How to Grow Herbs Indoors in the Winter

Overview

Fresh herbs are often associated with spring and summer, but indoors you can grow many herbs year-round. Nearly all annual herbs and evergreen perennial herbs stay green throughout winter with proper care. Some non-evergreen perennial herbs, such as fennel, require a dormant period in winter and are not suited to winter growing. Experiment with your favorite herbs to find the ones that grow best in your home.

Step 1

Fill an 8- to 12-inch pot with moist, well-draining potting mix. Leave 1 inch between the top of the mix and the rim of the pot so soil doesn't wash out during watering.

Step 2

Fill the drip tray of each pot with small pebbles. Fill the trays with water to the top of the pebbles and set the pots on top of the trays. The water in the drip tray adds humidity for the plants in the dry, winter air indoors.

Step 3

Plant each herb transplant in a pot at the same depth it was planted at in its outdoor pot. Follow the planting instructions on the plant label. Some herbs, such as chives, are planted several to one pot, while others, such as mint, are planted one per pot.

Step 4

Set the herbs in a sunny, south-facing window where they receive six hours of sunlight a day. If this isn't possible, place the herbs 6 inches under two cool-white fluorescent bulbs for 14 hours a day.

Step 5

Fertilize the herbs with a half-strength, soluble fertilizer every two weeks throughout winter to encourage new growth.

Step 6

Water the herbs when the soil surface begins to dry. Water until the excess water begins draining from the bottom of the pots so excess fertilizer is washed from the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Annual herbs are likely to flower soon after winter. They must be replanted if you wish to continue to grow these herbs. Avoid placing the herbs near heat vents, as this may dry them severely and lead to damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Potting mix
  • Pebbles
  • Herb transplants
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Penn State Extension: Growing Herbs Indoors
Keywords: growing winter herbs, indoor herb garden, potted herbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.