How to Grow Indoor Cooking Herbs


Most culinary herbs do well when planted indoors, and caring for indoor herbs is very similar to caring for herbs grown outdoors. Culinary herbs grown indoors will require a bit more fertilizer and water, but there is very little opportunity for pests or disease. Plant culinary herbs indoors, and before you know it, you'll have a steady supply of fresh, flavorful herbs to snip and add to your favorite dish.

Step 1

Place a 1-inch layer of gravel or bark chips in the bottom of a planting container. Fill the container with a mixture of two parts commercial potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite.

Step 2

Dig a small hole that's large enough to accommodate the root ball of the herb plant. Fill the hole with potting mixture, and tamp the mixture gently around the roots. Plant the herb at the same soil level that it was planted in its nursery container, as herbs planted too deep will be susceptible to rot.

Step 3

Water the herb plant immediately after planting. If necessary, add more potting mixture to replace any soil that has settled.

Step 4

Place culinary herbs where they will receive 12 hours of sunlight every day, but avoid putting them directly in a sunny window during the summertime, as the sunlight may be strong enough to scorch the plant. If necessary, use a grow light to supplement available light.

Step 5

Water lightly when the potting mixture feels dry to the touch. Keep the potting mixture on the dry side.

Step 6

Feed the herbs every other week, using a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. Apply the fertilizer according to the label instructions, but dilute it to half strength. During the fall and winter, only fertilize the herbs once every month.

Step 7

Clip the herbs for culinary use as often as desired. If the herbs become root-bound, transplant them to a larger container.

Things You'll Need

  • Herb plants
  • Gravel or bark chips
  • Planting container with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting mixture
  • Coarse sand or perlite
  • Trowel
  • Grow light (optional)
  • Liquid fertilizer for indoor plants


  • How to Grow Cooking Herbs
  • West Virginia University: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
Keywords: cooking herbs, culinary herbs, herb plants

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.