Growing Herbs Indoors

01 Mar

For those that love herbs, the uses are endless- in foods, teas, flower arrangements, medicinally, decoratively.  Having an herb garden in my yard has been one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening for me.  However, there are lots of people that do not have the luxury of having an outdoor garden.  In that case, I will give you some help on growing herbs indoors so that you can reap the benefits of these plants as well. 

In considering your indoor herbs, here are some points to think about:

What type of herbs do you want to grow? Are you going to cook with them? Are basil, dill, chives, thyme, oregano, and rosemary coming to mind? Maybe you want them in a tea as a healing herb. Some of these would be lavender, yarrow, chamomile, etc.  When you figure out what type you want to grow, it is important to see what kind of space you have.  Some herbs will require a larger container.  So, will you condense them all in the same area or will you distribute them around your house like houseplants?

Placement will depend not only on the space you have available, but on the amount of light you have.  If growing by sunlight, it is important to have the herbs in a south- facing window.  This way the plant can reap as much sun as possible from east to west.  Most herbs require about six or more hours of sunlight every day. If in a window sill, be sure to rotate the herbs occasionally so that they get equal light for uniform growth.  Another option for light will be fluorescent lighting.  Placing the plants under a cool 40 watt bulb (about 6-12 inches away) for 14-16 hours at a time will mimic the natural light. 

Temperatures should be kept around 65-70 degrees in the daytime and preferably no lower than 50 degrees for night time.  Also, a decent amount of humidity must be kept for the plants.  You can aid this by grouping the plants together or providing a light mist with a spray bottle. 

The pots should be prepared for good drainage, including a hole in the bottom.  It is not necessary to water them every day.  You will know when it is time to water when you put your finger in the soil and it is dry to almost dry to the touch. 

Be careful in fertilizing herbs.  They are tender and need very little.  My first choice would be to plant the herbs in compost.  If that is not available, then a water soluble fertilizer will be sufficient.   Follow the manufacturer’s instruction, but do not fertilize more than every two weeks.

Use the plants regularly.  Keeping them trimmed and keeping them from flowering will increase the longevity of the plant.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Plants


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One response to “Growing Herbs Indoors

  1. Cris

    March 2, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    One of the coolest ideas I saw for a kitchen windowsill was one that was under a six foot wide window behind the sink. It was made about a foot deep, with a 6″ trough built in it for herbs to grow in. When not in use, there was a marble slab that could fit back over the trough. I swear that will be in my kitchen one day!


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