Tips on Growing Herbs Indoors


Here we are in the last complete week of October. This time of year can be a little depressing for avid gardeners. The sunlight hours are shorter, our plants are going dormant for the winter, not a lot to do outside in the gardens anymore. So, how can I bring inside some happiness? Happiness comes from being around plants and helping them grow and stay healthy. Growing herbs indoors is one big way to give us a little “plant happiness.”

Here are some tips on growing herbs indoors from now through the winter:


Not all herbs do well growing indoors. Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Parsley, and Chives are much easier to grow. Basil can be grown indoors as well.

TIP: I would suggest growing these herbs in individual pots and not in a larger planter box. One reason is that basil needs to stay moister to survive and thrive than other herbs that prefer to dry a little in between waterings.


To be successful in growing herbs indoors, you need to provide the herbs with adequate sunlight. Most herbs need six hours or more of direct sunlight. It would be best if you had a southern exposed window. Another option is to use grow lights. If you choose to use grow lights, remember to keep them under light for about 12 to 16 hours a day. If not adequate sunlight, then herbs will become thin and spindly, produce smaller leaves, and have reduced aroma.


The chosen containers need to have a drainage hole and potting soil that is loose and well-draining. I suggest using a 4-inch or 6-inch pot, either plastic or terracotta is good to use. There is no need to do any repotting unless you see roots growing out of the drainage hole.


If you detect any pests on your herbs, then I suggest you first use a soapy solution bath. Spray the herbs. Check often to make sure you have the insect problem resolved.


You will want to feed your indoor herbs every couple of weeks. If you want to be organic, then using fish emulsion or one of the Espoma plant food products is good.

One thing to keep in mind going forward is that you may have some herbs that do not make it. It happens. Just don’t let this negative situation control your decision to try again. We all have failures that we need to deal with from time to time. We learn from our experiences. Give growing herbs a try. Last year I grew basil in my kitchen window and loved having fresh basil at my fingertips.


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