benefits and are used in teas, soups, and various dishes. They can be grown in containers or garden beds, making them versatile for home gardening. Find out more about how to grow Goji Berries in our detailed guide.

Bunch of ripe red goji berries on a branch with green leaves. Goji berry plant.
A bunch of ripe goji berries hanging from a branch with green leaves.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun
Watering NeedsModerate watering
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH6.8 – 8.1
Minimum Container Size12 inches (30 cm) pot
Time to Harvest2-3 years
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPrune the plant regularly to encourage new growth. Protect from frost if grown outdoors.

7. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a popular herb in teas, soups, and various dishes, especially in Thai cuisine. It is easy to grow in containers and prefers full sun. Learn more about growing this aromatic herb in our Lemongrass planting guide.

Lemongrass growing in wooden bed
Lemongrass growing in wooden bed.
Sunlight RequirementsFull sun
Watering NeedsWater regularly, but do not overwater
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH5.0 – 8.4
Minimum Container Size12 inches (30 cm) pot
Time to Harvest4-8 months
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsDivide the plant every few years to keep it healthy. Use a pot with good drainage to prevent root rot.

8. Cilantro

Cilantro is widely used in Asian cuisine for its fresh, citrusy flavor. It grows well in pots and prefers cool weather. For detailed planting instructions, check out our guide on how to grow Cilantro.

Sunlight RequirementsFull sun to partial shade
Watering NeedsWater regularly, keep soil moist
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH6.2 – 6.8
Minimum Container Size6 inches (15 cm) pot
Time to Harvest45-70 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsHarvest leaves regularly to encourage continuous growth. Avoid planting in hot summer months.

9. Shiso (Perilla)

Shiso, also known as Perilla, is common in Japanese and Korean cuisine. It grows well in containers and can tolerate a range of light conditions. Learn more about growing this versatile herb in our Shiso planting guide.

Sunlight RequirementsPartial shade to full sun
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH5.5 – 6.5
Minimum Container Size10 inches (25 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-85 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPinch off flower buds to prolong leaf production. Shiso can spread easily, so consider using a container to control growth.

10. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is revered in Ayurvedic medicine and is commonly used in teas and dishes. It grows well in pots and prefers full sun. Find out more about how to grow Holy Basil in our detailed guide.

Sunlight RequirementsFull sun
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged
Soil TypeWell-draining, fertile soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.5
Minimum Container Size10 inches (25 cm) pot
Time to Harvest40-60 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPrune regularly to encourage bushy growth. Tulsi thrives in warm temperatures, so avoid cold drafts.

11. Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives are used in Chinese and Korean cooking for their mild garlic flavor. They grow well in containers and prefer full sun. Learn more about growing this versatile herb in our Garlic Chives planting guide.

Sunlight RequirementsFull sun
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.0
Minimum Container Size6 inches (15 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-90 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsHarvest leaves regularly to encourage continuous growth. Garlic chives can also be grown from divisions.

12. Kaffir Lime Leaf

Kaffir Lime Leaves are essential in Southeast Asian cuisine for their unique citrus flavor. They can be grown in containers and require full sun. For detailed planting instructions, check out our guide on how to grow Kaffir Lime Leaf.

Sunlight RequirementsFull sun
Watering NeedsWater regularly but ensure good drainage
Soil TypeWell-draining soil
Optimal pH5.5 – 6.5
Minimum Container Size12 inches (30 cm) pot
Time to Harvest1-2 years
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsProtect from frost if grown outdoors. Prune regularly to maintain shape and encourage new leaf growth.

13. Pennywort

Pennywort is used in Southeast Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. It grows well in moist soil and can be grown in containers or garden beds. Find out more about how to grow Pennywort in our detailed guide.

Sunlight RequirementsPartial shade to full sun
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Optimal pH6.0 – 7.5
Minimum Container Size8 inches (20 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-90 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsEnsure the soil remains consistently moist. Pennywort spreads easily, so consider using a container to control growth.

14. Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata)

Chameleon Plant, also known as Houttuynia cordata, is used in Vietnamese cuisine. It prefers moist soil and can be grown in containers or garden beds. Learn more about growing this unique herb in our Chameleon Plant guide.

Sunlight RequirementsPartial shade to full sun
Watering NeedsKeep soil consistently moist
Soil TypeMoist, well-draining soil
Optimal pH5.5 – 7.5
Minimum Container Size8 inches (20 cm) pot
Time to Harvest60-90 days
Growing EnvironmentBoth indoors and outdoors
Additional TipsPlant in a container to prevent spreading. Mulch around the base to retain soil moisture.

Here’s the revised section for starting from seeds, seedlings, and cuttings, with better structure and organization:

II. Tips on Growing Asian Herbs at Home

1. Growing in Pots

  • Choosing Containers: Use containers with good drainage holes. Terracotta pots are great for breathability, while plastic pots retain moisture better.
  • Soil Mix: Use a high-quality potting mix with added compost for nutrients.
  • Watering: Ensure regular watering, but allow the soil to dry slightly between watering to avoid root rot.

2. Maximizing Small Spaces

  • Vertical Gardening: Utilize vertical space with hanging pots or wall-mounted planters.
  • Stackable Planters: Use stackable or tiered planters to grow multiple herbs in a small footprint.
  • Compact Varieties: Choose dwarf or compact varieties of herbs that require less space.

3. Growing on Windowsills

  • Light Requirements: Ensure windowsills receive sufficient sunlight, ideally 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Rotating Plants: Rotate pots every few days to ensure even light exposure.
  • Herbs Selection: Choose herbs that thrive indoors, such as cilantro, basil, and chives.

4. Propagation Methods: Seeds, Seedlings, and Cuttings

a. Starting from Seeds

  • Seed Starting Mix: Use a light, well-draining seed starting mix for germination.
  • Germination: Follow specific germination requirements for each herb, such as light exposure and temperature.
  • Transplanting: Transplant seedlings to larger pots once they have a few true leaves.

b. Using Seedlings

  • Faster Start: Buying seedlings can be a quicker way to start your herb garden, especially for beginners.
  • Transplanting: Carefully transplant seedlings to their final growing containers or garden beds.

c. Starting from Cuttings

  • Easy Propagation: Some herbs, such as mint and basil, can be easily propagated from cuttings.
  • Root Development: Place cuttings in water until roots develop, then transplant to soil.
Making the Choice

Depending on your experience level and patience, you might prefer one method over the other. For more details, you can read our article on seeds vs. seedlings.

5. Sources of Seeds and Seedlings

  • Local Nurseries: Purchase from local nurseries to ensure plants are adapted to your climate.
  • Online Suppliers: Use reputable online suppliers for a wider variety of seeds and seedlings.
  • Seed Exchanges: Participate in seed exchange programs to obtain unique and heirloom varieties.

6. Indoor Lighting Solutions

  • Grow Lights: Use LED grow lights if natural sunlight is insufficient.
  • Positioning: Position grow lights 6-12 inches above the plants.
  • Lighting Duration: Provide 12-16 hours of artificial light daily for optimal growth.

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