How to Grow Herbs Indoors from Seed


Indoor herb plants are great for livening the smell of a kitchen. During the growth of your indoor herb plants, you'll be able to pick what you need for recipes to add a fresh flavor to your meals. A few plants will go a long way in providing the cooking herbs you need. Some plants, such as chives, fernleaf dill, spicy globe basil and Greek oregano, grow well indoors, while other herbs, such as coriander and some dill species, don't do well indoors. Here's how to start your own successful indoor herb garden.

Step 1

Make sure your window box has proper water drainage holes for your herbs underneath. Fill your window box with potting soil. Add enough perlite to fill one fourth of the window box. Mix the perlite into the soil evenly.

Step 2

Plant your chive seeds by pressing them 1/4 inch into the soil on one end of your box. Space each seed about 1 inch apart. Press your dill seeds 1/4 inch into the soil. Space them about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Chive and dill seeds need less room to grow. You can plant about 10 seeds of each.

Step 3

Plant your basil seeds after the dill in the box. Press six basil seeds 1/2 inch deep into the soil. Space each seed about 1 inch apart.

Step 4

Press your oregano seeds 1/2 inch deep into the soil on the opposite end of the window box. Plant six seeds about 1 inch apart.

Step 5

Put your window box in a sunny location where they will get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Use a grow light on your plants to give them a total of 12 to 16 hours of sunlight a day.

Step 6

Add a liquid fertilizer to the soil. Fertilize once a week until the plants go dormant in the winter.

Step 7

Immediately water your plants by adding water to the soil until water begins to flow out of the drain holes. Repeat watering in the same manner two to three times a week.

Step 8

Your herbs will germinate within 14 days. Oregano may take as many as 21 days to germinate. Thin your oregano and basil plants once they are about 2 inches tall. Remove the weakest half of each of the two herbs so that there are three basil and three oregano plants remaining. Remove the seedlings so that the remaining plants are spaced about 2 inches apart.

Step 9

Pinch off any flowers that develop on your herb plants. This will encourage your herbs to grow more full, and it will also help to improve their taste.

Things You'll Need

  • Window planter box
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Chive seeds
  • Fernleaf dill seeds
  • Spicy globe basil seeds
  • Greek oregano seeds
  • Grow light
  • Liquid fertilizer


  • The Magazine Rack: Growing Herbs
  • Indoor Herbs
Keywords: herb garden, oregano, basil, grow herbs from seed

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.