How Often to Water Your Herbs

The annual plants should be watered as frequently as is necessary to ensure that the soil remains dry but not overly saturated, typically each 3-7 days. Mediterranean plants should be watered less frequently and allow the soil to dry between periods of watering. The watering of Mediterranean herbs every two weeks in containers and pots.

The most significant and significant distinction in regards to the frequency of watering various kinds of herbs is whether they are perennial plants that come in or are from the Mediterranean area of Europe (lavender, rosemary, thyme and sage, oregano) or if they are herbaceous annuals (basil mint, cilantro, dill, mint parsley, chives, basil).

Mediterranean plants are woody and are adapted to drought conditions. Therefore, they are best watered every two weeks at most (once they’ve established).

The leafy annual plants require that the soil be always humid (but not completely saturated) therefore they need to frequently soaking in water (once every five days or so, depending on the conditions).

This table can be make an easy reference guide on the frequency of watering herbs in various conditions and times…

It is crucial to remember that this table is only a guideline and there are many factors that influence the frequency of watering plants, such as the dimensions of the pot, temperatures, and duration and intensity of the sun.

Be sure to read this article to make sure you’re watering your plants at the correct frequency under various conditions to keep your plant well-nourished…

How Often to Water Mediterranean Herbs

Potted watering Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and lavender once every two weeks in the summer months. Established Mediterranean herbaceous plants in vegetable gardens should be watered during extreme drought because they are drought-resistant and are able to get every ounce of moisture that they require from rain.

Mediterranean herbs is a term used to describe any plant which is indigenous to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been adapted to the dry and hot climate in the spring and Summer, and the moderate Winters with frequent rainfall.

Popular Mediterranean herbs include:

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

These herbs thrive in dry conditions, and should therefore be regularly watered less than leafy annual plants.

The watering of Mediterranean plants too often creates the conditions that allow this fungal infection Phytophthora root rot to flourish.

Since Mediterranean plants are adapted to dry soil, they are more vulnerable to root rot, so it is crucial to replicate the natural environment by watering less frequently than other plants.

Every two weeks, water while they’re in containers (with an ample soak to encourage root growth) because pots can dry out fast in the summer, especially if they’re smaller than 12 inches in size.


Mediterranean herbaceous plants (such such as the lavender) are perennial plants that means they return each year so long as they are properly cared for during winter by protecting them from cold weather and not watering in any way.

Mediterranean plants get all the water they require to survive winter from the surrounding environment . They are also at a higher chance of developing root rot, so it is best to stop watering plants like sage and rosemary in the fall, and continue to water them until the following spring.

Mediterranean plants that are planted on raised bed or used as hedges in garden boarders don’t require watering after they have established themselves the first year, as they can thrive during the dry and hot Summers in Southern Europe without any need to water.

How Often to Water Leafy Annual Herbs

The watering of herbs like cilantro and basil every 3 to 5 days to make sure that the soil remains damp to stop them from becoming wilted. In the summer months, the year, you should water your annual plants as frequently as every other day, especially when they are planted placed in pots that are small and outdoor.

The most popular types of annual herbs include:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Parsley

These annual herbs can be utilized in Mediterranean cuisine, but they actually come from in different parts of the globe where they thrive in soils that are moist and have more rainfall and in partial shade.

Thus, the annual plants require constant moisture in the soil, and therefore need to be watered more frequently than Mediterranean plants.

With Mediterrenaean plants, the biggest danger to the health of the plant is excessive watering, whereas annual plants are at a significant risk of drowning, which causes stems and leaves wilting.

The possibility of root rot that is caused by overwatering frequently is less apparent when it comes to annual plants (compared to Mediterranean plants) and is typically only an issue when the soil is flooded because of slow draining soils or pots that do not drain.

There are many aspects like the right pots for annual plants and the dimensions of the pot which determine how often you water your annual plants, and so, read my posts to select the most suitable pots for your herbs and the the best herb potting soil.

If the herbs are grown in organic rich compost , or pot soils that drain well, and are planted in a pot large enough and placed in a shaded area and watering every 4-7 days is generally enough.

