Don’t you just love the way that pretty little pots of herbs look growing on a kitchen windowsill? I know I do! Of course I plan on planting a bunch of herbs outdoors in Spring, but I’d still like to have some inside as well, you know?
Here’s a list of common herbs that do well growing indoors. Keep in mind that a south facing window is best, but if that’s not an option for you, you’ll need to put your plants in a widow that gets at least SIX hours of sun for most plants.
Keep reading to learn more about the best herbs to grow indoors. The good news? They’re easy to find at your local garden center!
Parsley is a slow grower, taking anywhere from 2-5 weeks for seedlings to emerge. To help germination occur more quickly, soak the seeds in warm water for up to 24 hours before planting. Grows well in any good soilless potting mix.
Plant it in a pot at least 8 inches deep as parsley has a long taproot. Make sure the pot has a hole in the bottom of it for proper drainage; you may want to add some small pebbles or something into the bottom of the pot to help with this.
Parsley likes bright morning light, and needs at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. It does not like the cold, so keep it back away from chilly windows in the winter.
I tend to grow parsley year-round in a sunny window. It doesn’t need a ton of heat, but it does like moisture, so be dedicated to your watering!
Make sure to water evenly, as this plant does not tolerate irregular watering well. Do not let the potting mix dry out. Parsley will last for up to two years, then you’ll need to plant more seeds.
Chives are easy to grow from seed, and do well in any good potting mix. Simply press them into the potting soil and water. Once the seedling emerge, keep them evenly watered. If the tips of the plant begin to yellow, it needs more water.
Chives need full sun for at least 6 hours a day. Rotate the pots every few days if the plant begins to lean toward the light. Divide the clump every 2-3 years and re-pot in fresh potting mix.
To harvest, snip leaves with a pair of scissors two inches from the base of the plant.
Oregano can be unpredictable when grown from seed. It’s best to buy a plant to start with. Pot in sandy, well drained soil.
It is recommended to mix equal parts good potting mix and sharp sand (or use a cactus potting mix). Once established, it is easily killed by overwatering; be sure to have adequate drainage and keep in mind that this plant is drought tolerant.
Oregano needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Divide the plants every 2-3 years, and re-pot separately.
Harvest the leaves once the plant has reached 6 inches tall. Be sure to leave stems at least 2 in. above the soil when cutting. Dries well for storage.
Sow seeds shallowly, keep soil moist until seedlings emerge. Germination within 1-2 weeks. It’s recommended to plant thyme in sandy, well drained soil.
Mix 2 parts good potting mix with one part sharp sand or perlite (or you can use a cactus potting mix). Water well, then allow the top 1 in. of potting mix to dry out before watering again; approx. twice a week.
Needs at least 6 hours a day of good sunlight. Turn the plant for even growth when you notice it leaning toward the light. It is drought-tolerant and grows well even in clay pots.
Harvest sparingly the first year. Snip bunches as needed, leaving 3 in. of stem above the soil. Thyme dries well and freezes well in freezer bags.
Plant in good draining potting mix; same as for thyme.
Be sure the pot has adequate drainage. Do not overwater! Only water when the top 2 in. of the soil’s surface feels dry, but be careful not to allow it to dry out completely.
Rosemary needs at least 6 hours of direct light per day. Turn the plant as needed when you notice it leaning toward the sun.
Rosemary plants are susceptible to powdery mildew. You may need to take it out of the kitchen (a high humidity room) if this becomes a problem. You can also treat the plant with an organic fungicide.
Harvest above a stem joint, never cutting more than a third of the plant at a time.
My favorite basil recipe? Pesto, of course!
Basil grows easily from seed. Cover seeds with 1/4″ soil, water well. You should see seedlings emerge in about a week. When the seedlings are about 6″ tall, pinch off the tops to promote more leaf growth.
Plant in same potting mix recommended for Rosemary and Thyme. Water thoroughly, then allow the top 1 in. of the soil to dry out before watering again. Basil enjoys an occasional mist of room-temp water for humidity.
