Fragrant and full of taste, herbs are a favorite of gardeners and cooks alike. And you can learn how to grow herbs indoors if you’re new to planting or gardening. It’s super easy! The other beauty of growing herbs indoors is that you can grow them in the dead of winter as long as you have a window or even just a grow light.
Before you start growing herbs indoors, get to know the light, soil and water requirements of each of your favorite herbs. While it’s easy growing herbs indoors that flourish, certain herbs such as fennel and horseradish don’t. These herbs require deeper root systems than most containers allow. But luckily many delicious culinary herbs like chives, parsley, basil and rosemary grow happily inside.
Herbs are light-loving plants that require six hours of sunshine each day. Indoor herbs should be placed in a sunny windowsill or near a south-facing window if available. If not, consider supplemental lighting with a grow light. These only cost a couple of dollars at Home Depot, and will make growing herbs indoors in places like basements and attics possible.
How to grow herbs indoors that once lived outside
When moving herbs grown outdoors into your home, be sure to give the herbs time to adapt to less sun-drenched conditions. This can be done by moving plants from full sun into a shadier spot each week. Rosemary is especially sensitive to changes in light conditions because it’s slow-growing and does not acclimate quickly enough to indoor conditions.
Soil and Water
Place herbs in soil that has good drainage. A sterile, soilless mixture containing perlite provides proper drainage, while also limiting the chance of disease and pest problems.
Herbs should be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch. But never let the soil dry out completely. You should see water coming out of the bottom of the pot when you water–this ensures that the pot has not become clogged. Place your pots in a plastic, leak-proof container before watering. And if you’re growing basil, water it at the base. It doesn’t like getting its leaves wet.
How to grow herbs indoors that really flourish:
To maintain the health and vigor of your plants, you can use fertilizers about once every two weeks. Use more than this and your herbs may start tasting like fertilizer–not a flavour you want in your soup!
Want to give your herbs an extra boost? While you’re popping your own multivitamin, why not show your herbs the same courtesy? Liquid seaweed is packed with B1 vitamins, which help the plants grow and produce necessary oils.
A common misconception when people learn how to grow herbs indoors is that they think the herbs are immune to pests. Indoor herbs can be prone to attacks by whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, scale insects and mealy bugs. But don’t despair! It’s much easier to eliminate bug problems in small indoor planters.
Remove bugs by placing the plants under a strong stream of water. You can even use insecticidal soap and still maintain organic standards. Follow the directions on the bottle, and use repeated applications until the problem is eliminated.
You now know the basics on how to grow herbs indoors, so why not give it a try? The mini elevated garden works perfectly for herbs. Just remember that no matter how you’re potting them, make sure you place them near a window. They’ll thank you, and so will your taste buds. Happy planting!