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Growing western herbs in the tropics- Malaysia and Asia-my experiment

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I have been living in Malaysia for almost two and a half years. I have expended much time on learning how to cook bread properly but something was missing. It was my gardening. The development that I live in has perfectly manicured gardens with wonderful tropical plants that only a cheap workforce can supply. I however I am an slighly single minded (okay incredibly single minded) when it comes to gardening... If it cant be eaten or used( eg lavender) I am soooo not interested.

My partner was aware of my issues. So he tried to source some recycled wood to create a planter box for me... he searched for a number of weeks but was ultimately unsuccessful. Thank god for Ikea and their furniture. He daringly rode about 30km round trip on a motorbike laden with many Kg's of Ikea furniture to assemble my planter box. But the journey was not over... of course Ikea furniture was not the right shape for what we wanted and so some cutting was required... simple I hear you think... uhh no. None of the local "carpenters" has the right tools so a trip to the school I work at was undertaken and after a couple of hours the cuts were made... Now just a simple job of screwing together you would think... uh no. Malaysia has a penchant for cheap.. at the expense of serviceable. The screw claimed to be "stainless steel" they looked like "stainless steel" however disappointingly they did not behave like stainless steel. Do you know how long it takes with a pair of pliers to remove a screw whose head is all chozzeled out.... 20 mins imagine 10 such screws and you get a view of the herculean task that "making a planter box" in Asia was.

But all of that is over now and I have 2 planter boxes with 4 plastic potting bags in each one. Most of my herbs have sprouted and I am on my way.

Lessons I have learned from the actual gardening in Asia:

1. Local potting mix can be acidic which some of plants won't like. So be prepared to treat your potting mix with lime to adjust the acidity

2. Seed raising mix is necessary if you are using local potting mix, The results far outweigh the cost.

3. Use local seeds, I know this is a no brainer but seeds from local fruit ie capsicum and chili's grow well here as they are acclimatised

4. Even though it is humid, you plants still need watering, especially if they receive no water from the sky

5. Basil is a great plant to grow in the tropics, it LOVES the heat and the humidity and is sooo delicious

6. The plants I have successfully grown are Basil, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, parsley (both types), oregano, Tomato and Chili. From seed the best plants were Basil and oregano. I could not get my rosemary to sprout from seed and resorted to buying a small seedling.

7. Seeds germinate really quickly here compared to the part of Australia I was living in. So there is no excuse....get gardening!

8. As the seasons in the tropics are Wet and Dry its always the right time to try raising some seeds.

The planter box with my basil and sage

The planter box with my basil and sage

My baby parsley

My baby parsley

Couldn't resist more basil anyone???

Couldn't resist more basil anyone???


lenin on February 21, 2016:

Recently bought Rosemary, lemon mint, Stavia and some other herbs (recommended by "lady" boss).. looks fresh though... bought it from nursery just opposite of the Sg Buloh Hospital..and enter into Malaysia leprocy centre..u will be able to find ALL sort of herbs, veges and fruit seedlings along the way. Dont buy at the main road though, pricey... good hunting

Elita on April 14, 2015:

Hi Anna, I'm new in growing herbs in malaysia...I live in Selangor, I've recently bought a pot of rosemary plant from Tesco, and so I was wondering how can I raise this baby? Do I have to put under direct sunlight? How many times do I need to water them?what kinds of fertilizer to use? Does rosemary blooms? And if it does, what should I do?i am planning to plant mint leaves also. I hope you can help me. Thanks. My email address:

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Vishnu on February 21, 2015:

Very informative! Thanks for sharing.

Am new to malaysia and am looking to start with gardening, where could i find potting soil in malaysia?


Erik on January 25, 2015:

I am having great difficulty in cultivating English parsley. Any tips, please.

ed on December 30, 2014:

Hi Anna

Any tips on how to prevent fungus from attacking the herbs plant?


