How to Grow Herbs in Your House


Pinching off a fresh stem of basil from an indoor herb garden to add flavor to a simmering red sauce, is a satisfying experience for many culinary enthusiasts. It does not take a skilled gardener to grow an indoor herb garden. Harvesting the herbs, by pinching off a few inches of the plant, will produce more growth, and any harvested surplus can be dried and used later.

Step 1

Add an inch of gravel to the bottom of the pot.

Step 2

Fill a pot with a mixture of two parts sterilized potting soil to one part perlite.

Step 3

Stir in 1 tsp. ground limestone.

Step 4

Sow the seeds in the soil according to the instructions on the seed package. The depth to plant each seed, and the number of seeds to plant in the container will vary by seed type.

Step 5

Set the plant in a location where it will receive at least five hours of daily sunlight. If placed in a window, avoid intense sunlight or drafts.

Step 6

Maintain a room temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If humidity is below 30 percent, set a bowl of water by the plant for added humidity.

Step 7

Press your finger into the soil each day. The soil should be moist. Water if it is dry or barely moist. If allowed to dry completely, the herbs will wilt.

Step 8

Use room temperature water to irrigate the soil. Morning watering is preferred. Add water gradually to the soil, stopping when it begins to pour from the drain hole.

Step 9

Rotate the plants on a regular basis, so that all sides are exposed to the light source. If not rotated, the plants will lean into the light.

Step 10

Pinch off any dead or wilted stems or leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-inch pot with drain hole
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Ground limestone
  • Herb seeds


  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • "How to Grow Herbs"; Editors of Sunset Books and Magazines; 1975
  • "Herbs"; James Crockett; 1977
Keywords: indoor herb garden, growing herbs inside, container herb garden

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.