How to Grow Inside Herbs


Most herbs can be grown indoors given the right conditions. There are both annual and perennial plants that will do well in containers indoors or out. Most perennials prefer to be outside during the summer but can be brought back indoors for the rest of the year. The greatest challenge to growing the herbs indoors is sufficient light. If you do not have the proper sunlight you can use grow lights, but it is a little more difficult. Horseradish and fennel are two examples of herbs that do not grow well indoors.

Step 1

Place an inch of gravel at the bottom of each container to ensure good drainage. Mix two parts sterilized potting soil with one part perlite and one part peat moss together for the growing soil. Add 1 tsp. of lime and mix it in well with the soil. Place an inch of soil over the gravel.

Step 2

Remove the herb plant carefully from the container you purchased it in and set it in the pot. Add more soil to the bottom if the plant does not come to within an inch of the top of the pot. Continue to fill in around the plant with soil and press it down firmly around the plant.

Step 3

Water the plant until the water is draining out the bottom of the pot. Do not water again until the soil starts to dry out unless you are growing rosemary, in which case keep the soil evenly moist.

Step 4

Place the pots in a south- or southwest-facing window. Herbs require between six and eight hours of direct sunlight a day. Turn the pots every few days so all sides of the plant receive sunlight. If this is not possible, place them under fluorescent lights two hours for every one hour they are not getting direct sunlight. Grown completely in grow lights, they will require 14 to 16 hours of light per day.

Step 5

Apply a water-soluble general-purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the spring and summer. Cut back to once a month in the fall and do not fertilize during the winter. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount to use per plant.

Step 6

Place the pots on a tray filled with pebbles and water when it is hot or dry. Do not allow the pots to sit directly in the water but on top of the pebbles. Provide an open window for good air circulation or use a small fan set on low.

Step 7

Re-pot herbs every year in the spring. Annuals may need to be replaced and perennials can be divided every three or four years.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-inch clay pots with drain holes
  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Lime
  • Gravel
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Tray
  • Pebbles


  • West Virginia University Extension: Growing Herbs in the Home Garden
  • Penn State University Department of Horticulture: Growing Herbs Indoors
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Herbs Indoors
Keywords: growing herbs indoors, indoor herb garden, caring for herbs

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.