15 Herbs You Can Grow from Spice Rack

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Your kitchen holds a treasure that’s ready to germinate! Here are the best Herbs You Can Grow from Spice Rack to start your small herb garden!

Herbs You Can Grow from Spice Rack

Do you know that those colorful, aromatic spices you have in your spice rack hold a sprouting secret? Yes, you read that, right! All you have to do is take a handful of these spices from your kitchen and grow them fresh in pots and garden. Sounds exciting? Well, it definitely is because there are herbs you can grow from spice rack!

Check out our article on veggies that you can grow from cuttings here

List of Herbs You Can Grow from Spice Rack

Keep in mind that some spices like black pepper might have processed to the point, which hampers their ability to germinate. If you are looking forward to successful sprouting, it is highly advisable that you get seeds from a local grower or an Organic grocery store.

1. Coriander

An essential ingredient in many Spanish, Mexican, Latin, and Indian cuisines, it’d be great to grow it fresh from seeds! You can use coriander seeds from your spice rack to grow fresh cilantro. Sow the seeds at a quarter-inch depth and cover them with a layer of soil. Water adequately, and in just 7-10 days, the seeds will germinate.

Uses: Sprinkle it fresh over salads and add to home-baked bread and gingerbread.

2. Fennel


Fragrant fennel seeds are a primary ingredient in salads, cheese spread, baking bread, sausage mixtures, and also used as a mouth freshener. For growing sweet aromatic fronds, get some fennel seeds from your spice rack and sprinkle them on potting soil and cover them with a layer of soil. Water adequately and harvest sweet-smelling tender fronds in 7-10 days.

Uses: Fresh fennel stalks taste best in soups and stews.

Find out the Tastiest African Herbs to Grow here

3. Fenugreek

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Dried fenugreek leaves are crushed and sprinkled on many cuisines as they enhance the aroma and flavor of the food. To grow, soak the seeds overnight in a bowl of water. Sprinkle the seeds on well-drained soil. Make sure they get 3-4 hours of sunlight. The seeds will sprout in 3-5 days and require 2-3 weeks to be harvested.

Uses: Dried and fresh leaves are used in curries, vegetable dishes, and soups.

4. Ginger

Take a piece of ginger and cut it into 2-3 inches chunks. Soak it overnight in water and plant it next morning in rich, loamy potting mix. Ensure that the growth buds on the ginger pod face up. Maintain the moisture of the soil, and provide partial shade.

Uses: Tender ginger leaves taste best steamed, sautéd, and boiled. It can also be used raw in salads.

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5. Caraway

Caraway seeds have a peppery taste and used in curries, soups, and sausages. Young caraway leaves are also added in cheese, butter, green salads, soups, and stews. Just sprinkle some seeds directly on the soil. Cover them with a thin layer of soil and water well. The seeds will sprout in 7-10 days.

Uses: Leaves are added to salads and soups. It is also eaten as root vegetables like parsnip or carrot.  

6. Cardamom Pods

Used famously in many dishes for its intense and sweet flavor, you can use cardamom from your spice rack to grow! Soak the seeds in water overnight, after taking them out of the outer green cover. Plant them the next day in a mixture of half sand and half soil with a handful of coco peat and water well. The seeds will germinate in 40-50 days.

Uses: Fresh cardamom leaves are a refreshing addition to drinks and tastes best with Gin

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7. Mustard Seeds

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You can use mustard seeds to grow nutritious, peppery, crispy mustard greens or leaf mustard. Get some seeds from your pantry and sow them an inch apart. In 6-10 days, the seeds will germinate. You can harvest baby greens in 20-25 days or wait till the leaves turn large and velvety.

Uses: Has several uses in Asian cuisines. It’s the main ingredient of a famous Indian delicacy Sarson Ka Saag.

8. Juniper Berry

One of the best herbs out there to make your stew flavorful, juniper berry, is also easy to grow! Take juniper seeds and wrap them in a wet paper towel. Put the wrapped towel in a plastic zip pouch and keep it in a covered, transparent bowl. In 18-24 days, the seeds will germinate. You can then plant them directly into the soil.

Uses: Leaves Tastes great with meat dishes and non-alcoholic beverages.

Check out Everything About Pruning Hydrangeas here

9. Garlic

Get some garlic cloves from your spice shelf and sow 3-4 cloves in a container filled with potting soil. Place the pot on a sunny window sill and water lightly. You can harvest your garlic greens in just 7-10 days.

Uses: The greens can be stir-fried and tossed on a pizza.

10. Cumin

Cumin has a variety of uses, especially in Asian cuisines. Growing cumin is a fairly easy process too! Just take few cumin seeds from your spice rack and soak them in water for 14-16 hours. Now, make a mix using 70% soil and 30% potting mix in a pot, and pour the water containing cumin seeds into the pot. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of the mix. Sprinkle some water and cover the pot with a plastic sheet. The seeds will germinate in 2 weeks.

Uses: The leaves can be added to non-vegetarian cuisines.

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11. Nutmeg

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You must have it in your spice rack if you love spicy food! It has an unmistakable flavor and has uses in a variety of cuisines and desserts. If you want to grow a nutmeg tree, follow this–Take 3-4 nutmegs and put them in a glass of water for 24 hours. For successful germination, it is advisable to plant them in a seed mix. Press the seeds into the pot and cover with a thin layer of growing medium. Water lightly and cover the pot with a plastic sheet. They will germinate in 3-4 weeks.

Uses: The leaves can be added in pasta and black bean soup.

12. Sesame

These healthy and oil-rich sesame seeds have several uses in making a variety of dishes. They are also a part of Korean and South Asian cuisines. To grow sesame from seeds, wrap the seeds in a paper towel, make it moist, and keep it at room temperature. The seeds will open in 5-7 days. You can then plant them directly in the soil.

Uses: The leaves are used in Korean cuisines and fish preparations. 

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13. Celery Seeds

Slightly bitter in flavor, celery seeds commonly used in pickles, dips, beverages, and stuffings. Take a few celery seeds from your kitchen and put them in soil. Do remember not to push deep or cover them as they’re one of the very few seeds that require sunlight for germination. Gently tap them on soil for the contact, and that’s it. Sprinkle some water, and the seeds will germinate in 2-3 weeks.

Uses: Thanks to its leaf’s crunchy texture, it’s home to salads and sandwiches. 

14. Amaranth

You must have used amaranth seeds in salads and stir-fries. Its flour is also a healthy alternative to wheat. Take a 10-12 inch pot, fill it with garden soil, and sprinkle seeds over. Cover them with a thin layer of soil. Water well and keep the container at a shaded location where it gets dappled sunlight. The seeds will germinate in a week.

Uses: Greens pair well in curries. You can also make crispy amaranth leaf balls or mix them with black beans. 

Check out DIY Mason Jar Herb Garden | Step by Step Tutorial here

15. Black Pepper

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There are so many ways in which the black pepper is used that it’ll definitely be a good idea to grow it! To grow, fill potting mix into a disposable plastic glass and put seeds in it. Cover them with a layer of garden soil. Water well and cover the glass with a plastic sheet. Keep the glass in bright, indirect sunlight, and the seeds will germinate in 8-10 days. You can then transplant them directly into a pot or garden.

Uses: Stir fry the leaves with Shrimp for an enhanced taste! 

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  1. Wow, I had no idea that I could use the leaves in my cooking, rather than just the seeds of all these spices! Thank you!


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