The Five Best Herbs for Indoor Gardening

Indoor herb planter

Herbs are great indoor growers because they require little room, and little attention. Most herbs can easily grow on your windowsill because they require such a small amount of light, water, or other maintenance. If you are a novice indoor grower, choosing one of these herbs will make sure you have a great indoor growing experience.

Chives

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors because they don’t require much attention. By simply placing the roots of a previous plant in a small pot half-full of soil and cutting about one-third of the growth off the top, you will start your plant off right.

Chives also require little sunlight, so you can place them on the windowsill or on a shelf with a small lamp. You will also find that once they begin to grow, they flourish; your plant is likely to double or triple in size by the end of the season. Be prepared with a bigger pot if you want to take advantage. Also, to continue to stimulate growth, be sure to cut bunches off frequently.

Mint

Another very hearty herb to consider is mint, either in the spearmint or peppermint variety. Both of these plants are very hearty and grow with abandon. But they can also kill other herbs around them, so they will need their own pot. Mint does not require much light either, so, like chives, it is a great windowsill grower.

When deciding which mint to plant, remember that the flavor of peppermint is far more potent than that of spearmint. So, if you are growing in a small area or want a strong flavor for your dishes, peppermint may be a better option. No matter which you choose, it is important to start these plants from seeds.

Parsley

The trick with parsley is to get it planted correctly. Though it can take a few weeks before you begin to see result, once you get the plant started, it does well pretty much anywhere. Another sturdy herb, parsley also requires little light or maintenance. The downside is it grows slowly, so if you use parsley often be sure to plant a large amount. To allow your plant to continue to flourish, cut just the outer leaves when harvesting.

Basil

Basil is one of the best cooking herbs, but is also requires more attention than the others on this list. Unlike some of the previous plants, basil needs plenty of light, so if you are keeping it on a windowsill, make sure it gets four or more hours of sunlight. A better idea would be to place this plant under a grow lamp for most of the day. Basil also needs plenty of water, so if it starts to wilt be sure to water right away. This abundant need for water can cause the plant to mildew, however, so watch the leaves and be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

One of the reasons to pick this herb, besides its diverse usage in cooking, is that unlike most other herbs, basil is “friendly.” This means that basil grows well with other plants, especially tomatoes. So, to promote growth, consider planting the two side by side.

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the sturdiest herbs, which is why it lends itself well to indoor growing. Unlike basil, rosemary needs very little water. In fact, it grows best when on the dry side, which is why most growers will suggest letting the soil dry almost completely before watering again. This quality also means that rosemary is best grown in its own pot. Though water may not be an issue, rosemary does require a good amount of light, so be sure that it isn’t kept in a dark room.

There are several varieties in both bush and upright forms. For indoor growing, opt for the Tuscan blue or the blue spire because they are the most compact, upright plants. This plant can also be started from seeds or a cutting, just be sure to keep an eye on the latter until it roots.

Image courtesy Wikimedia commons user Theornamentalist


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