Levin on December 08, 2014:

Dear Anna, thank for all this info. My garden soil is muddy, I ve to replace it with good soil, for the herbs I m planning to plant. I did some research, still not sure what to get the best soil. Please help. Tqvm

suzy on November 13, 2014:

hi,can i please know the tips to grow lavender plant in Malaysia?tq

wai on April 29, 2014:

Great resource. Just moved back to Singapore from southern California and am trying to get a small herb garden going in my flat so I have a cheap reliable source of herbs. So far I've tried rosemary and basil which I bought at a farmer's market. The rosemary contracted root rot pretty quickly and died. The basil did quite well but one day i put it outside on the corridor to get some sun and it completely dried out in the course of a day (wasn't expecting that to happen in the tropics). Still trying to figure out the best place to put my plants as the corridor outside gets too much sun and/or torrential downpour. The air con fan is a great idea except mine isn't so accessible. Just got another rosemary plant and am now watering about once every six days, fully saturating the soil. I have my plants indoors by the window. So far so good but space is limited. Am wondering how some of the other flat-dwelling posters have gotten on?

Chandra R on April 17, 2014:

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We are Producers and traders of coco peat,

We sell coco peat 5kg block for RM6 only,

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Can be provided in palatalized or non palatalized form, according to the customer requirment,

Discount given of big orders,

Do contact for further details,

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E-mail us at

Inger Johansson on March 29, 2014:

Hello Anna,

Thank you for your great advise. I am Swedish, 2½ years in Malaysia, Johor Bahru area. Have been looking for tarragon to be able to make Bearnaise sauce which I really miss together with a big steak. Now I decided to grow it myself, but where do I find the seeds?? Any advise?

potatomato2411 on September 13, 2013:

Hello there. I am from miri sarawak. I am seriously interested with lemon thyme but i couldn't find any nurseries that sell this plant. Really frustrating.

seraphyjwky on July 16, 2013:

hi Anna, so glad that I found ur hub. I plan to grow some herbs, but I m having trouble to get the seeds. i plan to plant Basil, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, parsley , oregano.. where can I get quality seeds at good price?

Jenny on May 24, 2013:

Hi Anna, I would love to grow coriander but the seeds never shoot. I have used both commercially packed seeds and coriander seeds they sell in the market for curries.

I have successfully grown sawtooth coriander, a different kind, cos its like grass, really hardy. Its nice herb but the taste is different fr the regular coriander we buy.

Sterwina on May 21, 2013:

This is amazing, I just came back to Malaysia over a year ago and was missing the herbs there terribly. As I live in a very small city in Sarawak we can hardly find fresh herbs such as fresh oregano, tarragon, dill etc. Occasionally in the morning market you'll find some parsley and sage but that is about it. I have been wanting to plant my own herb garden but they never last 2 weeks. I keep them inside the house with some sunlight. But reading at this post and all the comments I have gained my confidence in planting herbs again:)

Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 27, 2013:

Hi Yeo,

I have only grown sage , thyme and rosemary from seedlings, not from seeds. They are easy to propagate from cuttings though. especially in Malaysia. Take a cutting, strip some of the leaves off and just plant in the ground. Keep it moist and roots should grow. I have grown oregano from seed and parsley from seed. They both take a long time even in Malaysia to sprout. Up to 2 weeks. just lightly cover the seeds in soil and keep moist. But beware of very heavy showers as they can wash the seeds away. Good luck!


Yeo on March 26, 2013:

Hiya Anna, I like to know how you grow Sage (from seeds?), Thyme (from seeds?) Oregano (from seeds?) and Parsley (both types from seeds?) and how you propagate Rosemary from your seeding... Thank you!

Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 25, 2013:

Thanks Vespa!!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 24, 2013:

Your experience with building the planter box made me laugh. We've had similar experiences here in Peru. I know what you mean about growing herbs you miss. We haven't had much success with green tomatillos or jalapeno peppers, but I have been able to grow basil and cilantro. I guess they must be pretty hardy plants. Very interesting! Voted up!

Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 08, 2013:

Thank you Annie:)

annie on March 07, 2013:

very very informative! :)

Peter Teh on August 11, 2012:

Hey there. Is it possible to grow the herbs with organic soil?

Arora Jenny Phang from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on June 25, 2012:

Hi everyone, I've just introduced myself to gardening so I'm a total idiot in this. But I've moved into a home with a big garden and I so LOVE lavender. I really miss it from my uni time in Perth. Can anyone tell me where to buy lavender (the lavandula species and not the plecthranthus mona lavender) here in klang valley? Thx in advance!

