Herbs can be grown just outside the backdoor, in a pot as a houseplant in a sunny window, or under a grow light in your kitchen. Your local climate will impact your herb growing capabilities, as will your physical ability to stoop, dig and tend your fresh herbs. Additionally, some outdoor herbs will perennialize, some will need to be replanted annually, and some will grow so vigorously that you will come to think of them as a pest. Start slowly and plant only the easiest herbs to grow at home while your green thumb gains confidence.
Building an herb garden takes time and patience, and often a few mistakes!
Below are several herbs that are hearty enough to survive as a houseplant and provide fresh flavor and aroma in the dead of winter.
Basil can be started from seed and will thrive in a sunny window if you keep the soil moist. There are several self-watering pots on the market, such as the Mkono Self Watering White Flower Pots. While there are self-watering setups that will actually spray water down on the plant, basil leaves are delicate; watering from underneath is best.
Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seed. It doesn't need a lot of tending, but it's a plant that requires timing. For the best flavor, snip your basil leaves before the plant flowers.
Another moisture loving plant to grow indoors is chives. If you've got chives outside, you can split a clump of them, place a bundle in a pot, layering them into moist soil. Let the cold kill back the leaves, then bring the pot inside to a cool basement space for a short time. Settle the pot in a warm, sunny window and convince them that it's spring!
As chives are savory, they can develop a strong odor. They may also become a magnet for house pets, particularly cats. Avoid placing chives near a heat vent, and as possible, barricade your pets from this tempting plant.
A little mint can go a long way, and putting this plant outdoors can rapidly turn your herb garden into a mint bed. This plant is easy to grow, but it's greedy and likes to choke other plants out. Luckily, mint is one of the low-light indoor herbs that will thrive in an eastern window.
Start with a big pot and a small mint plant. Don't place the pot close to other pots; it will jump the void and root wherever it lands. Once the leaves are mature, you can crush the leaves to enjoy their aroma. The leaves can be crushed or muddled for cocktails, added to ice cubes for mint infused iced tea or dried and steeped for a hot beverage. The leaves of mint make a great addition to a salad. Mint is good for digestion and headaches, so if the winter has given you the blues, get a mint plant!
If space is at a premium, these herbs, who really need to dry out a bit to stay happy, would be excellent candidates for a wall-mounted garden. These containers are made with recycled tin cans and can be customized and decorated to your preference.
Thyme can be grown from seed or from cuttings. Be aware that this plant will flower if it gets enough sun, so enjoy the blooms but go gently on the harvest, the flavor may change after flowering.
Sage has a slightly hairy quality to the tongue and should be harvested only from the tips of the plant, lest the harvester cut too deep and damage the perennial body of the plant. This is an ancient plant known for antiseptic properties.
Spiky, spicey and deliciously aromatic, rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors in the winter, as long as it doesn't get too warm. If you've got a chilly room with plenty of light, your rosemary will thrive.
You can harvest the spiky needles with a sharp scissor; simply snip away the new growth on the tips and toss them into soups and sauces.
Lavender needs more light than a winter sun can provide. If you're ready to invest in the hardware it will take for growing herbs indoors with artificial light, lavender is a plant that's well worth the investment. This plant smells of the bounty of June and warm sunshine. In fact, if your regular climate makes growing lavender outdoors too much of a challenge, keeping it as a houseplant is a great idea!
Your lavender will need rich, well-drained soil and a large pot. Additionally, this plant can get quite tall, so consider investing in a Mounted Viparspectra Grow Light and leaving your lavender pot in one spot.
If you're planning on investing in a kitchen herb garden kit for growing herbs indoors from seeds, it may be a good time to invest in an all-in-one garden. These units, such as the AeroGarden Extra make the finicky process of starting seeds and keeping your tender seedlings properly watered and warm a breeze.
This garden features three grow lights and multiple programmable timers to keep your seedlings in optimum light. Best of all, this unit is portable, so if you need to temporarily relocate it while you work on a particular surface, both you and the plants can continue to thrive.
There are many easy herbs to grow in pots, such as basil and chives. Mint is easy to grow in pots, but it can be a challenge to get it to stay in just one pot. Most herbs can survive the winter and sometimes thrive if they get plenty of moisture and strong sunlight for at least six hours per day.
The only herbs that cannot be planted together are those with different watering requirements. Basil needs nearly constant moisture at the roots or the leaves dry and lose their succulent, lush flavor.
Building an herb garden takes time and patience, and often a few mistakes. However, each error is a chance to learn, so keep an eye on your plants and enjoy the process! Invest in your herb garden gear slowly as your knowledge and plant preference grows.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on the easiest herbs to grow indoors. Be sure to share the info if it was useful to you!