Indoor Herb Garden Tips

If you are a frustrated gardener with a green thumb and no garden, consider planting an indoor herb garden. Herbs aren't difficult to grow, and once the plants are established, you can brew a cup of tea from fresh herbs at your fingertips, or snip a few leaves and add them to your favorite dishes, even in the middle of winter. In addition, herbs are attractive plants that can add interests to the indoor environment.

Avoid planting herbs with different water needs in the same container. Herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, tarragon or basil, may need to be watered twice every week. Herbs with low water needs, such as sage, thyme, oregano or rosemary, may need to be watered no more than once every 10 to 14 days. Be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom, as herbs will rot in soggy soil.

Place perennial herbs, such as chives, hyssop, peppermint or lavender, outdoors during the summer months. Although annual herbs, such as basil, chervil or borage, can spend their short lives indoors, perennials will do well in a protected area of your garden or on a sunny patio. Be sure to bring the plants indoors before the first freeze.

Grow herbs in sturdy clay or terracotta pots. Clay is a porous material that will promote air circulation and drainage to the plants. Give your herb plants plenty of growing space with a pot at least 6 inches across. Wash pots with hot, soapy water before planting. If the pots have been used previously, soak the pots in a mixture of one part bleach and 10 parts water. Be sure that all traces of bleach or soap has been rinsed before you plant herbs.

Place herbs where the plants will get at least six to eight hours of bright sunlight every day. If you don't have sunny windows or if you live in a cloudy climate, supplement available light with a grow light. Turn the pot regularly so all sides of the plant will be exposed to sunlight. Keep herbs in a warm with room with daytime temperatures about 70 degrees F, but avoid placing them near heat vents or radiators.

Keywords: indoor herb garden, herb garden tips, perennial herbs

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.