16 Spices You Can Grow in Pots | Growing Spices at Home

Growing Spices at home is possible! There’re 16 spices that you can grow in the garden or in your apartment balcony in pots.

If it ever crossed in your mind to grow spices at home in pots or in your garden, this post is for you. Even if you live in a small condo, you can plant any of these spices and create a Container Spice Garden.

1. Turmeric

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa

The part that is Used as Spice: Roots and Rhizomes

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

When it comes to spices, turmeric tops the list because of its innumerate benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory and is also rich in antioxidants. Apart from that, it can also be used topically for treating wounds. It is mainly used in Asian, more specifically in Indian curries.

How to Grow: Plant the turmeric rhizomes in spring and early summer, if you live in a cold climate. In tropical and subtropical climates, you can plant it throughout the year, except hot summers. Growing turmeric is not much different from growing ginger. Learn more here. Find out 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric!

Also Read: Using Turmeric in the Garden

2. Ginger

Growing Spices at home is possible! There're 16 spices that you can grow in the garden or in your apartment balcony in pots.

Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale

The part that is Used as Spice: Rhizomes

Difficulty: Easy

Ginger is beneficial for both body and brain as it’s rich in nutrients and various bioactive compounds. It can be used in fresh or dried form and is surprisingly easy to grow indoors. One great thing about ginger is that you can harvest it year around.

How to Grow: Plant the overnight soaked ginger rhizomes in a shallow and wide pot and make sure that the eye bud is facing upwards. Keep the pot away from bright light but in a warm spot. Water in every 2-3 days so that the soil remains moist. Do not overwater!

Also Read: How to Grow Ginger in Pot

3. Cumin

Botanical Name: Cuminum cyminum

The part that is Used as Spice: Seeds

Difficulty: Easy

Cuminum cyminum plant seeds are used as a spice. It’s commonly used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cooking. Apart from seeds, leaves are also edible but don’t valuable taste. Cumin improves digestion, helps in weight loss and detoxify the body.

How to Grow: Cumin belongs to the parsley family. It prefers frost-free climates. You can understand this by checking out the list of producers–70% of cumin is produced in India, followed by Syria, Turkey, and China. Grow the cumin plant in spring so that it’ll be ready for harvest until mid to late summer. If you live in a hot climate, plant it in winters. Choose at least 8-10 inches deep pot to grow it.

4. Onion

Botanical Name: Allium cepa

The part that is Used as Spice: Bulbs

Difficulty: Easy

You must be wondering what this vegetable is doing in this list of spices? Well, you’ll be surprised to know that although onion is a vegetable, its dried powder is considered a spice. It goes well in many recipes and is also low in fat and calories. Mainly it’s used for seasoning dishes and food products such as pizza, pasta, and grilled chicken.

How to Grow: Growing onions in pots is really easy. You’ll need a minimum 10 inches deep but wide planters. A window box or tub with a recommended depth would be best. You can leave 3 inches of space between each onion.

5. Garlic

Botanical Name: Allium sativum

The part that is Used as Spice: Bulbs

Difficulty: Easy

This close cousin of onion is adaptive to both indoor and outdoor conditions. Garlic falls in the category of both the spice and vegetable. It also has medicinal benefits that can prevent or give relief in various ailments such as common cold, heart diseases, high or low blood pressure. *There’s evidence that garlic intake reduces the risk of cancer.

How to Grow: Check out our article to learn everything about growing garlic in pots.

6. Coriander

Botanical Name: Coriandrum sativum

The part that is Used as Spice: Seeds

Difficulty: Easy

It also goes by the name cilantro. The dried seeds of this herb are called Coriander seeds. This spice is commonly used in Pakistani, Indian, Mexican, and Latin American cooking, either whole or powdered. Their spicy aroma is very rich and citrusy.

How to Grow: Like the way you grow cilantro. Let it flower and seed, collect them to use fresh. Fresh coriander seeds are very aromatic. Learn how to grow cilantro here.

7. Paprika

Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum

The part that is Used as Spice: Fruits

Difficulty: Easy

This ground spice is true to its nature and used to spice up the dishes. Made by grounding the dried chili pepper, tomato pepper, or cayenne pepper. Peppers are easy to grow in pots, and you can even grow several varieties for a blend. Keep in mind that *bell peppers are not suitable for this spice.

How to Grow: Growing them is similar to bell peppers. Check out our article to learn more.

8. Saffron

Growing Spices at home

Botanical Name: Crocus sativus

The part that is Used as Spice: Stigma of the flower

Difficulty: Moderate to Hard

The price of this most expensive spice can go up to $10 per gram, how about growing saffron at home? It’s obtained from the stigmas of saffron flowers, one plant only bears one flower, and one flower has just 3 stigmas. Everything about saffron is special and amazing: The flavor, scent, rarity, and innumerable health benefits.

