How to Grow Herbs Indoors in Winter


Although herbs prefer full sun and well-drained soil, many herbs will tolerate less-than-ideal conditions, including low light and poor soil. This makes herbs adaptable for bringing indoors during winter months. Herbs grown indoors during winter can provide you with fresh seasonings for your cooking year-round. Herbs will require supplemental light from a windowsill or artificial light to grow, and not all herbs will grow indoors, but there are a wide variety of herbs that will grow well in your kitchen window.

Step 1

Select herbs that grow well indoors during winter. Poor candidates for winter herb culture include summer savory, sweet basil or lemon verbena. These herbs go dormant or shed their leaves excessively. Herbs that grow well indoors include mints, such as peppermint, spearmint and lemon balm; oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary and sweet bay are also likely to do well.

Step 2

Choose 4- to 6-inch containers for herbs. This size container will fit well in a small windowsill for plants such as oregano, parsley, thyme, and sage. Rosemary and sweet bay should be grown in a 8- to 12-inch containers.

Step 3

Place a small square of window screen over each drain hole and fill the containers with a good, general grade potting soil containing fertilizer.

Step 4

Hollow out a planting hole that is large enough for the root ball of your herb. Place the root ball into the hole and cover with potting soil. Water to help reduce the shock of transplanting the herb.

Step 5

Place herbs such as parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sweet bay in a south-facing window. Mint herbs will grow well in a west-facing window, or one that is shaded year-round. Alternatively, place your herb a few inches away from and underneath a fluorescent bulb.

Step 6

Rotate container herbs every 3 to 4 days to encourage uniform growth of the herb.

Step 7

Check your herbs daily and water so that the soil remains as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Feed herbs every 2 weeks with a liquid, balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) according to the package directions. Fertilizer instructions will vary depending on the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Window screen netting
  • 6-inch-wide containers
  • 12-inch-wide containers
  • Potting soil
  • Balanced (10-10-10) liquid fertilizer
  • Watering can


  • Extension: I would like to grow herbs indoors during the winter months.
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Herbs at Home
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Herbs Indoors

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Herbs
Keywords: growing herbs, indoor gardening, container gardens

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."