Herbs are a great joy to cooks and gardeners alike. Bring a taste of the outdoors into your kitchen by using potted herbs. According to the University of Missouri Extension, the biggest challenge when growing herbs indoors is making sure they get enough light. Most herbs need six to eight hours of direct or bright sunlight each day. But once you get their growing conditions right, herbs will give you the luxury of a kitchen garden without having to step outside.
The chive, a perennial member of the onion family, has thin, hollow leaves that are chopped up to flavor stews, soups, vegetables and salads. Small oval bulbs form clumps of the chive's foliage, which can reach 6 to 8 inches. Pink-lavender flowers that look like clover blooms are produced in the summer. Chives need bright light, so place your pot near a south- or west-facing window. Harvest no more than two-thirds the length of the plant's foliage.
Thyme likes bright light, but it will grow in almost any window. This aromatic herb, which is often used as a groundcover or in rock gardens, has small pink or pale purple flowers. Once the plant is growing indoors, snip off its leaves or flowers to add to any savory dish, such as meats and seafood.
Tarragon's leaves are used frequently in seasonings, particularly vinegar. Tarragon, which likes moderate shade, can be grown in north- or east-facing windows. It will require more frequent watering than many herbs, and it needs well-drained soil. This tall perennial can reach 2 or 3 feet if in a large pot. Use tarragon for egg dishes, fish, white sauces and vegetables.
Mint, which can be a bane to gardeners with its rampant growth, is an excellent indoor herb. It can tolerate indirect light, and it's not very fussy about its soil. Water sparingly, when the top 2 inches of soil are dry. Trim the leaves to make tea, decorate cookies or flavor jellies and vinegars.