Herbs are an ideal addition to any garden of an avid chef. They can be used for cooking, medicinal purposes or for aesthetic value. When grown indoors, it is important to choose herbs that will thrive inside in a sunny location. Easy indoor herbs will provide you with fresh produce year-round when grown properly.
Basil, otherwise known as Ocimum basilicum, is an annual herb. It is one of the most popular and common used in cooking, especially for home gardeners. This herb is easy to grow at home because, once established, it needs minimal maintenance and also flourishes easily. Basil adds flavors to oils, sauces, pasta dishes, seafood, beef, poultry, desserts and salads. It can be grown from seed or from a transplant, but beware with transplants as they can grow up to 2 feet tall if left uncontrolled. Prune basil by cutting back any flowers that bloom and any woody stems. The soil must be kept moist consistently as well.
This perennial herb, otherwise known as part of the genus Mentha, has several different varieties ranging from wild mint to peppermint to spearmint. Usually mint is used to add flavor to a wide range of dishes, specifically tea, desserts such as ice cream and oils. When growing indoors in a container, peppermint is ideal because it is manageable and stays smaller and more controlled. It is important to always use mint transplants when growing indoors. Although your indoor herb garden may be in a sunny spot, mint can also tolerate shade very well.
Chives, also known as Allium schoenoprasum, are perennial herbs and are most often seen as miniature green onions. It is best to grow them in a separate container from items such as basil so the flavors do not intermix through the soil. Chives can be added to potatoes, salads, sauteed with vegetables, sprinkled on meats as a garnish and added to sauces. Chives, when grown indoors, can be grown from seed or transplant. They are ideal for indoors because they can grow up to 1 foot tall or less. They are also easy to harvest, just by ripping them off when you want to use.
The biennial herb parsley (part of the genus Petroselinu) is ideal for indoor herb gardens because it thrives easily with minimal watering. Since it spreads quickly though, it is important to either keep it well-maintained and pruned or else keep it in an entirely different planter pot from other herbs, as it clumps and grows up to 8 inches tall. Snip them before they turn yellow, and keep the soil consistently moist.