The Ultimate Guide to Growing Herbs Indoors

Many people don’t have a kitchen garden or perfect weather conditions to grow herbs outdoors. It’s also becoming more expensive to buy them at the grocery store so it is best to supply your own fresh herbs. And you don’t need a green thumb only indoor-growing herbs, water, and a window with enough sunlight. So be sure to keep reading to learn more about the ultimate guide to growing herbs indoors.

By planting herbs inside your home, you may take advantage of the gorgeous foliage and enticing fragrance of herbs throughout the year. What’s more, you’ll have free access to delicious flavours when cooking.

Easy Tips to Grow Herbs Indoors for Beginners

Buying potted herbs doesn’t mean they’ll last as long as you want. Herbs grow indoors quite easily, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

These consist of learning about the three key elements and discovering the solutions to some often-asked questions for your indoor herb garden ideas.

You should be able to maintain your herbs year-round after you grasp the fundamentals.

What is the Best Way to Grow Herbs Indoors?

For indoor herb garden three things are essential: light, soil or food, and water. You can ensure your herbs flourish all year long by balancing them. That means having the right type of elements to promote good growth for your tasty plants.

Understanding your herbs’ needs is the best method to grow them indoors. Having all of the growth components is the finest factor to take into account when doing that.

Light Requirements for Indoor Herb Garden

Where to put the herbs while growing them inside is one of the first things to think about. And the answer will depend on how much light your herbs will receive. Herb seeds do not need sunlight to germinate but the young plants need plenty of sunlight. Place plants on a sunny windowsill, the best for this is a south facing window, and use terra cotta pots to keep the heat around the roots.

For optimal growth, herbs require 5 to 8 hours of strong, natural light daily. If they grow in the absence of light, they will have smaller, paler leaves and will not produce as much foliage.

Here are some suggestions for lighting for your herb garden indoors:

  • Basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme can usually grow in bright enough light from south-facing windows.
  • Herbs that don’t appreciate direct sunshine, like parsley and chives, thrive well in windows with bright light that face east and west.
  • In general, plants don’t do well in windows that face north.
  • Using full-spectrum growing lights will increase the amount of light reaching your plants. Because it simulates the energy of the sun, you may put your herbs anyplace without worrying about whether they’ll get the light they need, but of course natural sunlight is the best.
  • Rotate your herb plants so that the entire surface of the foliage is exposed to the light.
  • Other herbs from warmer climates, like oregano, basil, mint, and rosemary, require more light in the winter.
  • Partial sun is sufficient for most herbs.

Everyone’s indoor conditions will vary. So, observe how your plants cope in the light you’ve placed them. You’ll notice that they need more light if they don’t proliferate or less light if their leaves look burned by the direct sunlight.

Soil or Food Requirements for Indoor Herbs

Your herbs’ success or failure in growing will depend on the environment they are in. Of course, we’re referring to the soil, which enables plants to obtain vital nutrients, water, and air.

See also  Growing Sage from seeds or from cuttings

Keep in mind that the soil and fertilising requirements for indoor herb cultivation will be different from those for outdoor herb cultivation.

Here are a few more pointers for growing herbs indoors in soil and ensuring they get proper nutrients:

  • Plants typically need well-draining soil and liquid fertiliser applied twice a month. That’s because frequent watering can flush out essential minerals your herbs need.
  • If your soil drains well, it means the water can flow freely, and the herb roots can have good access to it when they need it.
  • For the majority of plants, you can use indoor potting soil, which should allow good drainage and ventilation for root growth.
  • Herbs that do better in warmer climates, like oregano, thyme, and rosemary, grow nicely in a mixture of potting soil and cactus mix. This mixture ensures water doesn’t accumulate in the soil or cause root rot.
  • If you give too much water, the soil will become compacted, and the herb roots can’t get the water, nutrients, or air they need to grow. Potting compost is the best for your herb garden, and you can fill just about any container with it.
  • Gardening soil is typically denser than indoor potting mix, meaning it won’t drain water as effectively as potting soil would. So, it’s best not to use garden soil in your indoor herb garden.
  • If it looks like your potting soil is too compacted or dense, you can add perlite to the mix, which will improve ventilation and create better water passage.
  • You typically don’t need to apply fertiliser on you herbs as frequently in the winter. Instead, you can give it once a month rather than every two weeks like you would in the summer.

