How to Pot Indoor Herbs

Overview

Herbs are edible plants that are used in a variety of cuisines. Leaves of herbs are also steeped in hot water to make herbal teas. Fresh herbs are available in most grocery stores and green grocers, but it is costly to buy sprigs of herbs each time you need them for a recipe. Conquer the cost of market herbs by growing your own at home.

Step 1

Choose the herbs that you want to grow, and purchase seeds or seedlings. Herb seeds germinate and grow quickly, but seedling plants give you a head start of several weeks, because they are already several inches tall.

Step 2

Fill flower pots half-way with a high-quality potting soil that drains quickly. Avoid moisture-retaining soils. According to the West Virginia University Extension, soil drainage is "probably the most important single factor in successful herb growing." Herb plants do not like to sit in water-logged soil, so drainage is important. If you must use topsoil from your yard, mix it with gardening sand or perlite at a ratio of 1:1 to improve the drainage.

Step 3

Plant the seeds or seedlings in the flower pots, one type of herb per pot. Ediblecontainergardening.com advises against growing more than one type of herb per container because some herbs (such as mints) crowd others out of the space, and others will change the flavor of other herbs grown in the same pot.

Step 4

Water the seeds or seedlings immediately, and allow the excess water to drain away. After this initial watering, add water only when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.

Step 5

Place the herbs in a sunny location, where they get bright indirect light. A window sill that gets direct sun several hours a day is too sunny. Instead, place the herbs a few feet away so that they get plenty of light without the intensity. Gardeningpatch.com suggests placing the herb plants in the kitchen, so that you can access them while you cook or make tea.

Step 6

Clip off springs of herbs as you need them with gardening snips or scissors. If you don't use the herbs regularly, snip the taller stems down anyway, to avoid the plants bolting. When a herb plant bolts, it produces seeds; after the seeds are produced, the flavor of the herbs are affected and death of the plant is imminent.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-to-6-inch flower pots with drainage holes
  • Quick-draining potting soil
  • Herb seeds or seedlings
  • Gardening snips or scissors

References

  • West Virginia University Extension: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • EdibleContainerGardening.com: How to Pot Indoor Herbs
  • GardeningPatch.com: Create an Indoor Herb Garden
Keywords: grow indoor herbs, herb care, plant herbs indoors

About this Author

Cyn Vela is a freelance writer and professional blogger. Her work has been published on dozens of websites, as well as in local print publications. Vela's articles usually focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, parenting, gardening, and health and wellness. She studied English literature at Del Mar College, and at the University of Texas at San Antonio.