Is it possible to grow herbs indoors? This article will show you how to grow an herb garden indoors.
Indoor herb gardens not only give you access to fresh herbs but also add beauty and greenery to your home. Herbs are perfect for indoors because they don’t take up a lot of space and most can grow quickly. They also add something different to your home decor. I cover the basics of growing an herb garden indoors from where you can grow them, how to care for your indoor herbs, and ideas on what to do with your indoor herb garden.
Helpful tips on growing indoor herbs
Can you grow herbs indoors without sunlight? Herb plants prefer bright light such as from a window or skylight so place them near one if you have the room. If you don’t have enough natural light, you can use grow lights.
All herbs have different requirements for the best growth, so it’s important to research your herb before you start growing it. You may need a greenhouse or a terrarium to successfully grow some types of herbs indoors. Different herbs also come in different sizes from tiny leaves for sprigs of parsley and cilantro to large stalks of rosemary, oregano, and thyme.
It’s important to use good potting soil for herbs that has the right nutrients and drainage. Because many herb plants are small, it’s good to fill your container with smaller pots inside so they don’t topple over from their weight. Add enough potting mix to allow the top of the root ball to be about an inch below the lip of your pot or tray.
Water herbs when the soil is dry. Check them every day because some herbs like moist soil while others, such as basil, need dry conditions to grow well. If you water too much, you may start seeing black spots on the leaves.
How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors: What Herbs Grow Easily Indoor?
Here is a list of some popular herbs that grow well indoors:
Basil – basil grows back quickly and it’s delicious. You can use leaves or flower heads for decoration. It likes moist soil and bright light, but not direct sunlight.
Chives – Chives are great to decorate your home with and they provide lovely pink flowers for bouquets. They grow well in a pot or tray and prefer moist, but not wet soil.
Parsley – Parsley is an easy herb to grow indoors because it doesn’t need much light and will tolerate dry conditions. It can be used as a garnish or for cooking purposes. It grows back quickly after being cut, so it may need to be trimmed often.
Mint – Mint grows quickly and produces lots of “seeds” so it’s good for making mint tea or flavoring other drinks. Mint doesn’t like to be transplanted but will grow easily in moist soil that is not too wet. It can grow quite large, so only plant the root in a large container or tray.
Oregano – oregano grows back quickly after being cut and it’s good for cooking. It only needs bright light and moist soil, but not too much water because it can become root-bound and die that way.
Rosemary – Rosemary is a very popular herb used in cooking and for crafts. It prefers dry soil, but it doesn’t like to be transplanted. It can grow very big, so only plant the root in a large pot or tray.
Thyme – thyme is another herb that’s great to use for cooking and crafts because of its pretty flowers. It grows well outdoors as well as indoors and it’s very versatile. It prefers dry soil and doesn’t like to be transplanted once it becomes pot-bound.
There are many herbs you can grow indoors, so do your research before buying any plants for your home or office. Some require bright light while others prefer drier conditions. Whatever you decide to plant in your indoor herb garden, you’re sure to enjoy the beauty and benefits they bring. Indoor growing of herbs allows you to enjoy homegrown produce without the constraints of space or aesthetics.
Beginner Guide On How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors
Pick the Right Plants
Plants labeled as “indoor” or “houseplant” can grow well indoors. But other herbs require full sunlight and won’t do well inside, such as lavender and lemon balm.
Choose a Container
Prepare your pot by filling it with potting mix. Add the herb plant, leaving one-inch space between the soil and the top of the pot/tray. Some herbs prefer dry conditions while others like wet feet (meaning lots of water). Read up on what type of pot your herb plant needs. For example, if you buy a cilantro plant, make sure the pot drains well to prevent root rot. Drainage holes prevent roots from sitting in water. Repurposed containers, such as yogurt pots or plastic food takeout trays work well. Most herbs grow best in containers with drainage holes to prevent the soil from becoming soggy. If your container doesn’t have any, you can drill them yourself or put the container in a tray with holes.
Use Organic Potting Mix
Many brands of commercial potting soil contain harmful chemicals that can damage your herb plant, so choose an organic brand instead.
Choose the Sunniest Spot You Can
Sunshine brings out the best in herbs and helps them grow faster. Place your pot where it will get plenty of sunlight (at least six hours a day) and turn your herb plant often to prevent it from becoming lopsided.
Check the moisture level of the soil every day, but don’t let it dry out completely or you’ll kill your herb plant! When the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water. Herbs grown indoors need less water than those grown outdoors, so don’t drown them or they’ll die!
Herbs grown indoors need less fertilizer than those grown outdoors. Add additional fertilizer every few months throughout the growing season for best results.
Stop fertilizing in the fall so your herb plant can go dormant until spring.
Give Them the Right Care
Different herbs require different care, so read up on what your plants need before you buy them. Once planted, check your herbs daily for signs of weeds or pests.
Use an organic pesticide to kill small insects on your herb plant. Avoid using pesticides containing pyrethrins because they are harmful if swallowed. If you have a larger problem, contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 or visit their website.
That’s the basics on how to grow an herb garden indoors. Below is a list of herbs that are indoor friendly, they make a good start for your herb garden.
Herbs Growing Indoors and their needs for sunlight
Basil – basil needs at least six hours of sun each day and regular watering. Give your basil plant cilantro to become lopsided and encourage new growth on the side that’s facing light.
Rosemary – Rosemary likes it dry, so you should only water it when the top inch of soil is beginning to dry out. It prefers bright sunlight, but you can move your rosemary indoors during summer if the temperature gets too hot outside.
Mint – Mint grows best in containers with drainage to prevent root rot. It likes it wet, so make sure you only water when the soil is dry at least an inch below the surface, and never let your pot sit in water. Mint also prefers shade or indirect sunlight.
Cilantro – cilantro needs at least six hours of sunlight a day and well-draining soil to prevent root rot. If your cilantro plant begins to lop over, give it a sharp tug and grow the side that’s facing light.
Harvest a Little at a Time
If you’re growing basil, cilantro, mint, or dill indoors, you’ll likely want to harvest some of them to use in cooking. Pick off leaves as needed and the plant will continue to grow back for several months (up to six). You can cut many times during the summer before your herb plant begins to flower.
Transplant When Ready
Indoor herb plants do not live indefinitely. Once they get too tall, the plant will not be able to live in its container anymore. They will need more space to grow. You can divide the plant into several new plants by carefully digging it out of the container, cutting the roots with a knife, and transplanting them elsewhere.