Tips for Success
Indoor gardens bring fresh herbs to your fingertips for everyday recipes-even when the snow is piling high outside. Adding flavor to your kitchen, boosting your wellbeing, and bringing a pop of color into your home comes easy when delectable, aromatic herbs indoors year-round. Below are some tips on the best growing conditions and ideas for herb garden collections.
How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden
CONTAINERS/MEDIA: Consider a larger container so you can grow a few different herbs. Just make sure all the varieties in the container have the same water requirements (some don't, see below for ideas). The container should also have drainage holes in the bottom and a saucer underneath to catch the excess water. Fill the container with a high-quality, sterile, soil-less, growing media that is free of large particles and weed seeds. This type of media gives the herbs good drainage and aeration while also holding adequate moisture and nutrients. Thoroughly pre-moisten the media with warm water before you sow your seeds.
LIGHT/ENVIRONMENT: Because herbs need at least six hours of sunlight per day, they love a sunny south- or west-facing window or even artificial lighting. If you're using fluorescent lights, which we recommend, use both warm-white and cool-white, 125-watt bulbs hung 2 to 6 inches above the tops of the plants. Then set a timer so the plants receive 14–16 hours of light a day (they need more with artificial lighting than from natural light). As plants grow, adjust the height of the lights and rotate the plants so they grow evenly. To really get your herbs growing, keep the room temperature between 65º–75ºF.
SOWING: Use the seed packet directions to sow the seeds into the pre-moistened media then cover the containers with clear plastic wrap to retain consistent moisture. Check on them daily for signs of growth and if the media is still moist. When seedlings have germinated, remove the plastic.
WATERING: Keep the media evenly moist. Once plants are established, allow the media to dry slightly between watering.
NUTRITION: Many of the commercial growing media contain a slow release fertilizer, so you don't need to add anything to get started. After the first month, we recommend adding a water-soluble fertilizer every other week. NOTE: Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for fertilizer rates and then use the lower rate.
Grow these herbs indoors year-round! Here are some combinations of herbs that would grow well in the same container.
Basil Garden: Sow Tulsi, Italian Genovese, Lemon, Purple Petra, Sweet Thai basil in the same container or use our Six Basil Blend that's made up of Cinnamon, Genovese, Large Leaf, and Dark Opal basil. Basil prefers well-draining soil that is light, and rich in organic matter. Keep soil evenly moist. Prefers full sun but will grow in part shade.
Flowering Herbs: Borage, chamomile, chives, and tarragon grow best in well-drained, average quality soil. These plants are fairly drought tolerant, once established, but will grow larger with regular watering. They prefer to grow in full sun. Both flowers and foliage are edible and versatile!
Savory Fall Inspired Herb Garden: Rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, and winter savory are classic fall herbs to spice up all your favorite dishes! They prefer well-drained, average garden soil. Fairy drought tolerant once established. Allow soil to dry between waterings. They all grow best in full sun.
Classic Herb Garden: Classic herbs like cilantro, basil, and parsley grow well together as they all prefer well-draining soil that is light, and rich in organic matter. Keep soil evenly moist. They prefer full sun but will grow in part shade.
Other herbs that will thrive indoors are:
- Lemon balm
- Common Mint
- Cat grass