Updated: Jan 18
You can plant your first herb with level 9 farming in any of the 9 herb patches across Runescape. Herbs take approximately 80 minutes to grow and are mostly done for profit on main and regular accounts, however for ironmen they're essential for training your herblore and making potions.
Before I go further into the guide, I want to give you guys a full guide overview in one slide so you can screenshot it and save it somewhere so you never forget how to do a herb run.
In the image above, it shows every location, the items you need and in small text the requirements for each one.
How Herbs Work
Upon completing a full herb run, your yield or the number of herbs you get, depends on 2 main factors… how many herbs you get per patch and how many patches die. Both of these factors can be improved through in-game items, quests and unlocks.
How Many Herbs Per Patch?
So this is how the game calculates the number of herbs you get per patch.
When you start to harvest a herb patch, the herb patch has 3 harvest lives, then for every pick of a herb, theres a chance that the life goes down by 1. Once it hits zero, the patch becomes cleared.
Using compost on a patch actually increases the number of harvest lives your patch has. With regular compost, it adds 1, super adds 2 and ultracompost adds 3. So this means the absolute minimum number of herbs you can get per herb patch while using ultracompost is 6, double the standard amount, which makes ultracompost a MUST for herb running.
You can also increase the chance of not using a harvest life.
Your farming level plays a decent part in your harvesting. I found the formula that’s used to calculate the chance of using a harvest life and I plotted that using your farming level as the other variable.
At level 1 farming theres about a 6.2% chance of saving a life, at level 99 its around 12.5%, so proportioinately that’s double the chance of saving a life comparing 1 to 99.
Magic Secateurs, which are obtained at the end of the quest Fairy Tale part 1, also play a big part in harvest lives. Magic secateurs don’t increase your yield by 10%, they increase the chance of not using a harvest life by 10%, so its actually not quite a 10% yield boost.
These along with ultracompost are the 2 essential items when it comes to herb runs. Theyre both accessible on very low level accounts and provide the biggest benefits out of all the items.
Theres a few more items that lower the chance of using a harvest life.
Completing the Kandarin Diary provides an extra chance but only for the catherby herb patch. This 5% to 15% boost stacks with magic secateurs too.
The same can be said for the hard kourend diary. The hosidius and farming guild herb patches receive a 5% better chance of saving a harvest life.
In the recently added anima patches found in the farming guild you can plant "attas seeds" which provide a 5% chance of saving your patches life.
Wearing the farming cape also provides an additional 5%. So, that means combining as many of these as possible. When youre harvesting from the kandarin patch with the elite diary, magic secateurs, the farming skillcape, and the attas seed planted… The chance of saving a harvest life is 42.5% including the boost that comes with your farming level.
How Many Crops Die?
Lets talk about the chance of your crop becoming diseased and dying.
While a plant is growing, it has a chance of becoming diseased, and if its not cured by the next growth phase, the plant dies.
Unlike tree patches, you cant pay the gardner to watch your crops with herb patches. Most of the time though, players will choose to accept the fact that crops will die and just leave them be without monitoring them.
With level 78 magic and 60% hosidius house favour you can use the spell resurrect crops, which has a chance of bringing a dead crop back to life dependent on your magic level.
At level 78 when you unlock it, the chance is 50%, and at level 99 the chance is 75%. It costs around 7.5k to cast the spell though, so you should only be using this on herb seeds like ranarrs, snapdragons or torstols, which cost a lot of money. Also you can use an imbued heart or a magic potion to boost your level to get a better chance.
Boosting Your Yield
A few years ago, mod kieren explained crop death on twitter. Basically Herbs have a base chance of 26 in 128 or 20.3% to become diseased per stage. However, Each tier of compost reduces the chance of your crops becoming diseased each stage. Halved for compost, 1/5 for supercompost and 1/7 for ultra.