Change the frequency at which you water your herbs If they begin to exhibit indications of stress from drought, such as leaves curling or dying.

It is important to note that annual plants like basil thrive in morning sunlight, and afternoon shade. If they are exposed to full sunlight in the afternoon the plant may begin to be able to wilt briefly (as an ailment to the heat, not due to a absence of moisture) and then return to normal after temperatures cool at night.

Check the soil’s moisture to a finger’s depth to determine if your plants are moist enough. If the top inch of soil is dry, give your plants a good soak. This is a great method to determine the ideal frequency of watering for your plants in your garden based on the weather conditions, rather than an overall schedule.

How Often to Water Herbs After Planting

Annual herbs like basil regularly after planting to ensure that the soil remains damp to stop the plants from becoming wilted. The typical practice is to water leafy plants every 3 to 4 days until the plant grows. The lavender-loving plants prefer dry conditions, but they should regularly watered after the plantation until the roots are established.

It is vital to keep an eye on your plants and water them more frequently after they have been planted, as this is when they are at risk of suffering due to drought, with the annual herb that is leafy at the highest danger.

The reason for this is that the plant’s roots haven’t had the chance to grow in the soil, so they aren’t able to absorb water as effectively. In order to compensate, it’s essential that the soil is kept moist to ensure that the plant remains well-hydrated, and also to reduce the effects of transplant shock and wilting.

For plants like mint, basil, or cilantro you should water them as often as is needed to keep the soil damp for the first three weeks. After about 3 weeks, the plant should be adapted to its surroundings, and the roots will draw the soil for more moisture and you can reduce the frequency of watering to every 7 to 7 days.

For Mediterranean plants, it is essential to water them once per every week during the initial four weeks following the planting.

This gives the plant enough moisture to ensure it doesn’t suffer the effects of drought or drop but also reduces the chance of root rot resulting from excessive watering. After 3 or 4 weeks, you should water Mediterranean herbs every two weeks during the initial season.

After the first year, the Mediterranean plant should be established and may only require irrigation during times of drought or every two weeks in pots, if there isn’t any significant rain.

To reduce the chance of root rot, it’s essential to grow Mediterranean herbs in the correct well-drained and sandy potting mix. check out my article on the best potting mix for lavenders.

How Often to Water Herbs Indoors

The indoor plants should be watered every 5-7 days, giving an ample soak to ensure that the soil remains damp but not completely saturated. If the plant begins to lose its shape or become droopy, Increase the amount of time it takes to water, and remove the plant from direct sunlight while it heals.

It is crucial to remember that plants can die due to excessive moisture around the roots, as well as the dehydration process.

Herbs usually will not grow due to excessive water around the roots due to they are placed in pots that do not have drain holes at the bottom (causing the water to accumulate around the roots instead of be able to drain) or due to saucers and trays (which hinders the drainage of water out of the pot).

If your plants are becoming wilted and turning yellow, this is the signs of root rot resulting from the soil being overly saturated (which blocks oxygen from the soil and chokes the roots) instead of being consistently humid.

(If your plants are turning yellow, read my article on on how to revive dying plants).

Make sure your plants are placed in pots that have drainage holes at the bottom to allow for the excess liquid to flow away from the roots . Plant in a good potting soil or compost, as compost is able to hold in moisture, but still possess a porous structure which allows water to penetrate to ensure that the soil doesn’t get boggy.

It is important to note that only leafy, green annual herbs like cilantro and basil can be grown inside (in the sunlit window sill) while Mediterranean plants require ample sun as well as plenty of airflow, so they should be planted outside.

How Often to Water Herbs Seeds and Seedlings

Seedlings and herbs should be watered every week to ensure they are evenly damp. Always ensure that you give your plants a thorough soak to promote the development of healthy roots. Let the area of soil to become dry out to the point of being slightly dry before watering it again.

When watering seeds of herb or seedlings it is essential to make sure your soil gets hydrated thoroughly, as it promotes the growth of roots.

If your seedlings are not watered enough, only the soil’s surface is moist, which encourages the development of shallow roots and makes the seedlings vulnerable to dryness.

