Growing herbs and edible plants indoors can be a rewarding and convenient way to have fresh ingredients at your fingertips. Plants grown indoors will need some special care such as extra lighting, well-draining potting soil, and fertilizer. You might have several different indoor herb gardens located around your house in various areas to meet the different needs of your plants. Here are some of the best and easy-to-grow options:
One plant that you should consider growing inside is basil. Basil is a popular herb that grows well indoors as long as its needs are met. It requires ample sunlight and well-draining soil. Basil can’t tolerate soggy soil, so make sure that you aren’t over-watering and that your pots drain well. It also needs at least 6 hours of sunlight, so it will require a south-facing window or supplemental lighting. Regular harvesting promotes bushier growth.
Mint is another hardy plant that can thrive indoors. Because it tends to spread quickly and can take over flowerbeds or gardens, most gardeners prefer to keep mint in pots. This also allows you to grow it inside on a bright windowsill. Mint prefers bright, indirect light so it will need to have a very sunny window in order to keep it from becoming leggy. You can grow mint both in and outdoors if you want to have fresh leaves all year long. Simply keep your mint outside during warmer weather and bring it inside for the winter. Make sure that you harden your plants off slowly if you plan to take them back outside in the spring.
You can grow herbal cannabis inside in areas where it is legal. The best way to get started is by purchasing marijuana seeds online. This plant may need supplemental lighting and it will need a large pot as it grows much bigger than most of the herbs on this list. You will also need a way to provide ventilation when the plant gets smelly, and be prepared to fertilize and water as needed. You can harvest your cannabis on an ongoing schedule if it works for you.
Chives are low-maintenance, don’t require a lot of space, and can be a good option for an indoor herb garden. They can thrive in a small pot and provide an onion-like flavor to your dishes. Chives will need a good amount of light and may need supplemental lighting in the winter to prevent them from dying back. However, if they do die back, they will recover and return once the weather warms up and there is more light for them. They also need well-draining soil and a pot with holes to prevent soggy soil.
Parsley is another easy herb to grow indoors as long as you have the necessary conditions. It prefers cooler temperatures and moderate sunlight. You will need at least eight hours of light for parsley to thrive, so consider using supplemental lighting to prevent legginess or unhealthy plants. Regular trimming encourages new growth, so make sure to snip off pieces for your cooking occasionally.
Thyme has similar requirements as the other herbs on this list so it can be grown together with many of them. Thyme is a versatile herb that does well indoors. It likes bright light and well-draining soil. Outside, thyme needs to be planted in the shade. Inside, it needs a bright window with six hours of light a day. Use loose, loamy soil and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.
Rosemary can be grown indoors if provided with enough sunlight. You may need to add supplemental light, especially during the winter. Rosemary doesn’t like being overly wet, so it’s important not to overwater. However, this plant does prefer humid conditions similar to those it would get in its Mediterranean home. To raise the humidity around your rosemary, place it in a tray of rocks and keep the tray full of water. You can also mist the plant with water regularly.
Oregano is a hardy herb that can thrive indoors. It prefers well-draining soil and moderate sunlight. Pruning encourages new growth, so trim off bits for your food regularly. Like rosemary, oregano enjoys more humid air, so place them together in a tray of rocks and water. Oregano also grows well with thyme as they prefer similar conditions.
Lemongrass can be grown indoors in a sunny spot. It’s best to start with a young plant or stalk and provide it with ample water and good drainage. These plants can grow quickly and crowd their pot, so harvest them regularly. You can use either the leaves or the bulb. Make sure they get plenty of light and fertilize as needed.
Cilantro can be a bit tricky to grow indoors due to its tendency to bolt quickly. However, you can prolong its growth by providing cooler temperatures and regular harvesting. It prefers temperatures under 70° and bright, indirect light. If you have an area like this, such as a bright but cool windowsill, you may be able to extend the harvest time of your cilantro. Once your plant bolts, you can continue harvesting by using the seeds, which are called coriander.
Microgreens are young, edible greens that are harvested early. They are easy to grow on a windowsill and can include varieties like arugula, radish, and kale. These greens will need plenty of light, so if you notice they are getting leggy you will have to add supplemental light. Harvest the leaves when they are small to keep the plants producing and help keep them small. Water and fertilize regularly.
Green onions are quite easy to grow indoors. You can regrow them from kitchen scraps or plant new bulbs in a small pot. Green onions can be harvested by snipping off the tops or pulling the bulbs. If you harvest the bulbs you may need to replant occasionally. Make sure that you have sufficient light and water your onions regularly.
Certain varieties of lettuce, such as leaf lettuce, can be grown indoors. They require adequate light and consistent moisture. In order to prevent your lettuce from getting leggy, you will probably need to add additional light from a lamp or plant light. Lettuce grown indoors will work best if you don’t try to grow heads. Instead, harvest leaf lettuce as the leaves get large enough. The plant will continue bearing leaves for a long time.
Remember that each kind of plant has its own requirements for light, watering, and feeding. You can grow herbs with similar needs in pots together or on the same windowsill. Plan on using a grow light if natural sunlight is limited in your indoor space. If your plants don’t have enough light they will get tall and leggy, and eventually, they may fall over. Harvest your herbs regularly to enjoy the flavors and keep them producing.