5 Herbs You’ll Never Want to Start From Seed

Posted on Jan 30 2012 - 1:17am by Mike Lieberman

Which herbs should you start from seeds?

You can experiment and find out on your own…

…or you can read the rest of this post and save yourself the hassle.

If you want to save time and energy, continue reading.

Some herbs require too much of your time

There definitely is something fun about starting from seed. You get to take care of the seedling and watch it grow until you finally use. Like a child of yours.

No doubt on that.

But there are some herbs that are too much work and require too much of your precious time to start from seed and you’re better off buying transplants.

This is especially true because we are urban gardening in small spaces like our apartments and in containers. We have to maximize our space.

The herbs that experts say you shouldn’t start from seed

Bay Leaf
“Bay is extremely difficult to germinate because they must be fresh and viable, and must be stratified and kept moist,” said Briscoe White, the owner of an herb company. “That’s one of the reasons bays are in such high demand- they’re hard to find because they’re hard to germinate, have a low germination rate and grow extremely slowly.”

“Lavender can be a little tricky because they’re both very slow growing from seed, which can lead to problems with disease or fungus, since the young plants are so susceptible,” said the White. “Lavender also is very finicky with moisture and because of its slow growth can be difficult to keep healthy.”

Flavored Mints
“Many kinds of flavored mints, like chocolate mint or orange mint, can’t be started from seed, only from cuttings,” said Fern from Life on the Balcony. “This is because they’re hybrid varieties that don’t come true to form when grown from seed.”

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Rosemary is much like lavender and, “It can be frustrating to grow from seed because there are so many varieties,” said the White. “To ensure that you get a true variety, you’re best to take a cutting and propagate from that, rather than seed.”

“Rosemary is so much easier to start from a cutting or from a plant bought at the nursery,” added Fern.

White Sage
“White Sage is also difficult to germinate as it has a 10-15% germination rate and on top of that, just takes a lot of time to get growing,” said the owner. “The viability is so low, that we end up placing 10-12 seeds per cell to try to get enough plants to sprout.”

Where you can buy these herbs

You can get these herbs from

  • Your local nursery
  • A cutting from a friend

Sound off

What herbs are you growing or want to start growing?