Growing herbs indoors is a great way to add fresh, nutritious ingredients to home cooked and convenience meals. A bright, sunny window sill is a good location for growing herbs indoors, but supplemental fluorescent lighting can be used as well if interior light is inadequate. Most herbs benefit from at least six hours of daylight to grow without becoming too "leggy." Consider the use of a humidifier if the inside air is very dry, a common problem in homes heated and cooled artificially.
Rosemary (Roasmarinus officinalis) has aromatic stems and aromatic, gray-green needle-like leaves used in meat and poultry dishes. Rosemary prefers plenty of light and will suffer without it. Provide rosemary with light, well-drained potting soil and feed it once a month with vegetable or all-purpose fertilizer, or use a slow-release pellet fertilizer. Rosemary prefers well-drained soil conditions, but the soil must not dry out. As with other potted plants, use gravel in the bottom of plant pots to aid drainage and use a dish placed underneath the pot to catch excess water.
Basil (Ocimim basilicum) is a favorite seasoning for sauces, stews and salads. Its pungent leaves are the main ingredient of pesto. Basil needs a full sun location indoors and prefers a light, medium-rich, well-drained soil. Fertilize soil before planting with a dilute liquid fertilizer or use a slow-release pellet fertilizer. Pinch the growing tips when plants are 4 to 6 inches high to encourage bushiness and harvest leaves for use at any time.
Oregano (genus Origanum) is a plant genus of many species of aromatic herbs. It has a distinctive, sharp flavor that pairs well with basil and is common in Italian dishes. Oregano species prefer full sun and light, well-drained soil. Harvest oregano leaves when the plants start to bloom by cutting stems to half their length. Dry the leaves by hanging cut stems upside down in a cool, dry, airy location.
Mint (genus Mentha) leaves are used in teas, cold drinks, salads and with vegetables and lamb. Mint prefers nutrient-rich, light, well-drained soil and full sun locations. Mint likes evenly moist soil and light fertilization. Harvest leaves for fresh use at any time. Harvest for dried use just before flowering by cutting off the stems and hanging upside down in a dry, cool, airy location.