Indoor Plants & Herbs

Indoor plants and herbs have a lot to offer an interior space, livening up a room with color, texture and often fragrance. Less expensive than most decorating options, edible indoor herbs also provide seasoning that can be used for home cooking or even as a fresh last minute addition to an office lunch.

Apple Mint

Apple mint (Mentha suaveolens variegata) is a perennial herb native to Europe. An ideal plant for the kitchen, apple mint boasts dense clusters of edible leaves that are either solid colored or variegated, depending on the cultivar. A member of the mint family, apple mint grows best in full sunlight coming from the east, west or south. The plant will grow just fine in a general purpose potting mix, as long as it's well-draining. Water on a regular basis and apply a dose of water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks or so during the growing season. Pinching the plant back will help keep it looking fresh.

Flame Nettle

A member of the mint family, flame nettle (Coleus x hybridus), also called painted leaf, is a popular foliage plant that can be cultivated with ease both indoors and outdoors. Mostly bred for coleus species native to Indonesia, there are dozens of garden hybrids of the plant available, with leaf colors available in a huge range of colors and patterns. Flame nettles may be bright green, variegated yellow and red or even deep purple. The plants are also enjoyed for the soft, velvetlike texture of the leaves. Flame nettle is best cultivated in bright, indirect sunlight and well-drained soil. Water the plant frequently to keep its foliage looking healthy and fresh.

Sweet Basil

Nicknamed the "king of herbs," sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) is considered by many to be a necessity for any herb garden. Originally native to the Mediterranean, cultivars of sweet basil such as "green globe" are particularly compact and well suited to indoor growing. The easy to grow annual plant boasts aromatic green leaves that make a tasty addition to pizzas, pastas or fresh herb salads. When grown indoors, sweet basil does best in full sunlight coming from the east, west or south. The plant will do fine in a general purpose, well-draining potting mix. Water sweet basil as needed and apply a dose of diluted water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.

Keywords: indoor plants, indoor herbs, plants and herbs

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.