Requires 6 hours of good light per day. Turn as needed for even growth.
Harvest leaves from established plants once a week. Cut a leaf as needed, or a stem above a pair of leaves. Pinch off blooms as they appear. Basil dries or freezes well for longer storage.
Horehound is a perennial herb that is commonly used to make cough syrup and teas. The plant gets its name from the Greek word for “defender of the house,” and it has been used medicinally for centuries.
Today, horehound is still prized for its ability to relieve respiratory congestion. If you live in an area with a cold climate, you may want to grow horehound indoors. While the plant is not particularly difficult to grow, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, horehound prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Second, the plant can be quite aggressive, so it is important to give it plenty of room to spread out. Finally, horehound is a relatively slow-growing plant, so be patient when waiting for it to reach maturity.
When choosing a variety of horehound to grow, consider ‘Black Horehound’ or ‘White Horehound.’ These varieties are among the most popular, and they are well suited for indoor cultivation.
Growing winter savory indoors is a great way to add fresh flavor to your cooking all year round. The best varieties to grow are those that are compact and have a strong flavor, such as ‘Munstead’ and ‘Husdon’s Blue.’
When growing winter savory indoors, it’s important to start with a healthy plant. Look for a plant that has dark green leaves and is about 6-8 inches tall. It’s also important to choose a container that has drainage holes and is at least 8 inches deep.
To plant winter savory, fill the container with well-draining potting mix and dig a hole that is twice the width of the plant’s root ball. Gently remove the plant from its pot and place it in the hole, then backfill with soil and water thoroughly. Once planted, place the container in a bright spot with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Water regularly, making sure the soil stays moist but not soggy.
If you’re looking for a versatile herb to grow indoors, Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) is a great option. Not only does it have a wide range of culinary and medicinal uses, but it’s also relatively easy to grow.
When it comes to choosing a variety, ‘Lemon Beauty’ is a good option for those who are looking for a plant with attractive leaves. ‘Common Lemon Balm’ is another popular choice that is known for its strong lemon scent.
If you’re hoping to harvest the leaves for use in cooking, it’s also worth noting that ‘Lemon Balm’ and ‘Sweet Melissa’ are both known for their flavor.
If you’re a fan of cilantro, there’s good news: it’s easy to grow indoors. All you need is a pot, some soil, and a sunny spot. And, if you choose the right variety, you can even get away with a less-than-sunny spot. Here are some of the best varieties to grow indoors:
Cilantro likes cool weather, so the best time to plant it is in the spring or fall. If you live in a climate where it gets hot in the summer, you might want to choose a heat-tolerant variety like ‘Sierra’ or ‘Resisto’.
If you have a sunny windowsill, any variety will do. But if your indoor space is on the shady side, go for ‘Long Standing’ or ‘Smoothleaf’.
Whichever variety you choose, make sure to keep an eye on the water. Cilantro likes moist soil, but not wet feet. Let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again. And be sure to fertilize every few weeks with a liquid fertilizer designed for herbs.
Mint is a versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from savory to sweet. It’s also relatively easy to grow, making it a great choice for indoor gardening.
There are many different varieties of mint, but some of the most popular include spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.
All of these varieties can be easily grown indoors with just a little bit of effort. Mint prefers cool, moist conditions, so it’s best to keep it in a spot that receives indirect sunlight. Water the plant regularly, but be sure to allow the soil to dry out between watering.
When it comes time to harvest the mint leaves, simply snip them off with a pair of scissors. And that’s all there is to growing mint indoors!
Sage is a perennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It is often used in cooking as a seasoning for chicken, turkey, and fish. Sage can also be used to make tea. The leaves are used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces. In some cultures, sage is burned as a ceremonial incense.
Sage grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and does not require a lot of water.
When growing sage indoors, it is important to provide plenty of sunlight and to keep the soil moist but not wet. Sage can be propagated by seed, cuttings, or division. The best time to sow sage seed is in the spring.
