Growing Fresh Basil, Mint, and Oregano in Your Aquaponics Garden: A Flavorful Journey

Welcome to the wonderful world of growing fresh herbs in your own aquaponics garden! This comprehensive guide will walk you through cultivating three of the most popular culinary herbs – basil, mint, and oregano – using the sustainable aquaponics method.

An Introduction to Growing Basil, Mint, and Oregano Aquaponically

Aquaponics is the ingenious combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water). This closed-loop ecosystem utilizes natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste into plant nutrients, allowing both fish and plants to thrive symbiotically.

Growing aromatic herbs like basil, mint, and oregano aquaponically provides multiple benefits:

  • Access to ultra-fresh herbs year-round
  • Chemical-free, organic produce
  • Compact and efficient use of space
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly gardening

These three herbs are essential ingredients in many global cuisines and provide unique flavors and fragrances that enhance any dish. Now let’s explore each herb individually and learn how to successfully grow them in your home aquaponics system!

The Dynamic Duo: Basil and Mint

Basil and mint are two classic culinary herbs that pair excellently together in various recipes. Here’s an overview of their health benefits and growing requirements:

Basil – The King of Herbs

Popular varieties: Sweet basil, Thai basil, Lemon basil

Health Benefits

  • Excellent source of vitamin K and antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds [1]
  • Reduces inflammation and stress
  • Supports heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol

Growing Tips

  • Grows best in warm conditions between 70-85°F
  • Needs at least 6 hours of sunlight per day
  • Space plants 8-12 inches apart for adequate air circulation
  • Pinch off flower buds to promote leaf growth
  • Harvest by cutting stems right above leaf nodes

Mint – The Soothing Herb

Popular varieties: Spearmint, peppermint

Health Benefits

  • Aids digestion, relieves nausea and headaches [2]
  • Contains antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
  • Helps alleviate respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis

Growing Tips

  • Thrives in partly sunny sites with moist soil
  • Requires consistent moisture – allow soil to dry slightly between waterings
  • Grow in containers to prevent aggressive spreading
  • Pinch off flowers to direct energy to leaf production
  • Harvest by cutting stems to ground level

Spacing basil and mint plants appropriately allows proper aeration and growth. They flourish with abundant sunlight and moist soil. Now let’s explore how these growing needs can be met using aquaponics!

Growing Basil and Mint Aquaponically

One of the key benefits of aquaponics is precisely controlling the inputs plants receive, allowing you to create optimal growing conditions.

Media Bed Setup

Both basil and mint grow best in a flooded media bed system. This allows their roots to access nutrient-rich water while having a moist but well-drained growing medium like clay pebbles or coconut coir.

Water Quality

Test water frequently to maintain ideal pH and nutrient levels:

  • pH between 6.0-7.0
  • Water temperature of 70-80°F
  • Low-moderate nutrients


Situate your media bed near a sunny window or utilize grow lights to provide 14-18 hours of light per day.


Proper oxygenation and water circulation is vital. Use an air pump and air stones connected to the media bed and fish tank.

Following these parameters will result in a flourishing basil and mint harvest! The aquaponic environment keeps their soil consistently moist and rich in nutrients from the fish effluent. Now let’s explore our final herb – the robust oregano.

Oregano – The Robust Herb

Oregano adds bold flavor to Italian, Greek, Spanish and Mexican cuisines. Growing it along with basil and mint gives you a tasty culinary trio!

Health Benefits

  • Excellent source of antioxidants like rosmarinic acid [3]
  • Has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties
  • Eases digestion, reduces bloating and stomach pain

Growing Tips

  • Thrives in hot, dry conditions with full sun
  • Tolerates some drought but avoid extreme dryness
  • Greek oregano varieties have the best flavor
  • Prune regularly to promote new growth
  • Harvest before flowers appear for peak flavor

Growing Oregano Aquaponically

Oregano needs slightly different conditions than basil and mint to flourish:

  • Use a raft system for faster drainage rather than media bed
  • Allow the plant container and roots to dry out some between waterings
  • Increase water temperature to 75-80°F
  • Use grow lights to provide 18+ hours of light

Adjusting your aquaponics setup to accommodate oregano’s preferences will yield you a bountiful Mediterranean herb harvest!

Enjoying Your Fresh Herb Bounty

Now the fun part – reaping the flavorsome rewards of your aquaponic herb garden! Here are some tips for harvesting, preserving and using your fresh basil, mint and oregano:


  • Snip leafy stem portions as needed
  • Best flavor is achieved right before flowering
  • Harvest in early morning after dew dries
  • Use clean, sharp scissors or shears


  • Short term: Place stems in water and refrigerate for 5-7 days
  • Long term: Dry completely and store in airtight containers
  • Freeze leaves in ice cube trays with olive oil or broth


Boost the flavor of any dish by adding fresh chopped herbs right before serving. Some delicious options:

  • Pesto, chimichurri sauces
  • Marinades, dressings, herb butters
  • Teas, cocktails, infused water
  • Fruit salads, roasted vegetables
  • Herbed rice, pasta, eggs, cheese, fish

Here’s a refreshing aquaponics mimosa recipe using your homegrown herbs:

Aquaponic Mimosa Recipe
2 oz orange juice
2 oz champagne or prosecco
1 tbsp chopped basil
1⁄2 tbsp chopped mint
Orange slice garnish

Add orange juice, champagne, and herbs to a champagne flute. Gently stir and top with an orange slice! The herbal flavors beautifully complement the citrus and effervescence.


We’ve covered the ins and outs of cultivating three wonderfully flavorful herbs – basil, mint and oregano – using the sustainable aquaponics method. Follow the growing tips outlined to create optimal conditions for each herb. Incorporating their nourishing fresh flavors into your cooking is incredibly rewarding. The aquaponic environment recycles and reuses resources, allowing you to enjoy homegrown herbs while caring for our planet. Get started on your own aquaponics herb garden today! We’d love to hear about your experiences at


  1. Masood, S. et al. Antioxidant Effects of Herbs in Basil-Based Recipes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2019.
  2. McKay, D. et al. A Review of the Bioactivity and Potential Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea. Phytotherapy Research. 2006.
  3. Nieto, G. Biological Activities of Three Different Extracts of Oregano (Lippia graveolens). Journal of Food Biochemistry. 2010.

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