Unfortunately, there’s no “best” soil type to use. So, if you’re still unsure, it’s a good idea to talk to your neighbourhood garden centre. They will be able to provide you with expert advice on the best soil for your herb garden and best fertilisers for growing herbs inside.

Water Requirements for Indoor Herb Garden

Water is a necessary component for all living things to live, and it is the same with your indoor herbs. It is the primary component of photosynthesis, in which plants use water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight to create food and oxygen (in comes the quick flashback to high school biology classes).

Herbs need watering two to three times per week. The frequency will change according to the particular plants, the location, and the season.

Here are some tips and tricks that will make watering your indoor herbs easier:

  • Press your finger into the dirt to see whether your plants need water. One of two things will happen. 1, your finger will come out clean, meaning it’s time for a watering session, or 2, your finger will have some dirt on, meaning you don’t have to give water yet.
  • It’s best to wait until your soil has only slightly dried (but not entirely) before applying the next watering. That way, you prevent overwatering.
  • An easier way to give your herbs water is to put the pot in a bowl of clean water for an hour or two. But for this to work, the pot must have holes in the bottom. Then, the soil will absorb as much water as it needs from the bowl and nothing more.
  • Because tap water contains salt and chlorine, it can build up in the soil over time and become harmful to your herbs. So, use distilled water to avoid this.
  • However, if you don’t want to use distilled water every time, you can remove salt or chlorine buildup from the soil by flushing it once a month with distilled water.
  • When leaves become black or yellow, the cause is usually overwatering. Additionally, it may cause mildew on the plants or in the soil.
See also  Fresh Herbs all Winter

While it does become easier to care for your indoor herb garden, observation remains the key element to your success. You might need to tweak your herb care routine to account for the ever-changing environment.

Which Herbs Grow Best Indoors?

You can grow almost any herb inside if you know how to. And while that is enticing, beginner herb enthusiasts might do better with those plants that grow more easily than others.

The following herbs grow best when planted indoors:

•      Basil,

•      chives,

•      cilantro,

•      lemon balm,

•      oregano,

•      parsley,

•      rosemary,

•      sage,

•      tarragon, and

•      thyme.

The nice thing about the list above is that these herbs can grow indoors in pots throughout the whole year. As long as you give them the proper amount of light, food, and water, they’ll flourish, and you’ll have a thriving herb garden indoors.

Do Herbs Need Direct Sunlight Indoors?

Okay, so you now know about the water and soil requirements, but what about direct sunlight to grow? Do all herbs need it or can some of them grow without being in sunny spots?

Plants do best when they receive some of the day’s direct sunshine. They are the ideal windowsill plants because of this. They don’t always require direct sunshine, though, in order to thrive. A full-spectrum growth light can replace the sun’s rays.

Which herbs require direct sunlight?

  • Basil
  • Coriander
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary

Plants that benefit from bright, indirect natural light but not necessarily direct sunlight include:

  • Bay
  • Chervil
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon

It’s a good idea to take into account the quantity of direct and indirect sunlight your home receives before deciding which herbs to plant indoors.

Pick plants that thrive without direct sunlight if you don’t have a sunny spot. On the other hand, you can choose practically any herb to grow indoors if you have a lot of sunny zones throughout your home.

Can You Grow Herbs Indoors All Year?

The advantage of growing herb plants inside is that you can do so year-round. This is so that you can control the environment to promote healthy growth.

By maintaining proper light, temperature, soil, and water conditions, you may grow herbs all throughout the year. As long as you understand their requirements, this will result in strong growth yields.

When growing herbs indoors all year round, bear the following in mind:

In the winter,

  • plant herbs in the room that gets the most heat.
  • If you experience an unusually sunny day in the winter, think about leaving your herbs outside for a while.
  • A full-spectrum growing lamp can help meet your plants’ additional lighting needs.
  • Compared to the warmer months, you might not need to water and fertilise as frequently.
  • Maintain a warmer temperature inside than outside to prevent development from being hampered by the cold.  

