Exotic Herbs Farming in India: A Growing and Production Guide for Beginners

Herbs farming can be fun, easy, and low-maintenance process. You don’t need much time or know-how to grow a successful and rewarding herb garden that will brighten up your yard and culinary masterpiece. Herbs can easily grow in beds, borders, containers, or windowsills. And with a full range of seeds and plants, it’s possible to have a year-round crop, saving you the money you might otherwise spend on expensive supermarket produce. Let’s learn a little more about exotic herb farming. 

Exotic Herbs Farming in India
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Exotic herbs farming in India

Importance of growing exotic herbs

Growing exotic herbs can do more than add flavor to your food. These special combinations of rare and exotic herbal seeds are a culinary wonder and healing medicine in one pack. The growing popularity and interest in herbs mean they are potentially one of the most profitable crops for your market garden or permaculture homestead. Now is the best time to start farming and grow herbs for profit. 

Containers in the right place will also make it easier for others to appreciate the wonderful aroma of exotic garden herbs, not to mention their taste. Remember that exotic herbs cannot tolerate cold conditions and should be brought indoors in winter if grown outdoors. South-facing areas such as sunny porches and windowsills make great places for container-grown herbs.

Herbs are great for freezing, enabling you to enjoy their flavors year-round. It’s especially useful for fast-growing herbs like coriander, parsley, and dill and can help settle your stomach. Either freeze whole sprigs in a freezer bag or freeze chopped herbs with water in an ice cube tray.

Tips for growing exotic herbs 

Many exotic herb plants thrive in full sun and warm climates. If you don’t have the best space in the garden, try giving them a microclimate in a raised bed. Place the bed close to your house or other structure, so the walls help reflect light and heat. You can grow exotic herbs in containers and move them around as needed. Almost all herbs, exotic or not, need good drainage and sun. With enough light and temperature, you can easily grow a successful exotic herb garden indoors or outdoors. 

Growing exotic herbs is easy with the right container and potting mix. Some herbs are especially suited to growing in containers. Most culinary herbs are excellent, especially well-known favorites like Basil, Chives, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, and Thyme. Growing herbs in pots and containers is a great method to grow fresh produce in small spaces. Go for a purpose-built vegetable grow planter that you can place outside your back door, on your patio, or even on the balcony.

Alternatively, select deep pots, especially for large bushy herbs such as bay trees and rosemary. The best compost for growing herbs is loam-based, such as John Innes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to feed your potted herbs regularly with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Ensure your containers have proper drainage holes and stand on bricks or pot feet to prevent water pooling over the winter. It is also useful to protect pots from severe frost by placing them against the house wall and wrapping the pot in bubble wrap.

All plants need regular watering, although some herbs need more water than others. Most herbs need water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Take the time to learn what each herb needs regarding moisture, and remember to group like-minded plants when planting. For example, Basil likes more water than Lavender, which prefers completely dry soil between watering, so don’t plant these two herbs together.

Sometimes, twice a week will be needed during extreme heat or drought conditions. Water in the cool of the morning, between 6 and 10 a.m., to prevent evaporation and soak the roots deeply. When weeding, remove leaves from the outside of the plant, allowing new leaves to emerge in the center, and pick no more than one-third of the plant at a time to allow the plant to recover. 

Exotic herbs marketing in India

The Indian exotic herb market is supported by India’s domestic and export markets aimed at homeopathy. Herbs are used in various herbal beauty products and increase in demand as consumers become aware of the benefits of exotic herbs. Exotic herbs are grown on land that is not native to that herb. Care and measures are taken to make the environment herb-friendly for successful herb growth. Herbs are in high demand in Indian and international cuisines.

Due to the boom in the restaurant industry, which is a result of the growing youth population in the country and their increasing disposable income, the industry is further improving. Increasing globalization has also helped the growth of the industry in India. The herbal beauty industry in India is growing rapidly as consumers are becoming aware of the health benefits of these herbal products.

The industry shows tremendous potential for future growth, further supporting the Indian exotic herb market. The herbal beauty industry constantly evolves with various innovations and new trends, including organic and eco-friendly products. Consumers lean toward “natural” products without parabens, mineral oils, sulfates, and artificial colors.

They are also becoming aware of the ingredients in the products they use or use, further fueling the growth of the Indian exotic herbs market. Major industry drivers, such as increasing disposable income, growing population, awareness of health benefits, rising exports, and growing herbal beauty industry, are expected to support market growth. 

