Herbs are a very popular variety of plant to grow because they will thrive in small spaces and have a wide variety of uses from culinary to home remedies. Herbs grown in the ground need well drained soil and direct sunlight. However, a number of manufacturers now sell hydroponic kits that allow you to grow herbs anywhere in your home. Herbs that are grown hydroponically seem to grow faster, and grow larger. Some herbs are better suited for hydroponic growing than others.
All varieties of basil will grow well hydroponically. Gardeners who also grow in soil mediums will often grow basil outdoors in their gardens and then root cuttings for indoor growth in a hydroponic system in the winter months. Basil can be started from seed in rockwool, or seedlings can be purchased from a greenhouse or garden center and transplanted into a hydroponic system. Outdoors, basil needs full sun and grows best in summer when it can get approximately 11 hours of sun. Indoor systems should be placed under a fluorescent light to ensure that basil plants fulfill their light requirements.
Dill is an aromatic herb that can be used in soups such as borscht, fish or in pickles. The seeds can be used as a spice with a flavor similar to caraway seeds. When dill foliage is cut off, it does not grow back, so dill planted in a hydroponic system should be planted in succession. The best variety of dill to grow in a hydroponic system is fernleaf dill. Fernleaf is a short, compact variety that does not take up much room in container plantings. Start fernleaf dill from seed, or purchase seedlings from a garden center. Dill prefers at least 6 hours of outdoor sunlight in summer. Indoors, dill will thrive if placed in a southern-facing window. Supplemental light can be provided with fluorescent bulbs.
Both curly parsley and Italian parsley will grow well in a hydroponic garden. Parsley can be started from seed or from seedlings purchased from a greenhouse or garden center. Parsley is a short-lived perennial that produces edible leaves in its first season, and stalks with seeds in its second year. Parsley will tolerate partial shade, but performs best in full sun. It can be grown in a south-facing window, but will do better if it receives supplemental lighting from a fluorescent light source.