Herbs are grown and often used for cooking due to their flavors. Growing your own herbs indoors can be a cost-effective way to have a continuous, fresh supply of commonly used herbs. They are generally easy to grow when given an adequate amount of moisture and a sunny windowsill.
Basil is a sweet flavored, annual herb that can grow up to three feet tall. It is best to pinch the stems back to produce a shorter indoor plant. It is a member of the mint family and is native to Asia. This plant prefers moist soil and a sunny location. The leaves are usually ready to be harvested six weeks after planting. The leaves will be approximately two inches long.
Chives are the smallest member of the onion family. They reach heights of 6 to 12 inches. The plant blooms with purple flowers in late spring to early summer. It is a perennial herb that will grow for many seasons indoors. They prefer a sunny windowsill and weekly watering to keep the soil moist. The plant should be thinned out when it becomes too thick and the ends of the leaves are clipped with sharp scissors when harvested.
Oregano is a hardy, perennial herb that grows up to 18 inches tall and can spread quickly. The plant blooms in late summer with pink or white blooms. Pinch off the blooms when they appear to help the plant grow and concentrate on leaf production. Oregano is used most often in Italian cuisine and the leaves are snipped off as they are needed. This herb requires a grow light for at least 12 hours per day and should only be watered when the soil gets dry.
Parsley is a bright green biennial herb. This herb has a spicy flavor and is often used in Middle Eastern meals. Parsley needs at least six hours of sunlight a day which can be accomplished by placing it in a southern window. The soil should be kept moist and should not be allowed to dry out. This herb is best used fresh because freezing and drying causes it to lose much of its flavor.