14 Inventive DIY Vertical Herb Garden Ideas

Gemma Johnstone
Written by Gemma Johnstone
Updated February 18, 2022
A wooden rack with home plants
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Grow more parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme—even when space is at a premium

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There's nothing quite like the taste of fresh, home-grown herbs to finish off a dish. And having your favorite herbs to hand year-round is convenient, saves money, and adds a pleasant pop of color and fragrance. If you're struggling for space in your home or yard, why not consider DIYing a vertical herb garden? There are many benefits to vertical gardening, and it's the perfect indoor solution if you don't have the climate or soil conditions to grow delicate herbs outdoors.

There are lots of possibilities, from budget upcycled designs to stylish solutions that fit your interior decor. Here are a few clever creations to inspire you.

1. Thyme for Terracotta

A vertical herb garden terracotta planters
Photo: Courtesy of Emily Reera

This attractive design from Emily Reera (@emilydoesinteriordesign) uses traditional terracotta planters and painted upcycled wooden boards. 

Terracotta’s porous nature is ideal for herbs that appreciate drier potting soil—like rosemary, sage, and thyme. But the drainage holes in the pots mean this is only an outdoor option.

2. Sharp-Line Shelving

White herb shelves design
Photo: Courtesy of Kelsey Schuett

Kelsey Schuett (Kelsdyann) has gone for clean lines and contrasting colors with this herb shelves design. Hang this style outside in the balmy summer months and then bring it in over winter. Just make sure you select durable twine that holds the weight of the shelves and pots and treat the wood with a weather-resistant stain or paint.

3. Vintage-Style Auricula Theater

A vintage herb garden
Photo: Courtesy of Clare Foster

Clare Foster (Bud to Seed) has gone for cottage garden vintage charm by housing her herbs in an auricula theater. First introduced in 1800s England, these three-sided shelving units displayed beautiful, spring-blooming auriculas (part of the Primula genus) while protecting the tender species from rain.

It's a perfect option for sheltering delicate herbs in the summer—like basil—while still allowing them access to enough light. 

4. Reclaimed Crib

A creative herb garden
Photo: Courtesy of Cassie McGinley

Cassie McGinley (Cassowary333) got creative and repurposed this crib base into her first herb garden. Select strong twine to attach the pots. Cassie also used a spot of glue to hold them even more securely in place. 

If you’re a beginner, stick with the easy-to-grow varieties. Providing they have the right conditions, basil, chives, dill, parsley, and sage are just a few herbs that should provide an abundant harvest with little effort.

5. Inspirational Planters

A herb garden with quotes
Photo: Courtesy of Bátori-Kurucz Mária

Illustrator Bátori-Kurucz Mária painted inspirational quotes on these wooden planters to finish off a great Italian restaurant herb wall in style. If your calligraphy skills aren't quite up to scratch, you can purchase stencils.

6. Polychromatic Privacy Fencing

A DIY vertical herb garden design
Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Maloy

This striking DIY vertical herb garden design from Jessica Maloy (@palmyra_greenhouse) is perfect if you’re a lover of bold, bright colors and you're looking to add privacy to a section of your yard. Jessica uses hers to screen off a relaxing swinging chair from the street.

7. Vintage-Style Stand

A vintage herb stand
Photo: Courtesy of Emma

If you’re a lover of shabby chic design, hunt for a vintage-inspired stand like the one Emma (@emma_lilly_x) is using for her herb selection. Don’t forget, though, that herbs like basil are frost tender. Know when to plant this annual species and only have it outside if temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. IKEA Herb Planter Hack

A vertical garden with IKEA herb planters
Photo: Courtesy of James Martin

Vertical herb gardens don’t have to cost a ton. Follow this simple example from James Martin (@a_life_in_the_garden) and use budget planters. These cost him around a dollar each from IKEA, and he has them hanging close to the back door on inexpensive IKEA rails so he can grab a handful whenever he needs them.

9. Hanging Herbs Headboard

A vertical garden for salad greens and herbs
Photo: Courtesy of Donna Cuna-Pita

Donna Cuna-Pita takes repurposing to the next level. First, creating a headboard for her daughter’s hanging herb garden from a scrap wood pallet and steel matting—perfect for trailing with fairy lights. When she was ready for a change, Donna’s husband gave it a further makeover to use it as a vertical garden for salad greens and herbs.

10. Simple Farmhouse Style

A simple vertical herb garden
Photo: Courtesy of Samm Yanniello

Are you in love with the fuss-free, functional, and neutral vibes of farmhouse-style decor, like blogger Samm Yanniello (@momtimeonadime)? Then simple white hanging planters could be a perfect choice for your vertical herb garden. 

11. Survey the Sunlight

An indoor vertical garden
Photo: Courtesy of Michele Kirchmann

Michele Kirchmann’s (JacknGingVintage) vertical herb garden is a great indoor DIY set-up. Make sure you consider the available light, though. Michele had a few attempts before getting her herbs to survive. Most herb gardens appreciate receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight every day in a draft-free location. Positioning them near a south-or southwest-facing window is a good plan.

Opt for shade-loving herbs such as chives, parsley, and tarragon if you're struggling to provide anything but light morning sun.

12. Picket Fence Pallet Project

A vertical herb garden with recycle a wooden pallet
Photo: Courtesy of Rick

Rick (@cant_ya_just) loves a repurposing project. One of the most popular DIY vertical herb garden designs is to recycle a wooden pallet. To make your planters as durable as possible, stain or paint the wood. 

For best success, select herbs that grow in your region's USDA hardiness zone, position the pallet so it gets enough natural light, and watch out for overcrowding in the planters.

13. Dishrack Dill

An upcycled vertical herb garden
Photo: Courtesy of Nadege

For upcycling fans, why not follow Nadege's (@nadegehoneydesigns) example and give your old dish rack a new lease of life.

Don’t forget to harvest your herbs regularly, especially for fast-growing species like mint. Pinching back the tips prevents the stems from becoming overly leggy and stops overcrowding. 

14. Stylish Minimalism

A stylish vertical herb garden
Photo: Courtesy of Glenda

Glenda’s (@Livingmivida) vertical herb garden utilizes a stylish, minimalist design. It works well on this sunny spot of the wall and compliments the tropical vibe created by the foliage of the tall banana and bird of paradise plants. 

With planters like this, where drainage can be an issue, take care not to overwater. Moist, not waterlogged potting soil, is generally best.

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