5 Tender Herbs to Grow on the Windowsill

If you are looking for a fun way to get into gardening, growing herbs on the windowsill might be the perfect solution. A windowsill garden is easy to maintain and a fantastic source of fresh cooking ingredients all year round.

Of course, there is a wide array of plants to cultivate this way. Herbs are the most common choice because they do not take up a lot of space. 

In most cases, a windowsill garden will not require more than well-drained soil and enough sun exposure. Nonetheless, you should carefully consider what type of herbs it should include. Growing tender herbs from seeds are the best choice for beginners since their cultivation is straightforward.

What are Tender Herbs?

Tender herbs are delicate plants with flexible stems and soft leaves. They include dill, chives, parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, tarragon, lemongrass, and lemon balm. Oregano is also considered to be a tender herb, yet it acts more like a hard one.

These plants are highly aromatic and have distinct flavours, which is why they are indispensable in cuisines across the globe. Most tender herbs are best used fresh and are not meant for long-term cooking. 

Top 5 Tender Herbs for Windowsill Garden

Growing tender herbs on the windowsill will take a small portion of your time and money, yet it will reward you with a scented, beautiful miniature garden. Still, you are probably wondering what plants this garden should include. Here are our 5 suggestions.   


Basil is easy to grow both indoors and outdoors, and a windowsill is a pretty good starting point. You can buy and cultivate a young plant. A young basil plant will thrive at temperatures above 20℃ in moist, well-draining soil. It requires regular watering and fertilization once every 2 months. 

You can also grow this herb from seeds. It will take a bit more time since the germination period takes 10 to 20 days. Start by sowing them in small pots or containers and keep the soil (or compost) wet and warm until seedlings develop. Basil favours full sun, so place it somewhere where it will get at least six hours of sunlight. 

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This herb is one of the most popular ingredients in many Italian and Greek meals — from pesto sauce and meatballs to Greek salad. Aside from that, basil has antioxidant properties. It boosts digestion and helps to maintain healthy skin, which makes it more than worthy of a place on your windowsill.


Chives is one of the most popular herbs to grow in a windowsill garden. Cultivating a young chives plant indoors is effortless. It will grow well at temperatures higher than 15℃. All you need is to water it regularly and fertilize it every 6 weeks. 

If you wish to grow chives from seeds, sow them in loose soil containing either sand, clay or loam. Keep the soil damp and check from time to time if the soil is pH-neutral. The first seedlings will show within 7-14 days. Ensure they get plenty of sunlight — at least 4 or 5 hours.

Because of its distinct, slightly oniony aroma, chives is a welcome ingredient to numerous meals, like summer salads, soups, and omelettes. Aside from that, its thin, pointy leaves and fuzzy, light purple flowers make a beautiful addition to your kitchen window.


Mint is often overlooked when it comes to indoor herb gardens. It is a perennial herb that doesn’t require as much light as other plants on the list, and it will thrive even in partial shade.

If you are cultivating a young mint, the best option is to plant it with a quality potting mix and keep the soil moist. Water it regularly and fertilize it once every 6 weeks. 

To help mint grow from seeds, sow it in the sifted compost in small containers and place them in polythene bags. Seedlings will show up in about 20 days. Once they grow stronger, you can separate and transfer them to larger pots. 

Mint is a widely used herb with numerous health benefits. Its fresh and cool flavour makes it a lovely addition to sweet and savoury dishes, cocktails, and other beverages. Tea made of dried mint leaves helps reduce cold and improve digestion, while fresh leaves keep the mouth healthy.      

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and the same as the rest of its cousins, it is simple to grow. It favours well-draining, evenly moist soil and sunny, sheltered spots. 

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Young herbs grow swiftly and take up the entire space in the pot or container. In that case, you should transfer some of the younger plants to other containers and create a year-round supply. 

You can try growing lemon balm from seeds. All you need is to sow seeds in small pots filled with sifted compost and keep them in plastic bags during germination, which takes around 20 days.

Lemon balm is another fragrant, versatile herb. It has a citrusy aroma that can enhance the flavour of fish and vegetable meals, sweets such as sorbet and various beverages. It can also be used to prepare calming tea or make an organic air freshener.

Although it may seem like an endless supply of fresh, lemony herbs, the taste of the herb will become bitter as soon as it starts to blossom, so you should use it before that.   


Parsley is an easy to grow herb on the windowsill all year around. It favours low-humidity spaces and requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. 

If you are growing it from young plants, the soil should be damp yet well-drained. Avoid keeping parsley roots too long in the water.

Growing parsley from seeds is tricky but not impossible. Germination can take anywhere from 10 days to a month. Pre-soaking the seeds will help the process. Once the seeds are soaked and dry, place them in the centre of the pot and sprinkle them with water and soil.

This herb is a favourite ingredient in many dishes, especially soups. Although it can be used as a dry seasoning, it is best to consume it fresh.

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