The most common sage varieties are common sage (Salvia officinalis), garden sage (Salvia nemorosa), and purple sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’).
While bay (Laurus nobilis), also known as bay laurel, is commonly found in the kitchen, this fragrant herb can also make a lovely houseplant. Bay grows best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sunlight.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and fertilize monthly during the growing season. When choosing a bay plant for your home, look for a dwarf variety such as ‘Miniature’ or ‘Petite.’
These compact plants are better suited to indoor growth than the more common trees. With proper care, your bay plant will thrive indoors for many years.
Myrtle can be grown indoors or outdoors, and it comes in a range of colors including green, blue, and purple. While it is relatively easy to grow, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to achieve the best results.
First, myrtle prefers a well-lit location but should not be placed in direct sunlight. Second, the soil should be kept moist but not wet. Finally, it is important to prevent the leaves from getting too dry by misting them regularly with water. With proper care, myrtle makes an excellent addition to any garden.
There are a number of different varieties of myrtle, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Some of the most popular varieties include ‘Myrtis’, ‘Lilacina’, and ‘Nanum’.
Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) is a delicate annual herb in the parsley family. Also known as gourmet’s parsley, it has a light, delicate flavor with a hint of anise and is often used to garnish soups and salads.
Chervil is fairly easy to grow, and makes an attractive addition to any kitchen windowsill garden. The best varieties of chervil seeds to grow indoors are ‘Fernleaf’, ‘Fine Leaf’, and ‘Tender’.
These varieties are compact and slow-bolting, meaning they will produce leaves for longer before going to seed.
When growing chervil indoors, be sure to plant it in a jar with good drainage and give it plenty of sunlight. You may want to put a saucer beneath the pot for when you water. Water it regularly, but be sure not to over-water, as this can cause the roots to rot.
Large-flowered geraniums are among the most popular indoor varieties, with large blossoms in a wide variety of colors. No matter which variety you choose, geraniums are relatively easy to care for indoors.
They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and well-drained soil. Water them when the top few inches of soil are dry, and fertilize them every few weeks during the growing season.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is a perennial herb in the mint family that is often used in culinary dishes. While it is typically grown outdoors, certain varieties can also be successfully grown indoors.
When growing marjoram indoors, it is important to choose a variety that is suited for pot and tray culture and to provide the plant with plenty of sunlight and adequate ventilation. Some of the best varieties for indoor growth include ‘Aureum’, ‘Compactum’, and ‘Nanum’.
Borage, also known as starflower, is a herb that is easy to grow indoors. It has tall, spiky leaves and blue, star-shaped flowers. Borage is a good source of nectar for bees and other insects, and the leaves can be used in salads or as a garnish.
The best varieties of borage to grow indoors are ‘Alba’ and ‘Variegata.’ ‘Alba’ has white flowers, while ‘Variegata’ has green-tinged leaves with white margins.
Borage is a hardy plant that does not require much care.
It prefers full sun but will also grow in partial shade. The plants should be watered regularly, but they will tolerate some drying out between watering. Borage seeds can be sown indoors in late winter or early spring.
Once the plants have established themselves, they can be transplanted outdoors. Borage will self-seed freely if given the opportunity.
Dill is a versatile herb that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It has a delicate, yet distinct flavor that is perfect for adding a touch of flavor to salads, sauces, and soups.
While dill is often associated with pickling, it can also be used fresh in a number of recipes. Best of all, dill is relatively easy to grow, even indoors. And the taste of dill is unbelievable, even when grown indoors!
When growing dill indoors, it is important to choose a sunny spot and use a well-draining potting mix. Water the plants regularly, being sure to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
Dill can be harvested as needed, starting when the plants have reached 6-8 inches tall. Trim the leaves just above a node, which is where new leaves will emerge. For best flavor, use the leaves immediately or store them in a sealed bag in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Some of the best varieties of dill to grow indoors include ‘Bouquet’, ‘Superduper’, and ‘Mammoth’. With a little care, you can enjoy fresh dill year-round.