Sue on May 24, 2012:

Btw, forgotten to mention the farmers market is at section 17.

Found this article on growing lavender.

Make sure lavender gets three things:

1. Full sun at least 6 to 8 hours per day.

2. Well-drained soil.

3. Slightly acid soil (Alkaline soil)

Lavenders are very particular where they live. It may take several tries to find the right one. Don't give up, try, try again. When you do find the right variety, it will be a good and faithful resident.

I find my growing advice for healthy plants here: Rose Marie Nichols McGee, owner of Nichols Garden Nursery, and Jim & Dotti Becker, owners of Goodwin Creek Gardens."

Sue on May 24, 2012:

Hi everyone,

Have been growing herbs for a while now. I get all my supplies for potting mix n etc from Pasar Tani ( Farmers' market) every thursday . Look for Ariffin. I have sage, rosemary, spearmint, tarragon, lemon balm, both parsley, oregano(different types), pandan wangi, kunyit, etc. For bugs n insects , he sells the best organic..anti pesticide. spray once a week.

Having said that , i have tried growing lavender, pots after pots n tried different mix of soil, shaded, half sun, full sun..all failed.

My other herbs are growing very well.

mal on May 20, 2012:

Hi anna,

I live in selangor, malaysia. I love growing herbs. Im looking for exotic mint plants such as orange mint and chocolate mint. Also keen to know where to buy lemon verbena and vanilla orchid plant.

Hope to hear from you soon

Dominic on May 18, 2012:

Thank you for the info Anna. I am trying to grow rosemary few times in Malaysia but no success. Because of I got most of the information from internet said that, water only when the soil is dry. By the time the soil is dry, I can see my rosemary is not doing so well. I might try to water a little bit daily.

Btw, there is a new shopping mall in town named Publika. And there is a general market named as Big's. You can get big pot of herbs like Rosemary, Chives and etc.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on May 16, 2012:

Bill, I love growing things! Just make sure that you keep up the water to them... But not to much. Make sure that they get enough sun.


Bill on May 16, 2012:

Hi, I have just arrived in Penang and have started a small herb garden using recylced wooden boxes from a local merchant at the wharf's - a great find. I bought an oregano plant from a local nursery and have split the roots to create 4 seedlings which i have repotted- so far so good although two a looking a little sick. Any tips on how best to care for them. thanks Bill

Anna (author) from Malaysia on May 13, 2012:

I would try buying some seedlings from cold storage.


Ena on May 08, 2012:

Hi ,

i live in Malaysia too and i want to use my balcony and wet kitchen to grow herbs and vegi , where i should start ? where i can get the seeds or the plants ? i want to start cheap as i had experience with flowers who die at my place :( Your help is much appreciated appreciated

Anna (author) from Malaysia on May 07, 2012:

Hi Nancy,

I haven't tried to grow lavender... So I can't help you:( I would just try and see!

Let us know how it goes!


nancy on May 06, 2012:

Hi Anna, so pleased to have found you!

I am wondering if you have any luck/joy with lavender. I have a bit of land in a cool area in one of the islands in the Philippines and I would like to plant lots of herbs. One herb I'm really keen to have is lavender as I have lots of them in Germany. Have you tried growing them from seeds and what is your success rate? Many thanks.

Chien on May 03, 2012:

Hi Anna,

I'm from Singapore and I'm trying to grow sweet basil in my apartment. I tried growing basil from seed but failed so I got a pot from the nursery a few days ago. Today, I noticed that the bottom of the stem is black and a couple of the leaves, at the bottom of the plant also turn black. May I know why? Is this due to too much water to too hot? Although my balcony do not really get "direct sun" but the temperature can be really high in the afternoon, will this be the cause too?

Anna (author) from Malaysia on May 03, 2012:

Thanks Kirsten:)

Kirsten on May 02, 2012:

Hi Anna, thanks for being informative in your blog.

To share with you, you could also buy herbs from the nurseries along Sungai Buloh Green Lane:

Anna (author) from Malaysia on April 26, 2012:

I get mine from ace hardware.


Bella on April 25, 2012:

Hi, I was wondering where in KL can you get potting soil from?