In the summer,

  • Keep your mature plants out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time
  • make sure the soil doesn’t dry up before watering again.
  • Maintain a cooler temperature indoors than outdoors to stop the leaves from wilting from the intense heat.

Other suggestions to care for your indoor herb garden:

  • Regularly prune the herbs from the top to encourage lateral development.
  • Too many plants in one pot can be overcrowding, so don’t be sure to replant the herbs if the pot becomes too crowded. In this case, you can either put it in a larger pot or break up the plant and put each new plant in its own pot.
  •  We’ve said it already, but keep checking whether your herbs get enough and the right type of light, water, and nutrients.
  • If it looks like your herbs are struggling to grow and thrive, change the environment.
  • The only way you can ensure proper growth for your indoor herbs is to observe them continuously. That way, you can ensure they get all the nutrients they need for healthy growth.

Growing Herbs Indoors from Seeds, Cuttings, and Water

You can grow your indoor herbs in three different ways: from seeds, cuttings, or in water. With seeds, you’ll germinate and replant them. And with cuttings and water, you’ll take pieces of an existing plant to grow another.

See also  How to Grow Herbs for Winter

Let’s look at these three different methods in a little more detail below.  

How Can You Grow Herbs Indoors from Seeds?

First things first is to get the herbs seeds you need. You can buy them from your local garden centre or harvest them from already-existing plants.

If you buy herb seeds, you’ll find germination and planting instructions on the back of the packet. And if you don’t, you can always ask the staff at the garden centre how to plant the seeds if you’re unsure of how to do it yourself.

Here are a few tips to follow when you want to grow some easy herbs from seeds:

  • Buy seed starting mix for your seed germination to start your herb garden. Most herbs, even the perennial herbs will like a good quality compost, especially that they start off indoors in small containers. This mix contains the right type of nutrients seeds need to germinate, and you don’t need soil right away.
  • Then, mix water into the seed mix to create a moist soil-like consistency (be sure to mix all the dry pieces in).
  • Get small pots, germination containers, or yoghurt containers and fill them ¾ full with the damp soil-like mix. Once in, tap the container slightly to get rid of trapped air bubbles.
  • Put two seeds in each container, ensuring that they’re not too close to each other.
  • Fill the rest of the container with the soil-like mix so that it covers the seeds completely. You can even gently press down on the topsoil to ensure the whole seed’s surface is in contact with the dirt.
  • Use cling or plastic wrap to cover the top part of the container, as it will help to keep the soil’s moisture inside and promote germination. Also will help to keep the herb seeds warm, as they need heat to germinate; so best to place them on full sun into a sunny window in with good drainage holes.
  • Keep the plastic wrap on until you see tiny leaves sprouting from the seeds. Then, you can remove the wrap, put the pot in a sunny spot, and keep the soil moist with a watering schedule.

When you see the seeds are sprouting nicely and growing quickly, you can report each tiny plant into its own pot. And that’s it! You’ve successfully grown herbs from seeds.

How Can You Grow Herbs Indoors from Cuttings?

A cutting is, as the name suggests, cutting a piece off a thriving plant to regrow a new one. It’s probably the most preferred way of growing perennial hardy plants because of its simplicity.

You can grow a cutting either in damp soil or in a glass of water. Both techniques involve cutting a bit of a herb that is actively growing and encouraging growth. The only distinction is that one method solely depends on water, whereas the other depends on soil.

You can apply the same idea as when growing plants from seeds when using the soil approach. You’ll cover the bottom section of the cutting rather than the seed with damp soil. Then, until you see roots developing, leave them exposed and water frequently.

Can You Try Growing Herbs Indoors in Water?

Hardy plants like sage and rosemary can be grown indoors in water and from cuttings by doing the following:

  • A 3–4 inch green stem from the existing herb plant should be selected;
  • the bottom leaves should be removed;
  • the stem should then be placed in a glass of water.
  • Once the stem has roots, it should be replanted in a pot with an equal mixture of loosely packed compost and potting mix.
  • Finally, the soil should be gently pressed to ensure that the cutting stands firmly without being overly compacted.

After placing your cutting in the ground, you may water it normally and watch to see how well your new herb plant grows.

You can begin growing your herbs indoors by using these pointers and strategies.

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