Indoor Herb Garden
Learn which herbs are suitable for growing indoors
Growing herbs indoors can be fun and rewarding, especially when you get to eat the fruits of your labor. If you have a south-facing window with at least 4 hours of sun a day, you can grow many herbs successfully. Here are some of my indoor herb growing tips.
- As I said in my opening paragraph, you need a window that gets at least 4 hours of sunlight a day. South-facing windows are best, but east and west-facing windows can work as well. You also may need to switch windows depending on the season, so choose the window where the herbs seem to like it best.
- Choose a pot that is either plastic or glazed and that has good drainage. These pots will not dry out as quickly as clay pots might in the winter. You will also want saucers to place under the pots. This will allow any excess water to drain, and then you can dump it out easily. You never want the roots of a plant to sit in water for too long. When choosing the size of a pot, pick one that is a size or two larger than the pot the herb was originally grown in.
- Pick a potting soil that is organic and specifically for potted plants. See my recommendations below.
- Most herbs like temperatures of 65-70 degrees F during the day and 55-60 degrees F at night. Basil is the one exception. It prefers temperatures in the 70s all the time. If your herbs are sitting on a windowsill, make sure the leaves are not touching the cold window, as this could put the plant in shock.
- Plants that are grown indoors, generally grow slower than plants grown outdoors, so you can keep fertilizer to a minimum. If you are harvesting leaves from your herbs often, then it would be wise to fertilize once a month with a slow release organic fertilizer and every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion. See my recommendations below. Fertilizing regularly will also improve the flavor.
Here are some of my favorite herbs to grow indoors:
- Bay - grows very slowly, but is a reliable herb to grow in pots, indoors or outdoors.
- Chive - requires less light than most other herbs and packed full fo flavor.
- Greek Oregano - Needs a lot of light, but grows well indoors. Supplement with an indoor grow light, if needed.
- Marjoram - a little more forgiving when it comes to over-watering.
- Mint - very invasive and should always be grown in a pot. Since it does grow so well outdoors, it tends to do well indoors as well.
- Parsley - a slow grower, but tends to be reliable. Grow more than one pot so that you always have enough.
- Rosemary - must have supplemental lighting and needs to dry out between waterings. Subject to root rot when over-watered.
- Thyme - will probably need supplemental lighting, but worth trying to grow for the flavor it offers many dishes.
- Vietnamese Coriander - similar flavor to cilantro and easier to grow.