Jovie on April 17, 2012:

So the point is you can plant all of the herbs in Malaysia

wow awesome...

Chelsina on April 12, 2012:

Houz Depot is at Pelangi Damansara, near Bandar Utama area.

Several times I tried with dill, once from seeds, they died! LOL.. but a few months ago, my fren gave me a few stalks of it and I used rooting powder. Luckily 1 survived. You need to get a strong stalk.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Arg.. Have just realised that all my comments are in one long list... I replied under each persons comment.. Without your names! I hope you can work out whose comment is whose:( will put names in my comment next time!


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Hi,I have been able to grow dill. I think it needs less light... It lasted about 6 months. Because I foolishly let it flower!


Waiyee on March 17, 2012:

Hi Anna, i wad wondering whether you have any luck with growing dill? :) they don't seem as hardy as i thought they'd be..

Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Yes I do mean full sun... If you keep enough water up to the plants the can handle the full sun:)


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

If you keep enough water up to the plants... They can handle full sun. Basil, chives should be fine.


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Where is houz depot?


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Sounds interesting!


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

I have never seen citronella seeds only the plant.



Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Sorry... Had a baby last year! Have been distracted ever since! Still in Kl:)


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

Your probably right they may have been irradiated... Didn't think of that!


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

I would use potting mix... Not moss. Moss might be good on the surface to keep the water in the soil.


Anna (author) from Malaysia on March 17, 2012:

When basil flowers it's my experience that they then die.... Perhaps time to start again!


AT on March 01, 2012:

Hi Anna, I am so amazed to know that western herbs can grow in climate like malaysia/singapore. Thanks for sharing your experience. Do you give full sun for all the herbs? The sun can be really scorching hot here.... when you say full sun, do you mean even when it is really scorching hot? Hot you can help, I am really interested in growing some western herbs.... thanks in advance.

Tezz on February 27, 2012:

Hi Anna,

I lived in Manila, Philippines. I live in the city in a small apartment with veranda where the sun shines. I love to cook, like pasta and also enjoyed Vietnamese and Thai food. Herbs is very expensive here and can hardly find. Can you please tell me what are the herbs i can plant that has so much sun exposure but i can cover it with thick curtain if needed... I haven't try planting herbs yet and i am really interested. Please help. Thanks

Chelsina on February 20, 2012:

Liz,u can try cutting 1 healthy stem, and then just pacak into the tanah, it will grow a new plant. or u can take the seeds from the basil flowers and sow them. i experimented with my thai basil, i took the flowers and saw seeds in it and just simply put it on the soil, in the same pot, and it germinated.

i experimented with rooting mints i bought from village grocer (pineapple mint and apple mint). bought in plastic bags, already cut, no roots. i celup in rooting powder i bought from houz depot. Yates brand. and then stick it into soil and some peat moss. my apple mint is doing well. im still waiting for my pineapple mint to berjaya :) remember to choose bigger stem mints :) or u can try to root by rendam them in water 1st. either way it works :)

been trying to find seeds for these mints, cant find. only managed to find peppermint, watermint, spearmint, lemon mint, mountain mint online on ebay. so, read in internet, u can root them.

Chelsina on February 20, 2012:


Hi. i've been planting herbs for 1 year plus. Hopefully i can help :)

the soil, u can buy any ready mixed-soil in any nurseries. if u want it to be healthier, maybe u can add some peat moss into it. now, im experimenting on germinating seeds with peat moss & some coco peat. it works better, i think, coz with coco peat, the moss wont be too wet and wont create white fungus too early.. and i recently learnt to put some cinnamon powder to avoid fungus growing and it worked :)

for fertilizing, i've tried the black color biji-biji baja to put on my lime basil, they died. maybe i put too much. now, im not putting that. read in internet, i bought fish emulsion, add with water and then sprayed onto the soil. my basils are getting healthier. my grandma just use the water she used to wash the fishes before she cooks, her thai basil is fluorishing.

hope this helps :)

Chelsina on February 20, 2012:

Sarah, i bought chives seeds online via ebay. only saw 1 or 2 seeds sprouting. very slow though. and found out it should be germinated in the dark. my mistake coz i germinated in bright daylight along with my chrysanthemums :P

