How to Grow Food & Herbs Indoors


Gardeners looking for a jump-start on spring--and culinary enthusiasts in search of the freshest ingredients--turn to indoor herbs and crops. Lettuce and culinary herbs can be planted indoors and grown year round. Basil, chives, rosemary, mint, sage and oregano work best as indoor herb plants. Many varieties of lettuce grow well indoors, including mesclun, spinach, arugula and Swiss chard. Harvest your crops often to reap fresh and cost-effective ingredients--and to keep your plants healthy.

Get Set and Grow

Step 1

Locate a sunny window. Herbs and food plants need six to eight hours of sunlight every day. If you don't get enough sun inside your home, supplement with fluorescent lighting. University of Missouri horticultural specialist Kathryn Keeley suggests exposing plants to two hours of fluorescent light for each hour of sunlight.

Step 2

Transplant your starter plants. Provide adequate drainage; clay pots are porous and will absorb excess water. After transplanting, cover the plant with potting mix.

Step 3

Water thoroughly.

Step 4

Allow the plant to establish itself in the new dirt before fertilizing. This generally takes two weeks. After that, use a traditional liquid fertilizer every two weeks, as directed by the manufacturer.

Step 5

Trim your herbs regularly to promote growth and prevent the plant from flowering or overgrowing the container.

Things You'll Need

  • Herb starter plant
  • Potting mix
  • Clay flower pot
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing herbs indoors
Keywords: Indoor Herb Gardens, Growing Herbs, Growing Food

About this Author

Leah Deitz has been writing alternative health and environmental-related articles for five years. She began her writing career at a small newspaper covering city politics but turned to environmental concerns after beginning her freelance career. When she is not exploring the trails and outdoors of the East Coast, Deitz writes for a number of websites including, and Associated Content.