Herbs are easy to grow indoors. All they need is sunlight and warmth. If your kitchen windowsill isn’t the ideal spot for growing herbs, branch out into other rooms because herbs add fragrance and a bright splash of color wherever you plant them.
What to Grow: A Matter of Taste
The hardest part of planting an herb garden is choosing which ones to grow. Why not simply go with what you’ll eat?
Do you like Italian food? Grow parsley, oregano, and basil. If you cook a lot of Mexican, Indian, and Southeast Asian dishes, add cilantro to your garden. And how about rosemary for marinades, sage for roast turkey, and mint for iced tea?
Seeds or Seedlings?
You can grow herbs from seed packets, or get young herb seedlings in small pots from your local nursery.
If you choose seedlings, check the bottoms of the pots to make sure roots aren’t growing through the drainage holes. This indicates that the plant is rootbound and might not grow well even after it’s repotted.
We’ve put together a chart listing easy-to-grow herbs, the best ways to start growing them, and recipes for each.
- Give plants plenty of room. Plant descriptions and seed packets will offer spacing recommendations, and even though potted plants don’t typically grow to full size, give them generous accommodations.
- Water plants regularly and make sure the pots drain thoroughly after watering. One of the biggest plant killers is stagnant water hanging around long enough to rot plant roots.
- Turn plant pots frequently to keep plants growing evenly on all sides.
- Go light on the fertilizer. Most herbs like moderate to poor soil. Remember, more houseplants are killed with kindness than through neglect.
- Wait for plants to reach 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 centimeters) in height before harvesting any leaves, and only take about a quarter of the plant or less at any one time. After you’ve snipped an herb’s leaves, wait for that much or more to grow back before harvesting again. If you’re a parsley or oregano fanatic, it might be a good idea to keep more than one plant going at a time.