By giving it more frequent watering, the plant develops stronger and more robust root system that is capable of up getting water deeper into the soil. The roots also gain access to the nutrients it needs to ensure that you have plenty of healthy leaves of your herb to pick in the next few weeks.

Of course , you must increase the frequency of watering your seedlings when temperatures rise dramatically. It is best to place them on the cooler part of your window or in a spot with morning sun, followed by afternoon shade to avoid the wilting and stress caused by heat.

The reason to allow the soil’s surface to dry out a bit is because roots require oxygen to allow them to breathe. When the soil becomes not dry enough, it can block oxygen from the soil surrounding their tiny growing root system, which could cause them to become suffocated.

When you wait to water until the soil is wet to touch will ensure that the soil is oxygenated to allow the roots to breathe and keep the seedlings healthyand well-hydrated.

How Often to Water Herbs in Pots and Containers

Potted water Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and lavender once every two weeks during the Spring and Summer months if there isn’t any significant rainfall. Do not even water during the winter months because this can cause root rot. The leaves of annual herbs like cilantro and basil at least every 3-7 days.

Remember that this is based on the assumption that the herbs are being grown in a pot which is 12 inches in diameter and is using a clay, terracotta or ceramic pot, not the plastic or metal container or pot.

The leafy annual plants can thrive in smaller pots, but you might need to increase the frequency with which you water your plant to ensure that your soil remains evenly moist since smaller pots tend to dry out faster in the sunlight. In the summer months, when temperatures are hot, season, it could be essential to sprinkle water on your annual plants daily in pots and containers to avoid stress from drought and the plants from wilting.

Check the soil with the point of a finger to determine if you have to water your annual plants. If you notice water in the top inch of the soil, then it is fine to put off the watering for a day or two.

If the soil in your potting area feels dry, then give your plants a good soak until excess water drips out of the drainage holes at the base , which means that the water has absorbed enough to reach the herb roots.

In the summer heat during the hottest and dry days, your plants may need regular watering. If your plants are dying even though the soil is damp, this could be an effective strategy for survival of the herb to reduce their leaf surface area in order to lessen transpiration and save water. The plants usually recover once temperatures cool at night.

If this happens to your annual herb plants in pots, I would suggest moving the pot into an area with morning sunlight and shade in midday and in the afternoon. This allows your plants to receive plenty of sunlight to develop and remain healthy, but is also a way to protect them from scorching sun during the most scorching time of the day when temperatures rise at the end of the afternoon.

Mediterranean plants prefer full sun and are tolerant of dry conditions, so they can flourish even in the most scorching times of the year. Don’t water Mediterranean plants more frequently as this increases the chance for root rot.

Key Takeaways:

  • Water Mediterranean plants like rosemary and lavender every two weeks, with an extensive irrigation in the spring and summer months. Make sure to ensure that the soil is allowed to dry before watering again. Sprinkle leafy annual plants like parsley and basil each 3-7 days in order to make sure that the soil remains wet.
  • The leaves of annual watering herbs like cilantro and basil every 2-5 days following planting to ensure that the that the soil remains evenly wet, reducing transplant shock. The water should be drained of Mediterranean herbs like sage and thyme once per week following the planting period for the first four weeks.
  • Indoor herbs like mint, parsley and basil every 5-7 days to make sure that the garden is moist, but not overly saturated. Increase the frequency of watering to every three days if plants begin to die and then move them to a windowsill that gets morning sunlight and shade during the afternoon while it heals.
  • Drink water Mediterranean plants in containers like rosemary and lavender every two weeks during the spring and summer. Don’t water during winter because this can increase the risk for root rot. Plant annual plants in pots each 3-7 days in order to make sure that the soil remains wet, and at least every two days during the most humid times of the year.
  • Seedlings and herb seeds should be watered each day for 3 days, ensuring that the soil is evenly wet. Make sure the soil’s surface is dry to the touch before watering it again. If the seedlings are beginning to wilt, relocate them to a cooler area with less sunlight prior to watering more frequently to reduce the heat stress.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)