Most important exotic herbs in India


Asafoetida, native to Central Asia and the Middle East, also known as ‘Hing,’ is extracted from the Ferula plant, essentially a gum, and is used in Iranian, Indian, Pakistani, and Afghan cuisine. It grows in USDA Zones: 7-11. The plant tolerates a wide range of soil consistency and pH, but a well-draining source is essential. Asafoetida needs full sun. Sow seeds directly into prepared beds in fall or early spring. Exposure to cool, moist conditions improves germination.

Asafoetida should be planted in well-drained, fertile soil so its roots can grow. Asafoetida is an herbaceous plant that can grow 6 to 10 feet. It has multiple sheeted petioles and parsley-like foliage. This flower is also similar to the parsley family. Large umbels of small pale green-yellow flowers become flat oval fruits. The plant takes years to flower but is monocarpic, meaning it dies after flowering. 

Pineapple sage 

It is botanically called Salvia elegans and is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It is grown in USDA Zones: 8-10. The herb offers a complex flavor with a distinct aroma that is excellent in teas, desserts, and salads. The plant also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Pineapple sage also has an intoxicating aroma. Native to the Mediterranean and South America, this exotic herb’s pineapple-scented foliage is unlike any other, instantly transforming your indoor herb garden into a tropical oasis.

Although commonly grown for its pleasantly fragrant foliage, pineapple sage’s vivid red flowers make a beautiful garnish for sautés and salads. This exotic herb offers an intense tropical pineapple aroma with a slightly bitter, citrusy, and minty flavor. An established pineapple sage plant appears in the spring by a mass of shoots from the crown. The stems are square, which is typical for members of the mint family. It is easily propagated from stem cuttings rooted in potting soil or a mixture of sand and peat moss.

Exotic pineapple sage is a fruity spice for summer dishes and drinks. Pineapple sage originally comes from the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala. Today it is popular worldwide as an exotic culinary herb. Sow the Sage seeds at least 14 inches deep in an excellent potting mix that is loamy, nitrogen-rich soil. After germination, seedlings can also be transplanted after 20-25 days of sowing. Place the container in partial shade until the seeds germinate, then move to a sunny location. To promote a healthy herb pot, remove weak plants. 


This edible plant can also be used to flavor baking products. It prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil to grow. You will want to prune Lavender regularly to encourage growth. You can either sow seeds in a pot or directly in the ground. Lavender is a perennial herb with a heavenly scent. This plant grows in cool climates and mostly in areas that are not too hot or humid. Lavender is a commonly grown herb known for its fragrant aroma.

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Lavender farming
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This easy-care plant enjoys warm, dry conditions, making it suitable for various landscape settings and an excellent candidate for drought-prone areas. There are hundreds of varieties of Lavender, each with its characteristics such as plant or flower size, flower or leaf color, fragrance, or hardiness. Although Lavender is most commonly associated with shades of blue, the plant is available in various shades of purple and lilac, white, pink, mauve, and even yellow. 

Lavender grows best in full sun. It does not mind a warm sunny spot—plant Lavender in well-drained soil. Clay soil or soil with too much organic matter will produce vegetative growth rather than flowers. It prefers a soil pH level of 6.7 to 7.1. Lavender will grow in dry, light, gravelly soil. 


It has a similar flavor to parsley and star anise. Botanically known as Anthriscus cerefolium, Chervil is a member of the Umbellifers family. Chervil’s aromatic notes are short-lived, so it’s best to chop the herb before use. Garlic chives, also known as Chinese leek, or Asian chives, are a type of onion native to the Himalayas and Shaanxi in China. These herb plants are used for culinary, medicinal, and ornamental purposes. It is easy to grow and can be re-sown several times during the summer. The leaves are picked shortly before their blooming period. 

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Chervil Plant
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Perilla is also called Shiso. It comes from Japan and other Asian countries. Many different plant species belong to the mint family. ‘Red Leaf’ is a good Perilla variety for pickling, and the crunchy leaves make good bedding plants in the garden. Perilla leaves have a grassy flavor, with a hint of anise or licorice flavor.

Perilla is a genus that includes a major Asian crop species, Perilla frutescens, and a few wild species in nature belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. Perilla is an herb. Perilla seeds require light to germinate, so scatter them over the soil, but don’t cover them or cover them lightly. These seeds can go dormant unexpectedly after harvesting and remain dormant for up to two years, so germination is far from guaranteed.

Some gardeners buy old seeds that have sprouted cheaply. Ask your seed dealer for more information before purchasing. It is grown in USDA Zones: 9-11. The leaves are an important ingredient in sashimi, soups, and sushi. It can also be added to salads, green tea, and stir-fries. It is one of the few herbs that can be applied directly outdoors. It thrives in full sun and regular garden soil. 


