11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (2023)

a wealthy oneindoor herb gardenIt doesn't require a fancy hydroponic setup or a large investment in grow lights. As long as you have a sunny windowsill, you can grow an amazing variety of herbs in your kitchen. Indoor herb gardens also serve a dual purpose for culinary purposes as well as beautiful decorations to liven up any space.

When creating an indoor herb garden, there are some pitfalls to avoid and some steps you can take to set your plants up for success. From herb selection to adequate sunlight, there are a number of factors to consider.

Room herbs are equally indispensable for apartment dwellers, house tenants, kitchen hobbyists and winter gardeners. These following tips will help you with thatMaximize your herb harvests in a small indoor space.


  • 1 Provide adequate lighting
  • 2 Monitor temperature
  • 3 Choose the right herbs
  • 4 Do not overwater the herbs in the container
  • 5 grow each species separately
  • 6 Choose pots with drainage holes
  • 7 Use a well-drained soil mix
  • 8 crops to encourage growth
  • 9 Start with strong seedlings
  • 10 Use slow-release organic fertilizer
  • 11 Repot as needed
  • 12 final thoughts

Provide adequate lighting

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (1)

The most obvious limitation for indoor gardeners is the roof over their heads. Most herbs need at least 6 hours of sun per day. Sunlight is a major limiting factor for indoor herb gardens, but there are many ways to ensure your herbs are getting the light they need.

First, work with the light you have. The solar aspect is the angle of the sun at different times of the day and year. Observe how the sun falls on your home at different times of the year and find the spot where your plants can get the maximum amount of light.

Most herbs prefer the most open, South window possible. This is especially important during the shorter, darker days of winter. Remove awnings, curtains, branches, or other outside barriers that block sunlight.

Wenn Sie kein Sรผdfenster haben,Choose an east or west window. Sometimes these are the best spots for shade-tolerant herbs like thyme, mint, and parsley. This is especially true if your house gets intense and hot sunrays in summer.

However, if you want to grow basil or cilantro, make sure you get very bright direct sunlight. These plants easily become weak and leggy in dimly lit windows.

If you don't have bright and sunny windows, all is not lost! You can always add extra lighting to your houseplants to boost photosynthesis.

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Purchase an LED light from your local hardware store and hang it on a shelf or in the ceiling above your herb garden. Often a combination of indirect daylight and direct artificial light will create the perfect environment for your herbs to thrive (and look good doing it).

monitor temperature

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (2)

most herbsThey thrive at room temperatures around 70ยฐF.However, windows often have a "microclimate" that is warmer or cooler than the rest of the home.

Cold drafts through uninsulated windows can injure people who are sensitive to the cold.herbs like basil, lemon balm and rosemary. Likewise, excessive heat from the summer sun burning on glass can cause problems with heat-sensitive surfaces.herbs like corianderand chives

Place a thermometer near the windowsill and watch temperature changes to determine if you need to move the herbs closer or farther from the window.

Choose the right herbs

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (3)

The best types of herbs for the window garden are compact and fast-growing. Perennials such as rosemary and mint can be easily grown from cuttings or introduced via plant parts from an outdoor garden.

Annual herbs like basil and parsley can be grown year-round as long as you keep them from blooming and provide adequate heat.

Herbs like dill, fennel,SHE, jCamomileThey are best kept outdoors as they require plenty of space to grow to their full potential.Lavender can be grown indoors., but prefers a larger pot than a standard kitchen windowsill garden.

If you have little space, we also recommendWeigh the pros and cons of different herbs.For example, cilantro is one of the best options because it wilts fairly quickly if you buy it from the store and has many uses in the kitchen.Thymian, on the other hand, retains much of its aroma when dried and is less sensitive to storage.

