Whether it’s the punchy flavor of basil or the soothing aroma of rosemary, fresh herbs are an easy way to liven up your favorite dishes. And lots of herb plants are remarkably easy to grow and care for right at home, so you won’t have to hit the grocery store every time you want a bit of thyme, chives, dill, or mint.
If you have enough outdoor space for a proper garden, that’s great! But herbs can also be grown in planter boxes on your balcony or patio or even inside with an indoor herb garden. Wherever you’re growing your preferred selection of herbs, the task is always made easier (and more enjoyable) when you have the right tools for the job. That’s why we’ve rounded up our picks for the best herb garden tools.
Costway 40 in. Rectangular Wooden Flower Planter Box
A sturdy planter box will give your herbs room to stretch their roots while keeping everything nice and tidy. It’s important that a planter box provides proper drainage as soggy soil can cause roots to rot, and this one has two drainage holes and a design that allows you to either add soil directly inside the planter or use it as a holder for pots within. It’s also both indoor- and outdoor-friendly, so it’s an excellent choice no matter where your herb garden is meant to grow.
Price at time of publish: $102
Leaves and Soul Professional Indoor Herb Plant Soil
Like any other plant, herbs thrive best when they’re nestled in soil capable of providing much-needed nutrients. This indoor herb soil is ready to use right out of the bag and is perfect for your favorite windowsill herbs.
Price at time of publish: $14
NOVART XXL Herb Keeper
While it’s true that one of the perks of growing your own herbs at home is being able to harvest them as needed, sometimes you’ll find yourself with an abundance of clipped herbs — and now what? Enter the Novart XXL Herb Keeper, which keeps herbs fresh in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Just put a little water in the bottom of the container, then store herbs upright for easy access and no squishing.
The only downside of Novart’s herb preserver is that, true to its name, it’s quite large and thus isn’t suitable for smaller fridges. If you’re tight on space, we also like the OXO Good Grips GreenSaver Herb Keeper.
Price at time of publish: $30
Indoor Garden Grower
AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
Perfect for small spaces or anyone just looking to dabble in herb growing, the AeroGarden Harvest Elite is our top pick when it comes to indoor herb gardens. The hydroponic setup means there’s no fussing with messy soil, and the built-in lighting system means you can place the garden wherever is most convenient for your home — window or no window.
The AeroGarden comes with everything you need to get started, so it’s great for beginners and busy lifestyles alike.
Price at time of publish: $159
Luxiv Stainless Steel Kitchen Herb Leaf Stripping Tool
An herb stripper might feel like a gimmicky gadget, but once you’ve made quick work of a few stems of rosemary or kale, we bet you’ll have a new perspective! A good herb stripper will have several different-sized holes, and the idea is that you pass the tip of a stem through the appropriate hole, pull it gently, and the leaves or needles will come right off.
This herb stripper from Luxiv is so affordable and easy to toss into a drawer, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have one before.
Price at time of publish: $6
Jenaluca Herb Scissors Set
Skip the tedious chopping and work more efficiently with these five-blade scissors. They work overtime to create perfectly uniform strips for garnish, like basil, chives, parsley, and more. You can also use them to fine-chop lettuce or other leafy greens of your choice. They come with a plastic protector to safeguard you from the sharp blades as well as a comb to pull out any strips caught in between when cutting. To clean, simply rinse with water, or for messier jobs, throw them in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $16
FELCO Model 322 Snips
Gardening experts recommend clipping herbs with a purpose-built snipping tool rather than regular scissors, which aren’t always sharp enough to make quick, clean cuts. Squishing the stem can hinder the plant’s ability to take in water which can stifle — or fully prevent — further growth. These snips from Felco are strong, ultra-sharp, and ergonomically friendly, so you won’t damage your plants as you harvest or trim.