How to Grow: Saffron grows best in a cool and dry climate, usually in USDA Zones 6-9. Iran is the largest producer of Saffron. To grow, you’ll need to buy only and only Crocus sativas corms and plant them in fall, 6 weeks before your first expected frost date. You could also start in the spring. The wikiHow has an informative article on it here.

9. Mustard

Botanical Name: Brassica juncea

The part that is Used as Spice: Seeds

Difficulty: Easy

Mustard seeds from any black, brown or yellow mustard come in the category of spices and used ground or whole in many parts of the world. You can harvest the seeds and use them to prepare the mustard sauces, curries, and snacks. The seeds can be used fresh or dried if you want to store them for further use.

How to Grow: Mustard greens are one of the easiest leafy greens to grow in pots. You can grow mustard anytime except winters in a cool climate and in fall and winter in a hot climate. You can use mustard leaves in salads and let the plant to seed to collect this spice.

10. Fennel Seeds

Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare

The part that is Used as Spice: Fruits

Difficulty: Easy

Fennel is an aromatic herb and belongs to the carrot family. Its fruits, which look like seeds make the spice “fennel seeds.” Fennel seeds are flavorful, aromatic, sweet and warm in taste and used very much in Middle Eastern, Italian, Indian cooking. They’re also chewed up after the meal in many Asian countries to freshen up the breath and aid digestion.

How to Grow: Because of the length of the taproot, the container must be at least 12-14 inches in depth. Use a light potting medium and water frequently but do not overwater. Harvest fennel leaves as you need and wait for the fragrant fruits ripe before picking.

11. Star Anise

Botanical Name: Illicium verum

The part that is Used as Spice:

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

This exotic spice is commonly used in Indian and Chinese cooking. Star anise with fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns is powdered to make famous “Five Chinese Spice.” It’s also an ingredient of famous “Garam Masala” condiment used in curries.

How to Grow: It grows well in subtropical climates. Check our article to learn how to grow it.

12. Cardamom

Growing spices in pots and containers

Botanical Name: Elettaria cardamomum

The part that is Used as Spice: Fruits or pods

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Who doesn’t know about this famous intensely fragrant spice? The best part is you can grow cardamom in pots in your home. It’s an ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes and widely used in Middle Eastern, Arabic, Indian and Swedish cuisine.

How to Grow: Check out our article on how to grow cardamom here.

13. Asafoetida (Hing) Plant

Botanical Name: Ferula foetida

The part that is Used as Spice: Latex

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

The highly potent aroma and flavor of asafoetida make it a great addition to curries, soups, daal and lentil recipes. The anti-bacterial, carminative, diuretic, antiviral, sedative, and anti-inflammatory nature of this spice makes it unparalleled when it comes to health benefits. Plus, it can also be applied topically to treat calluses and corns. It’s no wonder that it been named Food of Gods!

This spice is obtained from the sap of stems and roots of Ferula foetida plant, and it can be costly to buy.

How to Grow: First of all, you’ll need to buy the seeds of Ferula foetida. It grows best in moderate climates (USDA Zones 7-9). The main producers are Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, etc. This herb can grow up to 5-6 feet tall, which means you can grow it in pots.

14. Indian Bay Leaf (Tej Patta)

How to Grow Spices at home

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum tamala

The part that is Used as Spice: Leaves

Difficulty: Easy

Dried Indian bay leaf is a popular spice in many countries of South Asia. Its taste and aroma are completely different from “Bay Laurel.” The pleasant spicy smell has strong notes of cinnamon and clove, plus, it’s very peppery in taste. This bay leaf is used to flavor rice dishes like biryani, gravies, soups, and curries.

How to Grow: Indian bay leaf is a tree, but you can easily grow it in pots and restrict the height. It grows best in warm subtropical and tropical climate. You can also plant it in a container in a cold climate and keep it indoors during winter. To grow, buy a plant from the nearby nursery and plant it in a pot that is one size bigger than the root ball of the plant. Keep repotting in every year or two.

15. Curry Tree

Botanical Name: Murraya koenigii

The part that is Used as Spice: Leaves

Difficulty: Easy

Curry tree leaves are used in curries, chutneys, uttapam. Most extensively in South Indian and Sri Lankan recipes. You can add them in both the category of herb and spice. The leaves can be dried under shade and stored for long use if fresh leaves are not available. The aroma of curry tree leaves is distinct, very sweet and lingering.

How to Grow: Check out our growing guide to learn more.

16. Black Pepper

16 Best spices to grow in garden

Botanical Name: Piper nigrum

The part that is Used as Spice: Fruits

Difficulty: Moderate

Black pepper fruits or peppercorns are one of the most popular spices in the world, available in most of the kitchens and used in a variety of cuisines for their heat and spiciness. You can even grow it in pots, but it prefers warm and humid climate.

How to Grow: This spice plant is finicky about its climatic requirements; you can learn how to grow it here.



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