Herbs to Grow Indoors

Herbs to Grow Indoors image by Photo by Flickr user ricoeurian. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamespaullong/2646764029/

Overview

Tired of eating bland dishes during the winter or of walking all the way to the garden to snip a few herbs for dinner? Growing herbs indoors is easy and fun if you know which plants are happiest inside and how to plant them for best results. Choose your favorite herbs, get some good soil and select decorative pots to show off your new indoor herb garden. The taste and convenience will be worth the effort.

Step 1

Locate a good space in your home for the herbs. A window with southern exposure is ideal. Most herbs need at least four to six hours of direct sunlight each day. You can supplement the natural light with a grow light if desired, especially during the winter when sunlight is weaker and less frequent. Basil plants, for example, will likely need additional light, as they do best with 12 to 16 hours of light per day. Herbs prefer temperatures of 55 to 75 degrees.

Step 2

Add some of the potting soil and some sand or humus to each pot, aiming for a 50:50 ratio. The sand or humus will help the pots drain well, which is very important for all indoor plants. Some herb plants, like rosemary, are also especially picky about having well-drained soil.

Step 3

Replant the purchased plants into your prepared pots. Add a little more soil and sand/humus mixture around the top of each plant. Gently press around the base of each plant to help its roots make contact with the new soil.

Step 4

Give all the new transplants a gentle watering, and thereafter water only when the surface of the soil is dry.

Step 5

Keep your indoor herbs growing vigorously by fertilizing regularly during the growing season with a quality organic fertilizer like fish emulsion. Since you'll probably want to eat these herbs, organic methods are best, not to mention that you probably don't want to use toxic sprays in your home. You likely won't need to worry about pests on your indoor herbs, but if they appear, try hand-picking them off the plants or using a gentle insecticidal soap.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some herbs simply will not grow well indoors, no matter how hard you work at it. Coriander (cilantro) and dill are two of these. Avoid disappointment by trying other plants instead, and reserve these two for annual outdoor plantings.

Things You'll Need

  • Quality potting soil, preferably organic
  • Sand or humus to mix with soil
  • Pots of desired size and material (be sure they have a drainage hole)
  • Herb plants purchased at nursery or hardware store (parsley, mint, upright rosemary and chives are good herbs to try indoors; mint is invasive and should have its own pot)
  • Trays to catch drainage from pots
  • Water

References

  • How to grow herbs indoors
  • Growing herbs indoors
  • Tips for growing herbs indoors

Who Can Help

  • List of herbs for growing indoors
Keywords: grow, herbs, indoors, pots, inside

About this Author

Susan Sivek teaches journalism and communication and is also a freelance writer. She has been writing since 1999. Her writing interests include travel, health, exercise, cooking, crafts and more. She has been published in scholarly journals, on MediaShift.org, and on eHow. Sivek holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Photo by: Photo by Flickr user ricoeurian. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamespaullong/2646764029/