Indoor Herb Gardening
Growing herbs indoors in containers is a great way to start if you are just getting into owning plants. They are easy to grow, with most requiring very little care other than watering and a little fertilizer here and there. A bonus is you brighten your kitchen with greenery and have fresh herbs on hand whenever you need them!
Getting started is pretty easy, as well. You can choose from a prefabricated herb garden kit - there are a plethora available online or in stores - or customize the herb garden by mixing and matching containers to create a unique display that reflects your personal style.
It’s best to start with a smaller selection of plants, adding to the collection as you become more comfortable. If you’re short on space, no worries - simply add some additional shelving to your home. Choose sleek stainless steel floating shelves for a modern look or install shelf brackets to build custom shelving to match your home’s style and decor.
Let’s talk about why growing herbs is great, some easy ones to start with, and general care instructions to help you on this journey.
Benefits of Growing Your Herbs Indoors
Growing your herbs indoors has many benefits - financial, environmental, physical, and mental - past having a supply of fresh herbs within arm’s reach.
- In the long run, growing your plants is more cost-efficient than repeatedly buying herbs from the grocery store when they are needed.
- Homegrown herbs are more flavorful than anything you can purchase from the store, fresh or dried.
- You can harvest herbs all year round, versus being limited to warmer months if you grow them outside.
- Tending to your herbs puts you in control of everything applied to them, so you know exactly what chemicals or fertilizers (if any) have been used.
- Indoor plants help to clean the air inside your home by removing pollutants, impurities, toxins, and increasing relative humidity levels.
- Mental and physical health is improved. Plants can reduce stress levels, depression, tension, and anxiety and help lower heart rates and elevated blood pressure levels.
Easies Herbs to Grow Indoors
If you’re looking to get started and want plants that are considered easy to grow, you can’t go wrong with one of the following.
Parsley is excellent for both ornamental uses and as a flavoring in recipes. Choose Italian or flat-leaf parsley if you want more robust flavor; use curly leaf parsley as a garnish.
Basil is a staple player in Italian recipes, pairing well with tomatoes and used in various pasta dishes.
Cilantro is known for its role in Mexican food, but it can be used as a replacement for salt if you need to cut down on your sodium intake.
Thyme comes in many, many favorites, each having slightly different flavor profiles. It is commonly used in meat dishes, soups, and stews.
Lemongrass has a delicate, citrus flavor that is used worldwide in cooking to impart a subtle lemon flavor into dishes and recipes.
Oregano flavors many Mexican and Mediterranean dishes. It dries down well and can be stored for future use.
Rosemary has a strong flavor that works well in meat dishes. Its aroma adds a unique touch to many beverages, alcoholic and nonalcoholic alike.
Sage is a strong herb, commonly used to add herbaceous flavor to sauces, meat marinades, and breads. A staple with turkey and dressing, opt for common, or garden, sage to use in cooking.
Chives are a milder cousin to the onion, imparting a more subtle flavor to recipes.
Mint is great to grow indoors in a container, where it is restricted to a single container. Choose from common types such as peppermint, spearmint, or apple mint.
Dill is excellent to grow if you pickle your own vegetables. If you are limited in indoor space, look for dwarf or compact varieties.
Caring for Your Indoor Herbs
Overall, herbs are relatively easy to care for, which is why they are recommended to someone starting on their indoor gardening adventure. It’s still important, though, to give the following primary care.
- Keep herbs in a spot where the air temperatures are about 65-70℉ during the day.
- Grow pots close to a south or west-facing window to give your plants at least six hours of sun exposure daily.
- Give your herbs a drink of water when the top 1-2 inches of the potting soil is dry to the touch.
- Once a month, fertilize your herbs using a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength.
- Clip off foliage often to promote new growth.
- Look for pests and diseases regularly to fix problems before they get out of hand.
Starting an indoor herb garden is an excellent foray into gardening that has many mental and physical benefits. Herbs are easy to care for, and you won’t complain about having them within arm’s reach when you’re cooking!