a simple lifestyle blog

The 5 Best & Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors

As the weather continues to get too hot for my taste, I am reminded that gardening season is upon us.
Our old planters are littered with the casualties of our first attempt at a container garden in our first year without a yard to garden in.
We had the best intentions, alas…
love-fern-let-it-die… the struggle is painfully real.

This year, I am determined to keep something alive.

Here’s what I learned:
– Herbs need 4-6 hours of direct sunlight to grow properly indoors.
– A south-facing window will receive the most sunlight. You might pay attention to which windows get the best light and for how many hours a day before selecting which window is best to grow your plants next to.
– Herbs grow best when the soil is not left soggy. Layer the bottom of your container with large rocks to ensure there is proper drainage.
– “Potting mix” is preferred for container gardening rather than “potting soil.” It is lighter and allows for adequate drainage as is necessary with herbs.
– If your herbs are not getting enough sunlight through a window, you can supplement with a fluorescent lamp.
– When harvesting your herbs, don’t only cut off all of the large leaves. The plant needs some large leaves to soak up the sun in order to continue growing. You know, photosynthesis and whatnot.
– Harvest often so as to discourage flowering, which will change the flavor of the herb and kill your plant. Also, try to snip with clippers/scissors rather than tearing.
– You can check if your herb needs water by either checking how light the container feels or sticking your finger an inch into the soil, if its dry, it needs to be watered.

(source & source)
– needs at least 6 hours of sun each day
– does well when started from seeds or starts
– water regularly, especially if temperatures are very warm
– mist lightly if leaves begin wilting
– Ideal recipe: Pesto

– if you maintain a bay tree over many years, it can grow up to 6 feet tall indoors (although, overall, it is a slow grower)
– does not need much sun, but needs lots of air circulation, so don’t crowd it too closely with other herbs
– does not do well with drafts or hot spots, so don’t plant next to a vent/heater/AC
– the leaves are best dry (otherwise they are bitter), so wait 48-72 hours after picking before using in a recipe
– the larger leaves will be most flavorful
– Ideal recipe: Old Bay seasoning for chicken/seafood (in addition to being used in many sauce and soup recipes)

– needs 6-8 hours of sun each day
– turn the pot every few days to avoid having it lean to one side
– starts well from seeds
– can pot with other herbs such as thyme, basil and oregano
– Ideal recipe: Tabbouleh Salad or Italian seasoning

– needs 6-8 hours of sunlight each day
– rosemary grows much slower when temperatures cool, be careful not to over-water
– don’t let the plant dry out completely, the roots will not be able to support the plant and it will die
– rosemary is prone to growing a powedery mildew, so keep it out of rooms with high humidity/steam such as the kitchen
– allowing a fan to blow on the plant from time to time helps circulation to avoid mildew
– Ideal recipe: Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot bread

– needs at least 6 hours of sunlight each day
– a terracotta/clay pot is ideal for thyme as it allows the roots to dry out between watering and avoid root rot
– cut back woody stems and blooms as they appear to promote more foliage growth
– thyme reproduces quickly and will need to be replaced every season or two to avoid the plant getting too large
– dry thyme by laying the leaves out on a baking sheet in a warm dry place for a day or two
– Ideal recipe: Homemade Mustard

Time to not kill some plants! hi-yah!



18 comments on “The 5 Best & Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors

  1. catherinemryan
    June 1, 2015

    I had no idea about the difference between potting soil and potting mix. Thanks for the tip!


  2. Great tips! I wish I could program this kind of info into my brain. I always forget and then end up with either too much of an herb and/or find it dead from my lack of attention.


    • Truly Cozy
      June 1, 2015

      Oh, how I wish I had “too much” of an herb! All I have is sad, dead brown things sticking up in dirt. Haha


  3. Ali WIlkinson
    June 1, 2015

    I have followed exactly zero of these tips, which may explain why I seem to always have empty containers of dirt lying around.


    • Truly Cozy
      June 1, 2015

      Yeah, if I had even known about this information before now, I might have had better luck with keeping even one houseplant alive longer than a month. 🙂


  4. Great tips for growing indoors! I’ve got some herbs outside, but the slugs are all over them this year!!!


    • Truly Cozy
      June 1, 2015

      Oh no! Slugs are no fun at all, especially when they’re all over your edibles, ack!


  5. kelseymalie
    June 1, 2015

    this is an awesome guide! 🙂


  6. Melinda
    June 1, 2015

    Great tip! I’m trying–yet again–to get a little indoor herb garden going. I’m starting with only rosemary, thyme, and basil (those are the herbs I use the most), but I may add more later.


    • Truly Cozy
      June 1, 2015

      Those are great ones to start with! Over and over, I have read that those are particularly resilient. Good choice 🙂


  7. Erin
    June 1, 2015

    This is great! I have a sad tendency to kill plants… though I think I’m doing better this year (knock on wood). Great tips!


    • Truly Cozy
      June 1, 2015

      Awesome! (Not about not having good luck in the past.) My best wishes to your current winning streak. You go, girl!


  8. Bonnie
    June 2, 2015

    It’s all about fresh basil for me! THE BEST with freshly picked cherry tomatoes. 🙂


  9. ladyloudpants
    June 3, 2015

    Ah..yes, I always forget there are guidelines for growing stuff. I tend to plant now, learn later. BUT I do have some starts of basil waiting to be transplanted, perhaps I’ll do it right this time.


    • Truly Cozy
      June 16, 2015

      Sometimes having an attitude where you can just jump into new projects without any inhibitions can be a good thing! Good luck with you basil! 🙂


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This entry was posted on June 1, 2015 by in diy, gardening, homesteading and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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