Mark, i bought several Jeremin/ halau nyamuk/ myself. dont buy seeds. dont think it is easy to plant via seeds. i think many nurseries has it. ask for halau nyamuk. if u cant find any, u can try going to houz depot in kota damansara.

the plant, it works best if u rub the leaves and then rub onto ur skin. the citronella smell will help repel mosquitoes. some even say they saw mosquitoes on the plant! im planting serai wangi myself, in a pot. and i think serai wangi works better than halau nyamuk. it lasts longer.

or u can try other plants that can repel mosquitoes, i heard shoofly (saw in the internet, one lady experimented twice by rubbing the leaves and then onto the skin, went gardening, and she wasn't bothered by mosquitoes).

u can try many other plants as well to repel insects or mosquitos (i.e. lemon-scented plants that may have citronella to repel mosquitos- lemon basil, lime basil, serai wangi, lemony catnip), catnip (heard it works), patchouli (read in a magazine it helps)

im experimenting with many herbs to repel them, like basil, chives, lavender, catnip, catmint, chrysanthemum pyrethrum, shoofly, patchouli & etc) :)

Mark Pham on February 17, 2012:

Hi Anna,

I am going to Kuala Lumpur in couple of weeks time. I am looking for some seeds of citronella or another name jeremin plant in Malay language. I wonder if you can give me some advices that whether I can buy its seeds and where to buy from. Since it is said that citronella has the utility to repel the mosquitoes, I greatly appreciate for help.


Mark Pham

Captain Karma on February 15, 2012:


Where are you ? You cant start a blog like this , getting fellow garderners all interested and just leave us :) haha.

Captain K

Meow! on February 10, 2012:

If you're growing coriander from the spice seeds, I suspect they've been treated to not sprout/deteriorate. In other words, they've lost their organic nature.

Captain Karma on February 06, 2012:

Hi Anna,

Ok. So what would you advise on the type of soil mix for growing herbs in a pot. Was as the supermarket the other day and came across this regular soil.Then there was moss.

Any help would be appreciated.

Many thanks!


Liz on February 05, 2012:

Hi Anna

I'm growing basil in on my balcony in Singapore. My Thai basil recently flowered and i was a bit too late cutting the flowers off. Now the poor plant is turning yellow and dropping leaves.

is there no hope left for the plant?

Thanks for your advice.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on February 03, 2012:

I have successfully grown basil and chives from seed I imagine that you could germinate any seed as long as you have a good enough potting mix and enough water. Let me know how you get on!


Growing herbs from a pot ? on January 31, 2012:

Hi Anna,

I live in a flat in Singapore and getting western herbs ( i.e... thyme , dill , rosemaryetc ) is not easy and when found are pretty pricey. So i was wondering if it is viable to grow these herbs ( from seeds) in a pot ? I live in a flat and don't have a garden :(.

Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks!

br,Captain Karma

Anna (author) from Malaysia on January 28, 2012:

Yes I have been unsuccessful with coriander seeds before... I may try again! As I love coriander:)

Anna (author) from Malaysia on January 28, 2012:

Yes I agree you need roots to start growing herbs... You could try using "rooting" powder... A chemical cocktail designed to encourage the growth of roots from stems... You may be able to get some from ace hardware or from the Internet. Cold storage or the village grocer are in my opinion the best places to source plants.


Sarah Le Breton from Singapore on January 25, 2012:

Hi Anna, I used to live in KL, then KK, now Singapore... about to start container gardening here, keen to share tips!

I've managed to grow coriander from seed but it hasn't really taken off, am trying again and the first shoots are just coming through!

My chives never germinated, nor did my sunflowers long enough to speak of...

But I'm inspired by your tales to keep going and try a few more!

Keith on January 18, 2012:

Your best bet is to goto Cold Storage and buy the little potted herbs. The pasar malam (just means "night market") would most likely not have what your looking for anyway. on January 15, 2012:


HI Anna, There is a local bazaar called "Pasar Malam" near our living area (Mines resort). No body can speak English in this bazaar, so I don't know what should I say to Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano in Malaysia Language, Do you know what are calling these herbs in Malay? . I don't want to grow seed, I just want to buy them from bazaar and I am not able to recognize them from their local different herbs.

