7 Best herbs to grow indoors

7 Best herbs to grow indoors

While best herbs can be grown successfully indoors, there are some that will do better than others. If you are just starting out, you might want to limit yourself to trying a couple of the herbs from this list and, as you get more experience, you can move on to adding different types of herbs to your indoor herb garden.

I might also recommend that you buy plants from your local nursery that are already established when you first start out. That way you can get your indoor herb garden going that much faster. Growing from seed can be rewarding (and some plants are easy to grow from seed), but it can also be a bit challenging and takes some special equipment and time for the plants to mature.

Here is a list with the best herbs you can grow indoors

Basil

Basil

Basil is my favorite herb to grow and to cook with and it smells divine! Basil is easy to grow from seed, but it does need a little bit of fertilizer to thrive indoors especially in winter. Put the pot in a south-facing window and make sure you give it enough water. Basil needs 6 – 8 hours of sunlight a day.

Basil will grow to about 18” tall so keep this in mind when planning your garden. Just one or two plants should be plenty to serve your culinary needs. Basil won’t do well in temperatures below 40F but it’s not very picky about soil PH.

Oregano

Oregano

Another favorite Italian herb that you will love to have in your kitchen. Oregano grows best when started from a cutting. Greek oregano is the easiest to grow. Keep it in a south-facing window and make sure it gets at least 6 hours of sun a day.

Oregano should be planted in a container that has very good drainage and be sure to let the soil dry out between waterings. You should keep temperatures above 55 F for this plant to thrive. One 6” pot of oregano should give you more than you need for cooking and pinching off the leaves frequently will ensure that it stays bushy and full.

Parsley

Parsley

Parsley is a great detoxifying herb and loaded with vitamin KTransplant it from your garden or grow it from seed, but be forewarned that the seeds can take a long time to germinate. It does need a lot of light and, therefore, may benefit from grow lights in the winter.

Parsley likes to have soil that is a bit moist but make sure you don’t overwater it. If you want to stimulate growth, cut the shoots at soil level. Parsley is better stored dry as it loses flavor when frozen. Of course, using it fresh is best!

Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary adds a wonderful smell to your home and is best grown by a cutting since the seeds take a long time to germinate.  In addition to the fragrant smell, Rosemary will enhance your home with beautiful purple flowers.

Rosemary does like its soil to be on the dry side and it can easily be watered too much. There’s a fine line between drying out your plant and watering it just enough – if you start to see the leaves turn yellow then you are not giving it enough water. Oddly enough, it also needs a lot of humidity and if you see your plants leaves turning black this might mean that your house is not humid enough. You can mist the plant to remedy this, but make sure there is enough ventilation or you might be inviting fungus.

Rosemary will also need a lot of light – at least 5 hours of sunlight and several more of supplemental light. You will want to be careful when choosing your Rosemary plant from the nursery as some varieties can grow up to 6 feet tall. Better to choose a dwarf variety that will grow to about 2 feet for your indoor garden. It can thrive in temperatures of 50F to 80F.

Thyme

Thyme

Grow this herb by rooting a cutting. It needs 6-8 hours of sun each day so keep in a south facing window. You may find that you need to also supplement that with some time under a grow light each day. It grows to about 15” tall and does very well growing in pots indoors. It does prefer a slightly alkaline soil and likes it a little on the dry side so don’t overwater. Let the soil dry out between waterings but not to the point where it hardens and cracks. Thyme will do well in temperatures from 50F to 80F.

Chives

Who doesn’t love chives with their bagel and cream cheese? It doesn’t get much better than cutting them fresh right from your kitchen windowsill. Chives are extremely hardy and easy to grow indoors. They are best grown when a portion is divided from an already growing plant – just dig up part and put it in the soil in a container, place in a south facing window and enjoy fresh chives all year long!

Chives need at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. You’ll want to turn the plants periodically so that it grows evenly. Keep soil moist. If you notice your leaves turning yellow this means that you are not watering it enough.

When harvesting chives, be sure not to take too much or you could damage the plant. Be sure to leave 2” of growth above the soil when you harvest the leaves and only harvest about half the plant during its first year.  Chives prefer a temperature of 60F to 70F.

Mint

Mint

Mint is a very hardy herb, in fact, it’s hard not to be successful growing it! Outdoors in the garden, it can become invasive and choke out other herbs so it’s a good one for growing in a pot. Spearmint is the best variety to grow indoors but you might consider buying several varieties and planting them together in a 12” pot.

Mint needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. You should plant it in a pot that has adequate drainage and uses good compost or potting soil. Mint does not like to be overwatered but don’t let it dry out either. Try to keep the soil evenly moist. You might also want to mist it if your home is very dry in winter – just make sure there is adequate ventilation so you do not invite fungus.