Is your green thumb starting to itch? Here are a few herbs that are easy to begin growing indoors, even with low levels of light. These can add a fresh taste to many dishes and are a fun, creative way to continue growing year-round!
Growing plants is a beloved fun pastime for many: watching their foliage and color change each day; smelling the different sweet fragrances they can emit. Many houseplants exude extra oxygen, and are said to promote purified air.
The following are some herbs that can be cultivated indoors. Not only are some of these attractive to look at, but they can be used for so many household uses. From cooking to cleaning, these easy-to-grow plants can be started in winter and enjoyed by you and your family for many seasons to come!
While rosemary thrives in settings with bright light, it can be grown indoors with some special considerations. Rosemary can be started from plants begun in a nursery or from seedlings. It is typically much easier to continue growing a plant that a nursery or grower has already started. But this choice is left up to you. Rosemary is also known to grow at a relatively slow rate when compared to other plants and herbs, so seeing results from seeds may take a while longer. If you already have a rosemary plant, another one may also be harvested from a cutting.
When growing rosemary, it is advised to not over-water it, as rosemary is known to be easily susceptible to drowning. Water this plant every once and a while, ensuring that it does not accumulate, and can easily drain.
French Lavender is considered the best variety to propagate indoors. When planting anything, it is typically best to choose a decent medium-sized pot that has holes for water drainage. Otherwise the water can accumulate at the base of your plant and cause rot, or even drowning. Lavender should be placed in a window that receives the most sun possible. Growing lights or other fixtures may also be implemented to supplement your lavender plant’s quantity of light.
After you have your plant in place, Everything Lavender suggests: “…give it a drink regularly allowing the top inch or so of soil to dry out. Remember to rotate the pot every few days to allow sunlight to reach all the leaves and to aid in even growth. You don’t want a lopsided plant!”
According to Everything Lavender, in order for a lavender plant to successfully bloom and flourish, it may need to spend some time outdoors. In order to do this, it should be exposed to sunlight in building increments so that it is not burned or over-dried by the sudden exposure to natural sunlight.
During the springtime, when snow is first beginning to melt, take your lavender plant outside for a few hours during the morning, slowly allowing it to spend more time each day outside. Do not let your plant get too cold, or too much sunlight, as this can burn or blacken it.
March is the perfect time to begin germinating your lavender!
Lavender can be started from seeds or already growing at your local farmer’s market or nursery.
Different varieties of thyme are available, but Silver thyme is said to blossom with light purple to pink blossoms during the summertime, making it a particularly attractive choice of herb. According to Fine Gardening, silver thyme can be harvested any time of the year and in ‘mild climates.’
Thyme may be grown from seedlings, cuttings of leaf-tips, or from a propagated nursery plant. Many times thyme will only need to be re-potted one time as it matures, from a small 4 inch pot to something double that size or larger. Thyme enjoys plenty of sunlight and should be placed in a windowsill with plenty of sun exposure.
Basil is another herb that can be grown during winter in a windowsill and enjoyed any season. Begin your seedlings by sprouting them between two layers (four separate) paper towels on a plate. Place these in the windowsill in direct sunlight and keep moist with water each day. When these seeds begin to show signs of green, replant them right-side-up in small four-inch potters, or terracotta containers.
You may place more than one seed within each individual pot. According to “Garden of Eaden” you may place up to 5 or 6 seeds in each holder. Give these seedlings an appropriate amount of water each morning, ensuring they maintain a damp consistency but are not receiving too much water.
Basil plants should be kept in a warm room that receives plenty of sunlight. When basil seedlings are first beginning to emerge from the soil, it is suggested to keep them in the vicinity of sunlight but not directly in it.
According to horticultural sources, basil may be placed in the path of direct sunlight after their second sets of leaves have begun to sprout and mature.
Chives are an excellent addition to many savory dishes, including pastas, potatoes and certain soups.
Chives can be grown indoors with substantial amounts of sunlight. According to Garden Know How, the sunniest position in a person’s home is typically the southern-facing window.
Like many plants, chives should be rotated every few days to receive optimal amounts of light on all sides. Garden Know How also suggests spraying chives occasionally with a simple mist of water to promote levels of humidity, as chives favor humid conditions. Chives should also be watered once every few days, once the soil has become dry, to avoid over-watering.
Chives should be planted in a medium-sized (6 to 8 inch) pot with drainage holes. Plant or germinate your seeds in a thin layer of soil, which should be kept damp. Typical time for chives to begin sprouting is said to be approximately 2 weeks.
Mint can be easily grown in a pot from your windowsill. In fact, many horticultural sources say that mint isn’t picky about the amount of sunlight it gets, making it perfect to propagate during winter and fall months. However, mint does like temperatures ranging between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mint prefers an adequate amount of water, but not too much.
“These plants prefer to be kept moist but not overly wet,” says Gardening Know How. “If the upper part of soil becomes dry to the touch, then watering is needed. Otherwise, try to keep it evenly moist.”
Mint also enjoys humid conditions. To keep it balanced, use a spray bottle to mist your mint plant every so often. As with many plants, it is also recommended to rotate your mint plant every 3 to 5 days in order to maintain an even growing rate.
Transitioning to an Outdoor Garden
With the proper attention and care, all of these can easily be transplanted to your outdoor garden during the summer months. However, once an herb is planted outside, it is not necessarily recommended to dig it up and grow it in a pot indoors again. Putting this much stress on a plant can cause certain difficulties. However, cuttings from one plant may be taken to propagate yet another indoor herb or plant.
When transitioning an herb from inside to outside, it should be exposed to increasing levels of sunlight daily, until it is acclimated to spend all day outdoors. Otherwise a plant may suffer serious burning.