Chelsina on January 11, 2012:

I've started planting herbs, some bought from nurseries and Cold Storage and some i germinated from seeds i bought online.

Until today, my still-alive herb plants are red & green holy basil, thyme, mint, australian mint, thai basil, siam queen basil, rosemary, the-vicks plant, catnip & catmint, christmas basil, genovese basil, stevia, ekor kucing, sage, lavender, red basil, sweet basil, french tarragon, sweet marjoram.

those that died were lime basil, lemon balm, cinnamon basil, dill, spearmint and oregano. mostly were successfully germinated from seeds. However, they died off during seedlings period. mostly were attacked by white mealy bugs or unidentified black bugs. and some was becoz of overdose of baja :P

does anyone know how to deal with these black bugs that leaves black dots egg-likes looking on the leaves?

I've recently ordered new seeds. Thinking of germinating it indoor or covered, so that it wont be attacked by those bugs again.

maran1112 from Subang Jaya, Malaysia on December 04, 2011:

HI Tarence,

Can I know which shop in Sg Buloh you bought those things.I am interested to buy those plants.

Tarence on November 24, 2011:

I was in Sg Buloh nurseries 3 days ago they had these herbs :

thyme, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, sage, stevia + a few others. I bought 4 pots & was charged rm6 per pot. The plants were very bushy & healthy.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on September 21, 2011:

Hi Tafique and Sherry,

You need to make sure that the basil gets enough water, otherwise you will have wilting.

I think that I have seen oregano at the village grocer Bangsar. If not perhaps order the seeds off Ebay.


sherry on September 15, 2011:

Hi Anna! i would like to plant oregano. Do u know where i can get the plant? tq

Taufique on September 08, 2011:

I just started my little herb garden, bought 3 types of basil (red, cinnamon and lemon), french tarragon, rosemary and sage plants. bought all from village grocer and except rosemary which was from Ben's general food store in bangsar village.

its just been 2 days and my red basil is already starting to wilt unfortunately. :( I hope i can manage the rest. really looking forward to keep them alive and growing well.

Sy on August 21, 2011:

Hi there - just starting out on growing some herbs so thank you for your help and advice. Will drop by to ask some questions soon I am sure. Thanks!

Ravinder on July 27, 2011:

I am trying to grow rosemary again and i was advice to use sand so that the pot does not hold water. The roots like to be water dry. Any advice on frequency of watering the herb.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on July 08, 2011:

Full sun. Grows really well. It is in good soil.


Catz on July 05, 2011:

Hi, how did you manage to grow Sage? i've been trying for ages and times but it shaded? or under the sun?

Taufique on June 25, 2011:

I m planning to grow a little bit of herbs in my small apartment at the yard space. Esp. Thyme, Dill, Rosemary, which isn't readily available here in Malaysia. Any pointers would be of help as i've not done anything like this before.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on May 29, 2011:

Hi Maria and Jit,

Sorry for the delay in replying. I have not seen Lavender seeds or plants here at all sorry:( you could try buying the seeds off ebay. Jit you can purchase sage at the Village grocer:)


Jit on April 16, 2011:

Hi Anna

I am from Klang, Malaysia. Saw you site while trying to check what is sage. I am keen to start my own herb garden as well. I'm a beginner though. Thanks for the tips. Will look for the seeds in Bangsar.

Maria on April 15, 2011:

Hi Anna - do you know where i can find lavender seeds? I'm trying to grow them in my front yard. Please let me know where I can find em.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on February 14, 2011:


Try ace hardware.


Rama on February 09, 2011:

Dear Anna

Thank you very much for the information. I used the $4 potting soil available with florists/Shieng Song. Till now I haven't found any organic fertilizer in these places. If possible can you tell me where can I find these both.


Anna (author) from Malaysia on February 09, 2011:

Hi Rama,

I think that the insects that you are talking about could be the problem. I would spray them with vegetable oil and see if that works. Buying the best potting mix you can is also a good idea. I use organic fertilizer. As long as the water can drain away the rain should not be a problem.


Rama on February 08, 2011:

Hi Anna

I am growing Basil in pots, kept outside (singapore).

