Updated FEBRUARY 23, 2019
There were times when I wanted to cook a certain dish, only to realise that I didn’t pick up the fresh herbs earlier at the grocer. Did I omit it or rush out to buy some? I am pretty sure some of you have encountered this before. What did you do? At that moment of time, I either omitted them or substituted with dried herbs if possible. Moving forward, the best option is to grow herbs indoors year round. Besides having fresh herbs at your fingertips, you will not need to worry when the seasons change. Furthermore, considering the amazing flavours enhanced by cooking with fresh herbs and their health benefits, you should know how to grow them all year round. It is not a complicated process and let me show you the way.
Firstly, choose the types of herbs that grow year round and those that can grow indoors too.
Unquestionably, plant those that you like most to add to your dish. In this case, you are sure to take care of them with passion. After selecting which to plant, we’ll look at how to grow them indoors. Read on to find out.
Before going to the how let’s find out if your favourite herb is included in this list.
Herbs that Grow Year Round
- Rosemary is a robust and perennial herb – easy to grow and thrive in containers. Therefore, it is most suited to grow indoors.
Since this herb loves the light, ensure that the pot is placed near a window to get at least 6 hours of sunlight. It grows best in a south-facing window. As for moisture, it prefers drier conditions but does not let the plant to dry out completely. Only allow the top few inches of soil to dry out, then water the plant thoroughly. Using well-drained, sandy soil mix helps.
Grow your own rosemary and use it to boost your memory. Click here to read more.
- Thyme is another hardy and a perennial herb. Do note that there are 2 main types of thyme – culinary and ornamental. The 2 most common culinary thyme are common thyme and lemon thyme.
As with rosemary, thyme loves full sun and well-drained soil. For this reason, thyme can be planted with rosemary as they share similar conditions. So is watering needs.
- Oregano is a hardy perennial herb. It grows well in containers indoors when given enough warmth and sunlight.
An oregano plant is easy to care for which requires at least 6 hours of sunlight. Best to place the pot in a south-facing window. Plant oregano in well-drained soil and water thoroughly, only when the soil is dry to the touch. This is another herb, besides thyme that can be planted with rosemary as they grow and thrive in a similar environment.
- Parsley is a hardy biennial herb. Both flat-leaf (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum) or curly-leaf parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a good choice as a potted indoor herb. Give it a deep pot because it has a long taproot.
Parsley plant grows well in either full-sun or part-sun condition. Thus, the pot can be placed in an east or west-facing window. It grows its best in moist soil.
- Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley is an annual herb plant. Being delicate, it is not the easiest herb to grow. But it does grow well once a conducive environment is achieved.
It prefers cooler temperatures with full sun four to five hours per day. In this case, the best option is in an east-facing window. Good drainage is essential to keep the soil regularly moist, not soaked. Use light, airy, sandy soil mix to increase drainage. Always check the surface of the soil to make sure it is dried out before watering. Thorough watering is more important than frequent watering.
- Basil is grown as an annual or short-lived perennial herb. It is a good choice to plant indoors given plenty of sunlight.
Place the potted basil in a full-sun windowsill to get at least 6 hours of sunlight. This herb does not like sitting in water. Therefore, choose a well-draining soil and allow the soil surface to dry out between watering. When doing so, ensure to water at the base of the plant to avoid showering the leaves and stems.
- Chives, a grass-like perennial herb can grow continuously throughout the year given a conducive environment. This is one of the easiest herbs to grow.
Chives grow well in full sun. Thus, it is best to place potted chives in a south-facing window to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Water the plant frequently to keep the soil moist but do not over-water and ensure the soil is well-drained.
- Mint, a hardy perennial herb grows well in both cool and warm climates. It is the easiest herb to grow, but most difficult to contain – being an invasive plant. Therefore, best to grow mint in pots. Two most common mint varieties to grow indoors are peppermint and spearmint.
This herb prefers full sun to partial shade. Place the potted plant near a sunny window to receive at least 5 hours of sunlight per day. Regular watering is needed to keep the soil moist at all times while ensuring it is well-drained. Mixing sand into the soil increase drainage.
Click here to read About Mint Leaves and its benefits.
Here you have it – 8 Herbs that Grow Year Round. Does it include your favourite? Yes, no or most of them. A couple perhaps?
In any case, if you love fresh herbs with your cooking, you will certainly love to have them conveniently at hand. What better way than to grow them yourself?
With some planning and a little effort and care, you will get to enjoy delectable fresh herbs whenever you need them.