Guide to indoor herb care by species
Indoor herbsspecial treatmenthow to harvest
BasilNeeds very bright light and warm temperaturesPinch off the tops to encourage bushing and regrowth.
chivesPrefers full sun and soil rich in organic matter.Use scissors to cut 2-4" all the way down
CilantroRequires bright light or it will become leggy; does not like strong heatPinch off leaves, pull off side branches or cut off whole bunches
RomeroStart with cuttings; prefers very well drained, sandy or gravelly soilsCut off lateral stems 2 to 4 inches long, or prune back up to two-thirds of the way down the plant
ThymianIt prefers drier soil and tolerates more shady windows.Cut off lateral stems 2 to 4 inches long, or prune back up to two-thirds of the way down the plant
demandLikes moist soil and tolerates shady windowsCut off the tips or harvest whole branches
ParselyStart with nursery seedlings and grow in rich, moist soilCut individual stems from the base of the plant or pinch off the leaf tips
OreganoHe loves warm sunny windows; prefers very well drained, sandy or gravelly soilsCut off small handfuls or cut off up to two-thirds of the plant.
sageIt likes medium to full sun and requires dry soil conditions.Cut off a pinch of leaves or small side branches

Do not overwater container herbs

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Overwatering is the most common mistake beginners make when it comes to indoor herb gardens. It's easy to give our herbs too much love. Because these plants are rooted in smaller containers with less drainage than the soil outside, they can easily succumb to root rot.

It is best to water thoroughly and infrequently.. Always check the soil of your herbs before watering them. If you stick your finger a few inches into the pot and it comes out clean, it indicates your plant is ready to drink. The soil should never feel muddy, heavy, or saturated.

When you water indoor herbs,Don't drown them with water. Use a watering can or small-mouthed glass to pour gently. Allow the soil to absorb small amounts of water at a time. Water must not accumulate on the surface or cause significant displacement of the soil. Spread the moisture patiently until the water runs out from the drain hole in the bottom of the container, and then stop.


Remember, you can't treat your entire indoor herb garden with the same watering schedule. Different species have different watering preferences.

For example, drought-tolerant herbs like rosemary and oregano require much less water than mint and basil. If a plant is drought tolerant outdoors, it generally means it will need less water indoors as well.

Use this chart as a general guide, but remember that water requirements ultimately depend on tank size, temperature, humidity, soil type, and time of year.

Cheat sheet for watering herbs

prefers moist soilprefer dry soil

Breed each species separately

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (5)

It might sound cute to mix and match multiple herbs in the same container, but we've found that the most successful indoor herbs are grown in separate pots. This way you can cater to the specific needs of each plant. Alsoit prevents the strongest species from overtaking the others.

Choose pots with drainage holes

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (6)

There are many trendy herb garden pots and containers out there, but some of them aren't built to last. If you want your herbs to thrive, be sure to choose pots with drainage holes. Antique terracotta or ceramic pots with drip trays are the best options.

Ideally, the drain hole should be at least 1-2 inches in diameter. The water bowl should be deep and wide enough to hold about an inch of drained water without overflowing.

Some gardeners like to water belowinto the drip tray so that the plant can drink through the roots. This method only works if the drainage hole is large enough for the roots to fit through.

Use a well-drained soil mix

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (7)

Drainage is a crucial issue for the indoor container garden. Without proper drainage, plant roots will suffocate. While some plants can tolerate heavier clay or poorly draining soil outdoors, water has nowhere to go when clogged in a pot. Most houseplant problems can be alleviated by choosing a well-draining soil mix.

These herbs thrive on compost, worm droppings, and potting soil that are rich in organic matter:

  • demand
  • chives
  • Parsely
  • Cilantro
  • Basil

Other herbs actually prefer poor soil that lets water through very quickly. These herbs typically do not require compost or rich soil amendments.

  • Romero
  • Thymian
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • sage

Regardless of what type of herb you choose, certain materials can be mixed into your potting soil to improve water drainage and prevent root rot. These natural additives have a high porosity that allows water to pass through quickly. Our favorites include:

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  • perlite or vermiculated
  • horticultural sand
  • Choose
  • Small stones (especially for the natives of the Mediterranean)
  • Crowd
  • Coconut phases
  • sifted compost
  • crushed bark

Pay attention to the ingredients in your potting mix. If your herbs are starting to look limp and yellow, or have a bad smell from their roots, it's time to dig up the plant andreplant with a mix of better ventilated and fluffier materials.

Harvest to encourage growth

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (8)

Contrary to popular belief, harvesting your herbs regularly will actually encourage more growth. It is important to cut the old leaves and the emerging flower buds so that the plant forms fresh shoots.