But the leaves are falling away and the plants die very frequently.

Do following factors effect?

1. Type of potting soil.

2. Continuous rains.

3. Any organic/natural fertilizers

4. Small Black insects on the leaves.

Thanking you very much

with regards,


Anna (author) from Malaysia on December 18, 2010:

Hi Mark,

Rosemary likes it dry... too wet and it goes brown and dies... Mine is in front of the outside Aircon fan... it is doing very well. So my handy hint is not too much water:)


Mark on December 18, 2010:

Thanks Anna. Picked up some dill and chives and they are growing well. My rosemary plant is dying though. Most of the branches have gone brown and not sure why.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on November 30, 2010:

Hi Mark,

Village grocer in Bangsar or cold storage in Bangsar Shpooing Centre.


Mark on November 20, 2010:

Hi Anna, I'm in KL as well and just recently got into growing herbs. I have basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme and just got got some tomato seedlings that have sprouted which I'm excited about. I have a balcony and trying to make sure they get enough sun.

I would like to buy some dill and chives. Any idea where I can get it in KL?


Anna (author) from Malaysia on November 02, 2010:

Hi CC and Meta,

There are already groups that supply KL expat shops with western herbs so I am not sure that that would be a good business... However supplying expat with herbs as plants I think would be a good one.... although there is at least one company already doing that in KL.

Rosemary seeds.. I have not grown rosemary from a seed.... I have only grown it as a plant that I bought... You could try taking a branch that u buy in a shop and putting it in rooting powder and seeing if it will strike... I find my rosemary is growing the best it ever has in front of my aircon fan outside... it loves dry heat!


Meta on November 01, 2010:

Hi Anna

Im going to start my own herb garden and Im very much new in this...I never tried plant anything before but I love pastas and all of them taste better with fresh herbs...and all the herbs are I wanted to plant my own...I was wondering where can I get rosemary seeds...pls do tell..thanks

CC on October 22, 2010:

HI Anna,

Stumbled onto your site when browsing on items in regards to western herbs in Malaysia.

Seems your last comment is 2 months ago. Are you still active in planting herbs?

I am planning to make this into a business and would you think this is a good idea?

BTW : I am located in Penang.

Anna (author) from Malaysia on August 16, 2010:

shops that sell herbs and spices.


edwin on August 14, 2010:

where do you get the basil seed?

Annette on June 26, 2010:

Hi Anna

I too am in Malaysia and have been growing basil for years, my guinea pig loves it. I have also managed coriander, mint and now have some tarragon on the go but it looks a bit sad. I do find all my herbs tend to get too hot or too much sun and I have to keep moving them around the balconies to avoid the fierce afternoon heat. One thing I do to get seeds started quickly is pour boiling water on the soil before planting. They shoot up very quickly that way.

olivia on June 21, 2010:

Hi Anna.

I found your site because I was searching for some info on how to grow lavender in M'sia.I also have a nice herb garden albeit more of Asian herbs.I also live in a gated community and have created my own herb garden by building a concrete planter box behind my house.I love lavender plants ever since I lived in Australia for a number of years.

Hweeen on June 05, 2010:

i always want to grow some plants but i can't found the seed or the plants i want around me.

the only plants that successful grown up was chili.

i wonder where you found the seed in Malaysia??

i thought most of them can only get from overseas.

i am a student so just can plant the plant that can be get around my village.

wendyywy on May 25, 2010:

I'm so happy to find your site.

I never thought that rosemary and sage can be grown here, besides uphill on Camerons or Genting.

Thanks for this, and I'm forwarding your site to my friends.

susan on March 02, 2010:

hey anna,

found your site cuz my husband and i are trying to grow thyme. we're really into growing edibles too, so far we have got rosemary bushes, oregano, and both thai and sweet basil. they are all doing well except for our thyme...which recently died on us... did you grow your thyme from a seedling? we got our thyme plant from the village grocer, planted it in the ground and it was doing well at first but after about 6 months, it just died. i wonder if we should have trimmed it more often, or? or maybe it got too much water? do you have a big thyme bush? we grow our herbs and plants with the compost we make. it's great! anyways, do u have any tips on growing thyme? pls advise. thanks

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