#Home & Decor
The 9 Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors
by More.com Editors
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Millennials are obsessed with plants, from cactuses to fiddle-leaf figs. We love them all and just can’t get enough, transforming our tiny apartments into urban jungles. According to the 2018 National Gardening Survey, your ‘typical’ gardener keeps getting younger, with 18 to 34-year-olds buying tons of houseplants. City dwellers are getting in on the action, with indoor gardening making a huge comeback.
As proud millennials, we’re unleashing our green thumbs to bring you a list of the nine best herbs to grow indoors. These fresh herbs are perfect for garnishing warm, savory dishes anytime of year. In addition to tasting great, these herbs will also look so pretty growing in your space. Part of millennials’ fascination with plants is driven by social media. After all, those plant babies look so pleasing on the ‘gram.
Kits With Easy Herbs To Grow
–Best for Cooking: Windowsill Herb Grow Kit, $28
–Best Hanging: Organic Hanging Parsley Growing Kit, $19.99
–Best Self-Watering: Modern Sprout Basil Indoor Herb Garden Kit, $20
–Best for Apartments: Glass Jar Herb Grow Kit, $24.95
–Best for Beginners: Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit, $22.95
–Best Splurge: Dryden Trading Company Indoor/Outdoor Herb Garden Kit, $54.95
–Best Organic: Nature’s Blossom Kitchen Herb Garden Indoor Seed Starter Kit, $29.99
–Best Decorative: Modern Sprout Garden Jar Herb Kit, $22-100
–Best Gift: Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit – Certified 100% USDA Organic Non GMO, $26.96
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We’re taking full advantage of this #selfquarantine and #socialdistancing to get some home projects completed! This #framebridge Wide Grid gallery wall from @framebridge was so easy to put together with their hanging guide that I’ve already got Michael onto his next honey-do item. What are you doing to pass the time? Please stay safe out there!????
Without further adieu, check out the best herbs to grow indoors, in order from easiest to most difficult.
The Best Herbs To Grow Indoors
Technically, you don’t even grow lemongrass, in that it’s not planted in soil, making this one incredibly easy herb to keep in the house. When buying a stalk at your local market, look for plenty of stem and make sure the base is intact. Trim the top and place the stalk in a couple inches of water. The stalk will produce roots and dozens of new shoots.
These are one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors, as they do not require much light and are prolific in their production. Chives are easiest to start from an already-established plant. Just pull up a bunch from the established plant (including the roots), place it in a small pot half-full of potting soil, then cover the roots up to the crowns with more potting soil. Cut about one-third of growth off the top to stimulate new growth.
Both spearmint and peppermint literally grow like weeds. They’re both very hearty and very invasive, meaning that they can quickly choke out other herbs. Keep in mind that a lot of spearmint is required to produce the same minty effect as peppermint, so if you’re growing it indoors, where space is limited and harvesting is frequent, peppermint is the better option. Start your peppermint plant with seeds – not root or leaf cuttings – in a small pot full of potting soil. Peppermint will thrive in shade, but make sure it’s in a spot where it gets at least a little bit of light each day.
Parsley is one of the most commonly used herbs and is very easy to grow, though the seeds can be difficult to germinate and may take up to two weeks to see results. The good news is it doesn’t require much light or maintenance once you get it started. Keep in mind, though, that this plant is a fairly slow grower, so initial clippings will not harvest a lot.
5. Vietnamese Coriander
Coriander is the seed of the cilantro herb. This particular version of coriander is easier to grow than regular coriander, as it’s very hearty and very reliable.
The Greek variety of oregano is easiest to grow; however all oregano requires six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so a well-lit window – particularly one with southwestern sun exposure – is best.
This is another herb that requires six to eight hours of sunlight per day, and it may even need supplemental light. My favorite is lemon thyme, which can be used in place of regular thyme and has a unique citrus-like flavor and isn’t nearly as easy to find as other varieties in stores.
This herb is very easily over-watered. It prefers to remain on the dry side and does not need particularly rich soil. Several varieties are available; some are bush-like and some are more of a creeping plant. Choose an upright variety like Tuscan Blue or Blue Spire. These will remain more compact, making them a better choice for indoor growing.
This is one of my favorites to use when cooking. However, this herb is one of the most difficult to grow, especially indoors during the winter months. The best varieties for indoor growth are the Spicy Globe or African Blue. The African blue won’t have the wide, bright-green leaves you may be used to seeing in grocery stores; it’s similar to Thai basil with its narrower leaves and bluish-purple stalks.
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Love basil, don’t you? It gives such a lovely fragrance sitting on my kitchen windowsill! It may be dull and raining outside today but my sweet basil is growing beautifully indoors. These were sown as seeds in my kitchen and now they are ready to join the tomato plants outside this weekend! ???????????????? Hope you are growing sweet basil too! ????
A Few Helpful Growing Tips
When buying herbs for indoor growth, it’s best to purchase plants that haven’t already been growing outside. The shock of bringing them indoors can cause trauma and affect growth and production. Remember that winter is a natural resting phase for plants, so it’s unrealistic to expect abundant growth during that time of year. Try minimal watering and let them do their thing. Clipping them regularly will promote further growth so clip away – remember, you’re growing them to use!
A common mistake is to plant all herbs in one container. This inhibits growth and in the case of an invasive herb, you’ll likely witness an herbal blitzkrieg in your container, so plant each herb in its own container. Containers should have ample drainage holes in the bottom and since herbs can be susceptible to fungus, allow them to breathe by using terracotta pots, no smaller than six inches in diameter. To allow further ventilation, place pots in a container of small pebbles.
Always use a high-quality organic potting soil that contains vermiculite or perlite for adequate drainage. Avoid using soil from the outside, as it contains organisms that are controlled by the outdoor environment. Rosemary, thyme, and basil prefer soil with more lime, so adding a spoonful of crushed eggshells to the soil is beneficial. Though herbs are hearty, they do like to be fed once in a while – especially when growing in limited pot space. Herbs are grown for their leaves not for their flowers, so any fertilizer you give them should promote leaf growth, not blooms. One of the easiest ways to feed your herbs is to add one tablespoon of fish emulsion to a gallon of water and use this every time you water.
Water the herbs at the base, where the stem meets the soil – don’t water the leaves. Water once and let the water drain completely through, then repeat. How often your herbs need to be watered is a matter of watching and learning to read each individual plant. A good rule of thumb is to let the soil dry between waterings. Remember, one of the biggest mistakes in watering herbs is over-watering them; herbs don’t require as much water as a typical houseplant. If you see leaves turning yellow, this is the first sign of over-watering.
If your herbs require supplemental light, clamp-on reflector lights with fluorescent bulbs work best. Clamp the lights to the pot, four to six inches away from the plant. If you see brown spots on the plant, this is a sign of burning and the lights either could be too close or may have been used for too long.
Even during winter, there’s no need to go without fresh ingredients for warm stews, soups, and herbed crusts and breads. Start growing herbs for any upcoming cooking you may have in store. With minimal space and perhaps some artificial light, a garden could provide plenty of fresh foodie fare.
Below, discover the best herb growing kits so you can become a proud plant parent.
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