It is introduced to Asia from European gardens and has an anise-like flavor. Add the fronds to salads, sauces, and soups, or use the seeds in sweet or savory dishes. It is a popular variety grown for its slightly elongated, flat bulbs. Sow easy-to-grow seeds in the garden after the last spring frost. 

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Fennel Plant
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This herb is popular in Thailand, Indonesia, and other countries; this herb is easy to grow in a sunny bed or a bright window indoors. Plant seeds in early spring, or root fresh lemongrass stems, bulbous ends in a glass of water. When the roots of young plants are strong, transplant them into pots or gardens.

Water and fertilize regularly. Another tropical native, Lemongrass, is also widely grown and used in Asian cuisine. Garnished with a strong citrus flavor and a pleasant citrus aroma, the grassy stems of this exotic herb add a refreshing touch to soups, chicken, and seafood dishes.


It is botanically called Eutrema japonicum, and it is native to Japan. It is grown in USDA Zones: 8-10. Wasabi, also known as Japanese Horseradish, is a plant in the mustard family and a pungent paste made from its ground rhizomes. It is native to Japan, South Korea, and Sakhalin, Russia, and its cultivation is limited due to its specific growing requirements. If planting in the garden, select a shady spot with well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral soil.

If the soil pH level is outside this range, you must check it frequently and add the necessary amendments to adjust the pH. Wasabi plants in the garden need rich, consistently moist soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Water your wasabi well when planting, and then water regularly after that. This perennial herb has thick straight heart-shaped leaves.


Pennywort is a common name given to many different plants around the world. They usually have rounded leaves and a low habit. Pennywort leaves can be picked throughout the summer months. Pennywort is usually planted in moist areas between pond-friendly rocks in shallow water or in wide containers where it will form runners. It also makes an excellent ground cover. 

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Pennywort garden
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This herbaceous and frost-softening perennial plant belongs to the Apiaceae family and is locally known as peruk in the Manipuri language. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Madagascar, South Africa, and Eastern Europe. Pennywort is both food and medicine. In the Northeast Indian region, the whole plant, including its roots, is used in dishes such as chutneys, salads, and beverages. 

Pennywort is a creeping plant that spreads horizontally in dense mats along marshes, ponds, and wetlands. The stems are 5-10 cm tall and have a single rounded fan-shaped leaf. Pennywort is an herbaceous perennial in the Apiaceae family, a relative of Parsley and Carrot. The name Pennywort is a generic term given to 20 species of creeping plants found in swampy areas of tropical and subtropical climates.

Oregano seeds

Oregano is a great plant to grow in your yard because it is widely used in Italian cuisine. It is an herb that thrives in both shade and sun. Oregano is a great choice to grow in your garden. It is a part shade-loving and part sun-loving herb. It is a spicy, Mediterranean, perennial herb, especially common in Greek and Italian cuisine. 


It is one of the most straightforward herbs to plant in your garden. It can be grown almost all year round. Parsley thrives in moist soil. To encourage growth, apply fertilizer whenever you see yellow leaves. Parsley needs plenty of water, especially during dry periods, and will benefit from an occasional feed of a general seaweed fertilizer to promote leaf growth. Cut back any yellowing foliage.

A biennial plant will produce flowers in the second year if the plants are not pruned regularly. If you want to save seeds, allow some plants to flower. Parsley is one of the most suitable herbs to grow indoors near a sunny windowsill because parsley is an annual that requires cool summers, partial shade, and consistently moist soil, all of which are easy to grow. It can be handled indoors. Container-grown parsley can be brought indoors for protection during the hot summer heat or kept outside and moved into the shade. 

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Parsley garden
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Papalo is an herb used in Mexican cooking with a strong and exotic aroma and flavor. Papalo is a heat-loving red pepper substitute that you should grow in your summer garden. Papalo is an herb that grows from the southwestern United States through Mexico to Bolivia. This Mexican plant thrives in sunlight and warmth. The more, the more pleasant it will be for its development. 

Plant Papalo in full sun and watch it flourish. Please do not keep the soil too moist as it can tolerate drought. Wait between watering intervals until the soil is somewhat dry. A deep, infrequent watering regimen is best. It is not a weedy herb and can be grown in poor soil. However, the growing medium needs to be well drained for optimal growth.


Exotic culinary herbs have been grown and cultivated worldwide, from the Mediterranean to the tropics; their versatility is unparalleled. Exotic herbs are not only found in many places but also have some amazing qualities, many of which are adaptable and easy to grow indoors without much maintenance. Many herbs, including exotics, thrive in containers. 


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