So this changes the 20.3% chance per stage to only 2.9% with ultracompost . Herbs all have 5 Growth stages, but only 3 of those growth stages can trigger disease. So using the base chance of death, theres a 50.6% chance of your herb patch dying. Using ultracompost this changes the chance of death to 8.3%, so again, use ultracompost, or at least some sort of compost if youre an ironman.
There are also 3 herb patches available that are disease free.
After obtaining 50% hosidius favour, which any account can easily do, the hosidius herb patch is immune to disease.
After my arms big adventure, you can use the herb patch on top of troll stronghold, and the following quest in the series, Making friends with my arm gives access to the weiss herb patch, and both of these patches are disease free and cant die.
Theres also an anima plant called the iasor seed which provides a further 80% reduction in the chance of disease making it very close to impossible for your plants to die.
Profitable Herb Farming
When it comes to making money with herb runs, the type of herb you plant really depends on your farming level and how many unlocks you have, like magic secateurs and diaries.
The price of seeds and herbs changes all the time. Due to the demand of ranarrs for prayer pots, snapdragons for super restores and toadflax for saradomin brews, they are likely to remain best for a long time.
Complete Herb Run
Gear wise, the only vital thing to wear is your magic secateurs. You don’t get the 10% boost without wearing them. You can also take along graceful if you have it.
Inventory wise, you'll need farming tools, so a rake if you havent been to the patch before, a seed dibber for planting and a spade for harvesting.
You'll need herb seeds, theres 9 herb patch locations, so 9 if youre doing all of them. Or just withdraw 10 to make it easy.
You'll also need ultracompost which can be stored at a leprechaun. You can take them to him in noted form and withdraw them as you do your run. A bottomless compost bucket will save you a decent chunk of time if you have one from Hespori. Lastly you'll of course need teleports to every herb patch. So as I said there's 9 patch locations, but instead of throwing a whole heap of items with their requirements into a table, I'm going to explain how to get to each patch as I go. From there you can choose which teleport works for you. You can do this run in any order, but it’s a good idea to try to memorize a specific route so you don’t forget or miss any patches. I'm starting with the patches with little to no requirements to access, and as I go they have more and more requirements. If you don’t have the requirements for one of them, you can skip it and move onto the next one.
1. Catherby Patch
The first herb patch location is north of the Catherby bank. A simple teleport to Camelot then running east is the best way to get there. You can also use a Catherby teleport on the lunar spellbook which is slightly closer, but it uses 3 law runes instead of 1 making it a bit overpriced if you can just teleport to Camelot. You can of course put a Catherby teleport in your house, along with many of the teleports im going to show, and this is a great option since you don’t need to be on a certain spellbook or bring along runes, although it will slow down your herb run having to load your house and go to the teleport each time. When you reach the herb patch, the specific actions you need to do are as follows. You firstly begin harvesting the patch, when your player starts picking you can spam click harvest for a second or so and your character starts harvesting at double the speed. You should do this at all patches. Its likely your inventory will get full, so use one of your herbs on the tool leprechaun and he will note them all for you. Once the herb patch is depleted, you can go ahead and plant a seed, then ultracompost the patch. While you're noting the last of your herbs it’s a good time to grab an ultracompost from the leprechauns storage. Also a small side note, if you're doing your first herb run, you'll need to rake the patches and plant the seeds instead of harvest the patch then plant the seeds.
2. Cabbage Field Patch
The next patch is near the cabbage field, south of Falador and north of Port Sarim. The fastest way here is using an explorer's ring 2 or above to teleport here. The ring needs the Lumbridge achievement diary, and number 2 needs at least medium completed. Alternatively you can use an amulet of glory teleport to Draynor and run northwest, or simply teleporting to Falador and running south east is an option for lower levels. I highly recommend getting the explorers ring (2) for this patch, because without it the run is a LOT further which makes the money gained not as worth it. The process again is the same, harvest the patch using the spam click method to double the speed, plant a new seed, note your herbs, grab and use ultracompost, then you can move onto the next patch… which is north east of Ardougne.
