How to Grow Herbs Indoors Under Lights

Overview

Although there are several hydroponic kits designed and marketed for growing indoor herb gardens, you don't have to be a scientific genius, or even a hydroponic gardener, to grow herbs indoors in containers. Herbs are garden plants that adapt well to low-light conditions. Because of this, herbs can be grown indoors in small indoor container gardens. A kitchen herb garden in containers is a good way to grow herbs year-round.

Step 1

Select containers that are appropriately-sized for your herb garden. Containers should be at least 4 inches in diameter. Woody, shrub-like herbs such as rosemary and lavender should be planted in larger pots, such as 12-inch-diameter containers.

Step 2

Use a soilless potting mix in the containers. Soil contains microbes and nematodes that will attack the roots of plants in containers.

Step 3

Place herbs in containers in a sunny, south-facing windowsill.

Step 4

Supplement herb light requirements with fluorescent lighting from lamps placed 6 inches above the herbs. Most herbs require 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If herbs do not receive this, they will become spindly.

Step 5

Check your herbs daily and water as needed. The soil in herbal containers should remain as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 6

Fertilize with a liquid, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer added to the watering can along with water. Use fertilizer according to the package directions. Fertilizer directions vary according to the fertilizer brand.

Things You'll Need

  • Herb containers
  • Herb seedlings
  • Soilless potting mix
  • Lamp
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Watering can
  • Liquid (10-10-10) fertilizer

References

  • Colorado State University Extension: Indoor Herb Garden
  • University of Missouri Extension: Lighting Indoor Houseplants
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Growing Herbs in Containers

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M Extension: Vegetable Gardening In Containers
Keywords: growing herbs indoors, herb container gardens, raising indoor herbs

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."