Generally, all it takes is a bright space and pots or containers with well-drained soil. Also, be mindful of the watering needs. Last but not least, some tender loving care for the plant.
To Begin With
Once you have chosen which herbs to plant, gather all the materials.
- Soil – potting mix and compost.
- Pots or containers – preferably those that have holes at the bottom to increase drainage.
- Tools – use a serving or tablespoon instead of a garden spade as it is easier to work around in a small pot. Not forgetting the best gardening tool – your pair of hands. Don’t be afraid to dirty them.
- Label – if you decide to grow a variety of herbs from seeds, it is a good idea to label the pots.
The Next Step
Fill pots with a mixture of 2 parts potting soil with 1 part of compost. Some potting mix includes lightweight ingredients such as perlite or vermiculite which help to loosen and aerate the mix.
Also, consider adding a thin layer of crushed eggshells in between. This helps to retain moisture in the soil for herbs to absorb nutrients encouraging grow.
Now, let’s look at
how to Grow Herbs Indoor
There are several ways to do this.
- Grow from seeds
- Transplant nursery-bought seedlings
- Grow from cuttings off outdoor plants or fresh herb stalks from the grocery store
Grow indoor herbs from seeds can be time-consuming if not challenging when you’re new to this. Transplant herb seedlings are the fastest and best option for a newbie. On the other hand, grow from cuttings can be more satisfying when you watch them grow. Besides, save on spending.
Herbs that can propagate well from cuttings are rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint.
It is best to start with healthy matured plants to ensure success. If using herb stalks from the grocery store, select the sturdiest.
Step-by-step propagating guide
- Select stem segments that are tender – usually green and not woody.
- Make an angled-cut below the leaf node at about 6 inches long from the tip of the stem.
- Pinch off the lower leaves.
- Place cuttings into a small jar of water.
- Cover it loosely with a plastic bag to create humidity. Remove the bag if there is too much moisture.
- Place the jar in a well light area but not direct sunlight.
- Change the water once a week or when needed.
- In 3-4 weeks, roots will be growing from the node area. Some may take up to 5 weeks.
- When the roots are about 1-2 inches long, plant them into the prepared pot and gradually expose the plant to full sun.
- Care for these herb plants according to their needs as mentioned above.
Should you choose to transplant from nursery-bought seedlings, here is the
Guide to transplant herb seedlings
- Ensure the seedling is strong enough to be moved. They are ready once the second set of leaves have grown or when they are about 3-4 inches high.
- Water the seedling about 2 hours before transplant. This will loosen the soil to make it easier to remove. The water should just be enough to moist the soil.
- Make a hole in the prepared pot. To ensure that the seedling fits in, put the nursery seedlings pot or pellet into the hole. If it fits, it is good.
- Remove the seedling from the pot by placing the hand over the soil and seedling in between fingers. Turn the pot upside down and shake gently to dislodge. It is easier if the seedling is in a pellet. Simply peel off the skin.
- Place the seedling together with its soil into the hole of the prepared pot. Pat it down lightly, not compressed to ensure the roots continue to grow.
- Water thoroughly at the base of the seedling.
- Gradually expose the plant to full sun and care for its sunlight plus watering needs accordingly as mentioned above.
Grow from seeds
While most perennial herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and mint) can grow indoors by propagating from cuttings or transplant from seedlings, parsley and cilantro are better to be grown from seeds.
Cilantro is a short-lived annual herb that doesn’t like to be repotted. While parsley plant can be bought from the nursery, you will get more plants for less money planting from seeds.
How to grow indoors herbs from seeds
- Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours to speed up germination.
- Using the pot prepared earlier with potting mix and compost, sow seeds 1-2 inches apart, about ¼ or ½ inch deep.
- Water thoroughly and place the pot in a warm and sunny area but not direct sunlight.
- Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy, until the seeds germinate which usually takes about 2-3 weeks. Sometimes more.
- When seedlings are about 2-3 inches tall and there are too many, thin them out. Use scissors to snip off near to the soil line. Do not pull them out as this will disturb the roots of nearby seedlings.
- Place the pot where it receives at least 4 hours of sunlight per day and water thoroughly when the soil is dry to the touch.
By and large
Herbs grown indoors will be less abundant than grown outside in the garden. Nevertheless, with added care and attention to soil combination, sun exposure, watering needs and tender harvesting, you will be rewarded with flavourful and aromatic herbs year round.