For tender annuals like basil and cilantro, I like to harvest by pulling off the leaf tips when I need them. This tells the plant to grow bushier and denser. It also prevents them from shooting (turning into seeds).

This is possible with evergreen perennial herbs like oregano and thymesafely cut back up to two-thirds of the plant.At first glance, it may seem that you have harmed the plant with such an intense haircut. In reality, this harvesting method is like a pruning upgrade. It causes the plant to grow new leaves and stems.

Remember to only harvest your bulk herbs during the active growing season. In winter it is better to harvest smaller amounts as the plants grow back more slowly.

Start with strong seedlings

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (9)

The easiest way to start an indoor garden is with hardy herb seedlings from a reputable local nursery or farm. You can certainly use seeds or cuttings to establish your herbs, but it may require more time and attention.

For the fastest success, spend a few euros moreBuy a healthy seedling and plant it in your pots.If a seedling is too big for its container, you can always divide it by carefully separating the root ball and planting each half in a separate pot.

You can also bring herbs from outdoor plants. Cuttings and root divisions allow you to grow on the windowsill. However, be very careful not to introduce any annoying insects or diseases into your indoor garden.

Check the leaves thoroughly for signs of aphids, whiteflies, or other pests. Examine the roots for signs of rot, worms, foul odors, or darkening.

Use slow-release organic fertilizer

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (10)

Herbs don't usually need a lot of fertilizer. They are not as hungry as garden vegetables and can even suffer if too much fertilizer is given.

A small monthly dose of slow-release fertilizer is ideal to prevent yellow leaves or perennial growth due to a lack of minerals in the potting soil. Just remember-Less is more when fertilizing herbs.

Chooseorganic fertilizersslowly release the nutrients into the soil. Our favorite fertilizers for indoor herbs are:

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  • Diluted seaweed or seaweed fertilizer (great for micronutrients)
  • high quality compost
  • Wurmkompost (Wurmhumus)
  • fish emulsion (in small amounts)
  • All-purpose organic granular fertilizer

Avoid fertilizing indoor herbs with synthetic nitrogenous fertilizers. A large dose of readily available nitrogen can cause your herbs to lose their characteristic aroma.

Lush annual herbs like basil and coriander appreciate a dose of spring and summer fertilizer. Evergreen herbs like rosemary, oregano, and thyme generally require the least amount of fertilizer, if any.

pay close attentionany signs of nutrient deficiencies(e.g. yellow leaves or stunted growth). Once you've ruled out the possibility of root rot or water issues, apply small doses of fertilizer and wait a few weeks to see how the plants respond.

Up pot as needed

11 tips for growing garden herbs indoors (11)

Given the right conditions, indoor herbs can grow in abundance. Sometimes they even overgrow their pots! If the weeds start to clump, you should prune and/or raise the pot to maintain adequate air circulation.

No ventilation between the leaves, fungal diseasesIn a windless indoor environment, it can grab quickly.This is particularly problematic in humid climates.

Depending on their vigour, and your harvest schedule, indoor herbs should be potted once or twice a year. All of the culinary herbs we've mentioned here are transplant tolerant and don't mind moving as long as you improve your soil with each transition.

Transplanting is also a good time to inspect the plant's roots and cut off any dead or diseased parts of the plant.

A plant is said to be "root bound" when its roots curl around the edges of the container and push out of the drainage hole in a desperate search for more room. This is your cue to give the plant a bigger home.

If you don't have room for larger pots, you can always remove the rooted plant from its pot, divide the root ball and replant half as a gift for your cook or gardening friends. Your herb half can stay in its original pot and has plenty of room to spread out in the next season.

final thoughts

Whether you don't have space for an outdoor garden or just want to keep your herbs closer to the kitchen, an indoor herb garden can thrive in any home or apartment. The keys to success are:

  • provide plenty of light: Most herbs need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Water thoroughly and infrequently: Do not water excessively: Soaking thoroughly once a week is usually good.
  • Focus on the drain: Use well-drained soil mix and containers with large drainage holes.
  • harvest regularly: Regular harvests encourage your herbs to produce more growth.

By following these key care points, as well as the tips listed above, you'll have a thriving indoor herb garden in no time!

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