3. Ardougne Patch
After the medium Ardougne achievement diary you can use the cloak to teleport right next to the herb patch. Alternatively there's a wide range of other teleports nearby. There's the B.L.R fairy ring near the legends guild, theres teleports to the fishing guild that’s nearby using a skills necklace or lunar spells. You can take a combat bracelet to the ranging guild and run slightly south, or one more accessible to lower levels is a teleport to ardy on the standard spellbook and run east out the gates and then north. Again, it's the same process, then you're off to the next patch.
4. Hosidius Patch
In the Hosidius region of Kourend. An easy and accessible way to get here for almost all accounts is by moving your house to Kourend, where the house portal is very close-by south of the herb patch. The closest teleport to the patch is with Xeric's talisman to Xeric's glade, where the talisman can be obtained from lizardmen or stone chests in the lizardman temple. After the Depths of Despair quest, a very easy quest, you can use Karedst's memoirs to "lunch by the Lancalliums", which is a little north west of the patch. Alternatively a bit of a slower but free way there is using the tithe farm minigame teleport, which you can use every 20 minutes, then run west. The next patch is the first one that has a requirement to be able to use.
5. Ectofuntus Patch
Located west of the ectofuntus there's a herb patch which requires you to complete the Priest in Peril quest to be able to access. There's a few ways there… using the A.L.Q fairy ring which is the closest teleport to there, you can use the ectophial which you get after the ghosts ahoy quest then run west, or you can use a Fenkenstrain's castle teleport on the Arceuus spellbook and run east.
If you're using the fairy ring, be weary if you're a lower level, there's vampires and leeches that will attack you so overall the best and most popular option is the ectophial. You again do the same process, and the leprechaun is conveniently placed as far away as possible from the herb patch…
6. Farming Guild Patch
Next is the farming guild herb patch, which requires 60% Hosidius house favour to access along with 65 farming to access the left side wing. Using a skills necklace to the farming guild is the best option to get here, far quicker than any other teleport.. I really recommend upgrading your jewelry box and using the skills necklace teleport from there to save you needing to recharge them all the time. For ironmen, you can use the CIR fairyring near Mount Karuulmn and run southwest to the farming guild.
7. Troll Stronghold
The next patch is the one on top of troll stronghold. To use it, you need to have completed My Arm's big adventure. The fastest way there is with a stony basalt teleport, which requires the quest "making friends with my arm". You can store basalt teleports in your player owned house portal chamber which is a lot easier than having to create your own stony basalt every time. An alternative way to this patch is using the Trollheim teleport which needs the Eadgars Ruse quest to be able to use it . It teleports you east of the patch, and you need to make your way down west from the top of Trollheim then make your way around and if you have at least 73 agility you can climb up the rocks to the herb patch. Otherwise you have to enter Troll Stronghold, run around and through to the ladder up to the patch area.
8. Weiss Patch
The next patch is in Weiss, which you can use after making friends with my arm and you also need to build the fire of nourishment which is very easy and simple to do. Ideally you should be using icy basalt to get here, which again can be stored in your player owned house for unlimited teleportation. The alternative way here is to take the boat from Larry in Relekka, who is closest to the D.K.S fairy ring. Once you get to Weiss you have to make your way around all the way to the west side of Weiss.
9. Harmony Island
The final patch, the ninth patch, which has the highest requirement, is the one on harmony island. To use it you need to have finished the Morytania Achievement diary, so that’s everything up to and including elite completed. To access harmony island, there's a teleport on the Arceuus spellbook that takes you right near the herb patch. This teleport can be put into your portal chamber as well, which I highly recommend doing. The best alternative way there is buying a Mos'le Harmless teleport scroll off the grand exchange, using that and talking to brother tranquility for a ride to Harmony Island.
So that’s all 9 herb patches, once again right here is the entire herb run slide that I showed at the start of the guide. Feel free to save this.