Price at time of publish: $23
FELCO F-2 One-Hand Pruning Shear
For studier, woody plants like fruit trees or ivy, it’s best to step up from the snips and instead reach for a proper pair of pruners. Again, we recommend Felco for the task, as these pruners feature even stronger, sharper blades that cut right through stems and small branches with minimal impact.
Price at time of publish: $59
Wonder Grip Nicely Nimble Garden Gloves
Gardening gloves aren’t just for gardeners who spend their whole day in the backyard — a great pair of gloves can be an indispensable tool for herb gardens, too. These gloves from Wonder Grip offer, as you might expect from the name, a solid grip with plenty of protection from soil, thorns, sticky leaves, and lots more. They’re also highly flexible to allow you to maintain dexterity as you’re working. Pick up a pair of gloves for potting, replanting, and weeding — especially if your herb garden is outdoors.
Price at time of publish: $12
Homarden Copper 40-ounce Watering Can
Watering your herbs shouldn’t feel like a chore, and with this elegant watering can, it might even be a task you’ll look forward to! We like the long, narrow neck that snakes politely between plants and easily tucks into tight corners. The generously curved handle means the can is always comfortable to hold and pour from no matter how full, which helps reduce spills and wrist strain. This can is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and looks nice enough you won’t won’t even want to stash it away between uses.
Price at time of publish: $30
Seed Needs Culinary Herb Seed Packet Collection
Arguably the most fun part of setting up an herb garden is the part where you get to choose exactly what you’ll grow. This seed collection sets you up with 12 types of herbs — including thyme, savory, sage, rosemary, parsley, oregano, marjoram, dill, chives, cilantro, basil, and borage — just add them to your desired pots or planter with a nutrient-rich herb soil and wait for the magic to happen.
Price at time of publish: $14
A.M. Leonard Deluxe Soil Knife & Leather Sheath Combo
If you haven’t worked with a soil knife before, it’s sure to become your new favorite gardening tool. This one from A.M. Leonard features 6-inch measurements with a tapered tip and both smooth and serrated edges. It’s perfect for planting seeds or creating space in the soil to replant a potted herb plant. Since the blade is slightly concave, it even works like a trowel to move soil without having to switch tools. This is a multi-functional knife you’ll be eager to reach for.
Price at time of publish: $50
All-in-One Tool Kit
Pure Garden Tote & Garden Tool 8-piece Set
Sometimes it’s nice to have a complete tool kit ready to go, and this handy set includes just about anything you might need to get started with an at-home herb garden. You’ll find pruning shears, snips, a trowel, a hand rake, a hand shovel, wire ties, and a spray bottle, all tucked into a tote bag with lots of pockets and plenty of extra storage for other accessories you might have.
Price at time of publish: $21
Herb: A cook’s companion
Herb: A Cook’s Companion by Mark Diacono is a lovely book for any herb enthusiast to have on their shelves. This book offers tips and insights on how to grow and nurture various herbs, then dives into recipes that put those fresh herbs front and center. It’s a great inspiration both in the garden and in the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $22
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best tool to trim herbs?
The sharp blades of an herb snipper are preferable to kitchen scissors or tearing off leaves and stems by hand. Snips will make clean cuts with minimal damage, allowing your herb plants to regenerate quickly and grow strong and healthy. We also like an herb stripper to strip tough herbs like thyme or rosemary easily.
How do you pick herbs quickly?
Again, an herb snipper will be your friend for quick harvesting since you can make efficient cuts and move on swifty without damaging healthy plants.
Do herbs grow better in pots or the ground?
Most herbs will do well in pots or planters; in fact, a pot prevents herbs from invading other species in the rest of the garden. Herbs like mint and oregano can grow quite aggressively, so consider planting them inside a pot when planting them in the ground. For even more control, planting them in separate pots above ground will ensure there is no crossover.
This article was written by Summer Rylander, a food and travel journalist who has written about food, beverage, and cooking products for Food & Wine, Allrecipes, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn. She made her selections based on careful research and her personal experience with growing herbs both indoors and on her south-facing apartment balcony.