Herbs As Indoor House Plants

Growing herbs is not restricted to the garden. They can be grown indoors as houseplants, where they can be close at hand to use as culinary seasonings, while they add fragrance and color to the room. Herbs to grow indoors include parsley, sage, chives, oregano, coriander, rosemary, chervil, mint and more.

Lighting

Most herbs will require at least five hours of sunlight each day. A sunny window is a good spot, provided the afternoon heat is not too intense. Rotate the plants regularly, as they will lean toward the light source. If you don't have adequate sunlight, the herbs can be grown under florescent lighting. Place the plants under the lighting, keeping the herbs between 12 and 18 inches from the light. With florescent lighting, the plants will need more daily light, approximately 14 to 16 hours. You will need to experiment a bit, depending on the type of herbs you grow, adjusting the intensity and length of daily exposure.

Climate

Herbs grow well in average room temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and can survive evening drops in temperature, provided it is not freezing. While it is tempting to grow herbs in the kitchen, sometimes that is not the best location due to the fluctuation in temperatures and dry heat. Ideally, the humidity should be between 30 percent and 50 percent. If the room is dry, humidity can be added to the environment by placing a bowl of water near the herbs. A small hygrometer can be purchased at the garden center or hardware store, which can be used to check the humidity around the herbs. Herbs require good circulation. If kept by a window, open the window slightly each day for about an hour to let in some fresh air. Don't place the plant directly in front of a draft or cold air.

Water

Check the soil daily, and if it is dry beneath the surface, water the plant. Don't allow the soil to get soggy or muddy. When container gardening indoors, don't allow the soil to completely dry out. If your home has soft water, you will want to draw un-softened water from another source, such as an outside faucet. Allow the water to get to room temperature before watering. Gently pour the water into the container and stop irrigating when the water begins to come out of the drain hole.

Keywords: growing herbs, herbs as housplants, growing herbs inside

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.