This introduction to growing an indoor herb garden is a great guide to gardening for beginners. Herb gardening indoors is a homesteading skill that will help provide you with fresh herbs all year long!
Fresh herbs can make all the difference when cooking. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t allow for planting year-round, fresh herbs are only readily available during the summer and fall months. In such cases, your only option may be growing your own indoor herb garden.
Successful indoor herb gardening doesn’t work with all herb types. There are a few plants that thrive in low-light and indoor conditions, and can handle being planting in containers.
Building a Thriving Indoor Herb Garden
In order to be successful with indoor herb gardening, be sure to consider the fact that these herbs will be in low light conditions with restricted root systems because they are planted in pots. Some plants can grow just fine under such conditions, but some cannot.
Partial Light Herbs
These herbs can grow in low-light conditions. Although they do need sunlight, they will do well with partial shade. Place them near a window or in a well-lit room and they will do fine.
Similar to parsley, this French herb is an annual that likes to grow in stable conditions of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Chervil enjoys fertile, moist soil and can adapt to low light conditions. Be sure to water frequently as it does not do well in dry conditions.
This member of the onion family enjoys full sun but can adapt to partial sun (4-6 hours a day). Chives requires moist, fertile soil. Be sure that the soil is moist at all time. These little plants would do well in a window-sill with afternoon sun.
Also called coriander, Cilantro needs deep containers to grow well. If you’re able to provide large pots, Cilantro can grow well with 6 hours of light a day. This herb enjoys moist, fertile soil. Cilantro is a cool weather plant and cannot handle heat well.
This herb can grow almost anywhere. Mint can thrive in partial shade, adapting to low light conditions. Mint grows like a weed and requires very little maintenance besides occasional water and sunlight. Keeping mint in pots well help prevent this herb from invading other plants too!
This incredibly common herb grows year round. Parsley enjoys full sun, but can thrive in partial sun (4-6 hours a day) as well. This little plant seems to last forever in the herb garden, and does great in pots too. Parsley enjoys moist, fertile soil, but can handle to occasional dry spell.
As part of the mint family, this little herb is very easy to grow. Lemon balm requires 4 hours of sun light a day and can thrive in containers. This herb does well in fertile, well-drained, sandy soil. Lemon balm enjoys moist soil, so don’t let this plant dry out.
This popular herb is extremely hardy and can adapt to low light conditions. Thyme requires at least 5 hours of sun a day. This herb enjoys drier, well-drained soil, so be sure not to over water. It can benefit from occasional fertilizer though.
Related: Growing and Harvesting Thyme
These herbs will need to be placed on a windowsill where they can receive sun for most of the day. Without full sun, they may not last long indoors. However, with full sun, they are sure to thrive.
This herb can be difficult to grow indoors as basil can be a bit finicky. Basil enjoys moist, fertile soil and full-sun throughout the day. As long as it’s provided these basic needs, basil does really well. However, this herb can be delicate, and if it doesn’t have enough sun or the soil is too dry, your basil plant may not make it.
Known for being great with meat, this herb is a favorite of mine. Sage is easy to grow and enjoys warm weather with direct sunlight. Soil conditions aren’t nearly as important to sage as sunlight is, so be sure to keep this herb in a sunny location at all times.
Also a sun loving herb, this hot-weather plant is hardy and easy to grow. However, it does not enjoy being over watered or over fertilized. Oregano prefers dry, sandy soil, with only occasional watering. Water this herb too much, or put it in a dark place, and oregano will probably not survive.
Additional Benefits to An Indoor Herb Garden
Just like any other houseplant, herbs can help clean and filtrate the air, providing more than just culinary benefits.
Herbs are also very aromatic, providing wonderful scents to your home.
When building an indoor herb gardening, be sure to plant herbs you use frequently. You’re more likely to not only use them, but care for them too!
MORE GARDENING TIPS: If you're looking for even more tips on gardening, these 5 Vegetables You Can Start Indoors Today will get your started. For small space ideas, check out Best Herbs for Container Gardening!
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I see rosemary didn’t make it to the list…explains why mine died this winter. It was a bush when I moved it inside and died after two weeks. Disappointed in Michigan.
Such a shame too! Rosemary is a great herb to have around!