Some Essential Cooking Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

One of the many reasons why the average home cook doesn’t venture outside of their culinary comfort zone is because they lack the 20 different fresh herbs they need for a single recipe. That egg dish may be a crowd favourite and perfect for a growing family, but with the addition of all those fresh herbs, it becomes more of a hassle than its worth.

Of course, in many cases, you can substitute fresh for dried, but the result is never as good as with fresh herb plants in NZ. What’s more, many of their dried counterparts can end up altering the texture or taste of your dish for the worst.

If you’d love to sink your teeth into a new recipe book with fresh and delicious meals, then it might be time to grow herbs in your garden and planter boxes in NZ. Your family’s stomachs will thank you for it.  

Read on to discover which herbs will get the most use in your home, and how to grow them successfully.


How often do you go to a restaurant and pull that fresh parsley garnish off your dish before you dig in? While parsley adds colour and vibrancy to any meal, it’s also an excellent herb plant in NZ for balancing flavours and adding freshness.

Parsley is something you can include in Middle Eastern cuisine, salads, or even toppings for vegetables. It’s also an excellent herb for digestion and a source of Vitamin A and C. What’s more; it’s easy to grow. This vibrant herb is drought-tolerant, thrives in partial and full sun, and only needs occasional watering.


If you want fresh herb plants in NZ that you can’t kill, then mint should be at the top of your must-have list. Whether you want new potatoes with mint, mint tea, or a fresh mojito in summer, then this is the essential cooking herb for you. It’s hardy, takes a lot to kill, and can actually be quite invasive. It’s in your best interests to keep mint contained in planter boxes in NZ if you don’t want it to take over.


There’s nothing like the fresh fragrance of rosemary wafting out of your kitchen, so what are you waiting for? If you’re on the hunt for versatile herbs that are both beautifully smelling and divine in a range of dishes, then rosemary is the answer. Use it with poultry, vegetables, meat; the sky’s the limit. Rosemary is also easy-care as it loves only occasional watering. It can also grow into a large bush, so consider a planter box to keep it contained.


Not everyone knows how to let their fresh herbs do all the talking, but chives do it all on their own. This standout cooking herb is essential for the cook who loves intense flavours and infusion. It works beautifully in egg dishes, with potatoes, and in salads or soups. Even better, chives have a relatively decent nutritional value with both Vitamin C and beta carotene. Provide them with rich, fertile soil in full sun and let them thrive.

Bay Leaves

While bay leaves may not look like much, they can pack a punch in terms of flavour. If you are looking for essential herbs to grow in your garden, then they’ll likely make the cut. They feature in many divine stews and recipes and have a sharp, bitter, and peppery flavour that can balance out the sweetness of a dish. Bay leaves grow on a bay leaf tree, but you can grow the tree in a container or planter box and pick leaves off it as you need.


If you struggle to add life and zest to your meals, then maybe sage can help. This aromatic herb is one that’s perfect for your vegetables, sauces, and meats. The key with this delightful plant is to balance the flavour properly. It can be quite overbearing if you use too much of it or pair it with another strong flavour. It’s both easy to grow and care for, making it perfect for those neglectful plant parents!

…And Where to Grow Them

Now that you know what essential cooking herbs your kitchen needs, you then need to know where to plant them. You can purchase all manner of planter boxes in NZ, but not everyone has a lot of space. Fortunately, most herbs grow well in mason jars and standard plant pots. Choose the best soil based on your chosen herbs’ needs, then place them either in the sun or partial sun, depending on what helps them to thrive.

It’s Time to Grow Herbs!

Take your culinary expertise to the next level with a range of beautiful and vibrant herbs that are easy to grow (and keep alive). Not only is growing your own herbs a more cost-effective option, but it can mean you’re able to dabble in a whole host of new recipes that your family is bound to love. Happy cooking, everyone!


Klaris Chua-Pineda