Tip #1 – Types of Pots
Clay pot is porous, enabling the soil to breathe and retain warmth much better. On the negative side, it is susceptible to breakage and dries out rapidly.
Plastic is lightweight and better for retaining moisture. Although it does not break, it will become brittle when exposed to the elements for a long time.
Metal container is durable and usually comes in the form of old tin cans or water cans. It does not break and lasts a long time. Additionally, vintage tin cans double as a decorative piece on your windowsill or kitchen countertop. For the DIY or craft enthusiast, this would be a nice project decorating recycled tin cans.
In fact, herbs will grow in most type of pot or container as long as it has good drainage.
Herb pot should be at least 6 inches in diameter. While a deeper pot at about 10-12 inches deep is needed for parsley because of its long taproot and basil which has an extensive root system.
Tip #2 – Use Sterile Potting Mix
It is a mistake to use garden soil to grow potted herbs. No doubt rich in nutrients, garden soil is too heavy and will impede both drainage and aeration.
Furthermore, the soil may contain insects, weed seeds and disease organisms.
Use 2 parts sterile potting soil to 1 part compost as mentioned earlier in this article.
Tip #3 – Light Exposure
Herbs thrive with at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, while cilantro, parsley and mint can do for 4 hours.
This may be difficult to achieve during winter months. Also, depending on where you reside, your home may not get enough natural light.
In these cases, the use of Grow Light can help.
Click on ⇒ Grow Lights to check out my review, from the most economical and affordable units to various types that suit your needs.
Tip #4 – Watering Needs
It is best to water thoroughly than frequently. Thoroughly means to water until the water comes out from the drainage holes. Allow the topsoil to dry out between watering.
Suggest planting herbs in separate pots. If in one container, plant variety of herbs that share same watering needs.
Tip #5 – Fertilizer
Growing herbs in pots need a bit of help in terms of nutrients. Container limits the range of the root system and the plant cannot absorb as much soil nutrients as it does in the garden.
There are many types of fertilizers that will work for indoor potted herbs. It is recommended to use water-soluble fertilizer or those that can be dissolved in water. These could be concentrated fish emulsion or packaged granular that must be added with water or dissolved in water before applying.
Regardless of which, the fertilizers are to be applied at ¼ of the packaging’s recommended dosage because it will be too concentrated for potted herbs.
Fertilize the herb plants once a week only during the periods when herbs are actively growing.
- Mix the fertilizer at a strength of ¼ of the recommended dosage.
- Water the plants thoroughly.
- Apply diluted fertilizer solutions.
Follow these growing tips and you will have your own home-grown herbs any time of the year.
To sum up
The question of how to grow herbs indoor year round has been answered and it isn’t as difficult as it seems. Choosing the herbs that can grow indoor and year-round will increase your success rate. Coupled with the growing tips, you’ll have a continuous supply of fresh herbs within reach. Besides, these herbs plants are absolutely beautiful as ornamental plants.
I would suggest that anyone who is new to growing herbs indoors to start off with transplanting nursery-bought seedlings. Once familiar with taking care of the plants, try propagating from cuttings. When you have successfully nurtured the seedlings to matured plants, you will have plenty to propagate.
Currently, I am propagating mint from stems of fresh mints bought from the grocery store. Doing quite well I must say. Choose your favourite herbs today and let’s get growing!
At One Glance
Here is an overview of the Best Herbs to Grow Indoor and How to Care for them for your easy reference.
Good news – check this out
For those who love to try out growing herbs indoors but does not like the hassle of choosing and buying all the materials separately, this is what you need
This kit is absolutely convenient. It includes everything you need
- Plant markers
- 100% organic seed packets (basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley and sage)
- Biodegradable growing pots
- Compressed soil mix – ideal for seed starting
- Instruction manual
Why should you choose this kit
Proudly made in the USA, it is
- All in one kit for convenience
- A unique gift for any occasion
- 100% Organic, 100% non-GMO
- Great for indoor and outdoor gardening
- High germination rates – the seeds are sourced from the best seed companies in the country
- Introduce kids to growing herbs – a fun activity for the family
This Herb Garden Starter Kit will help kick-start your herb gardening quest.
Please Leave a Comment
If there are any growing instructions or tips that I have left out, I will be more than happy for you to share with us. Please leave them in the comments section below.
Conversely, if you need any help in growing your indoor herbs, I will do my utmost best to help.
Any growing experiences that you would like to share with us are most welcome too.
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From the Corner of My Home – Spice up your Life with Herbs and Spices.