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How to Maintain an Indoor Herb Garden

By Robin Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017

Herbs are fragrant and beautiful additions to any sunny window. They are easy to grow indoors and make excellent house plants. Keep them near the kitchen so they will be available to include in your favorite recipes. Drainage is important for herbs; when potting them, use potting soil that has been mixed with three parts soil to one part sand or perlite. Pour in one inch of pebbles in the bottom of the pot to allow water to flow away from the plant, then add the mixed soil on top.

Place the potted herbs in a sunny, southern-facing window, away from drafts or direct heat from heaters or radiators. If southern-facing windows are not available, place them in a western-facing window to benefit from the afternoon sun. If you have no windows that will provide ample light, set up grow lights and position them over your herbs within four to six inches away. Leave them in the light for eight to twelve hours a day.

Water your herb garden frequently, keeping them moist but not wet. Check the soil by pushing your finger down into it and water if it feels dry. Never let them sit directly in water.

Keep your herbs warm. Don't leave them in a room where the temperatures can dip below 50 degrees or raise to more than 75 degrees. Rosemary, bay and chives can tolerate colder conditions but are also happiest when in these warm temperatures.

Mist the herbs about once each week. Ideally the humidity in the room should be about 50 percent. If your room is heated by a dry heat, mist the herbs once every few days and allow them to absorb some of the moisture through their leaves.

Keep your herbs trimmed. The more you trim, the more they will grow. When you cut a branch, it will divide into two. For leafy herbs (excludes chives). trim with sharp scissors just beyond a set of leaves to encourage new growth. Chives can simply be cut down to a couple of inches in length.

Trim off any flowers that start to bloom. Flowering herbs are pretty, but when the nutrients are at work growing the flowers, the rest of the herb begins to taste bitter. Cutting back the flowers will bring the sweet taste back into your herbs within a few days.

Check your plants frequently for bugs. Although herbs are fairly resistant to pests, they do occasionally have problems with aphids. If you find aphids, spray the leaves with a watered-down dish soap mixture to kill them. Use one-half of a tablespoon of dish soap to every quart of water and spray onto the leaves. Spray once a day for a couple of days until the aphids are gone or continue daily as needed.


Things You Will Need

  • Sunny window
  • Sharp scissors
  • Water
  • Potted herbs

About the Author


Robin Lewis is a freelance artist, designer and writer. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, national magazines and on several self-help areas of the Web. Lewis specializes in gardening articles, publishing frequently on a variety of websites.