Growing lemon verbena indoors is a great way to enjoy the fresh, citrusy scent of this herb all year round. While it can be tricky to get started, lemon verbena is a relatively easy plant to care for once it is established.
When choosing a lemon verbena plant, look for a variety that is compact and has glossy, green leaves. These varieties are best suited for growing indoors.
Once you have your lemon verbena plant, place it in a sunny spot near a window where it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and fertilize monthly using a high-quality organic fertilizer.
While tarragon is typically thought of as a kitchen herb, this hardy plant can also make a lovely addition to your indoor garden.
Tarragon is relatively easy to grow, and it thrives in both sunny and shady locations. However, if you live in an area with cooler temperatures, it is best to grow tarragon indoors where it will be protected from the elements.
French tarragon is the most popular variety of this herb, but Russian tarragon is also a good choice for indoor growers. Both varieties are fairly tolerant of neglect, so they make a good choice for busy gardeners.
Lemongrass is a versatile plant that can be used in cooking, as a natural air freshener, or even in herbal teas.
Although it is typically grown outdoors, lemongrass can also be successfully cultivated indoors. When growing lemongrass indoors, it is important to choose a spot that receives bright, indirect light. The plant will also need to be watered regularly, and the soil should be allowed to dry out somewhat between watering.
One of the best varieties of lemongrass for indoor growth is Cymbopogon citratus. This variety is known for its strong Lemony flavor and aroma, making it a good choice for use in cooking.
Lemongrass can also be used fresh or dried in teas. For a refreshing and relaxing tea, try combining Lemongrass with ginger and honey.
Vietnamese coriander, also known as rau ram, is a member of the mint family that is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine.
The herb has a pungent, slightly spicy flavor that is reminiscent of cilantro, making it a perfect addition to dishes like pho and spring rolls. Vietnamese coriander is relatively easy to grow indoors, and it can be started from seed or cuttings.
The best varieties to grow include ‘Thai’ and ‘Nuoc Mam,’ which are both widely available from online retailers. When growing Vietnamese coriander indoors, make sure to provide plenty of sunlight and water the plants regularly.
Herbs to Avoid Growing Indoors
Herbs are a wonderful addition to any garden, both for their flavor and their many uses. But not all herbs are created equal, and some are better suited for indoor or outdoor growing.
Fennel, garlic, and chamomile are all wonderful herbs to keep outside.
Fennel is a hardy herb that can tolerate colder temperatures and even light frost. It’s a versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes.
Garlic is another herb that can withstand colder weather and can be used fresh or cooked.
Chamomile is a delicate herb that prefers partial sun and well-drained soil. It’s often used in teas for its calming effect. While you can grow chamomile in west-facing windows, it’s best just to grow this herb outdoors.
All three of these herbs are easy to care for and will provide you with plenty of flavor for your cooking needs – but only if you grow them outdoors.
Do Herbs Need Full Sun When Growing Indoors?
Herbs are one of the most popular types of plants to grow indoors. They are relatively easy to care for, and they provide a constant supply of fresh herbs for cooking.
Many people assume that herbs need full sun in order to thrive, but this is not always the case. In fact, some herbs actually prefer partial or filtered sunlight. For example, mint, basil, and cilantro will all do well in an east-facing window.
If you are unsure about how much sun your particular type of herb needs, it is best to err on the side of caution and give it a little less sun than it needs. too much sun can cause the leaves to scorch, which will damage the plant and make it difficult to produce new growth.
Quick Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors
In general, fertilize herbs with a low dose of water-soluble fertilizer which promotes leaf growth (not blooms) about every two weeks.
You can also feed your herbs by adding one tablespoon of fish emulsion to a gallon of water and using this every time you water. Rosemary, thyme, and basil benefit from a spoonful of crushed eggshells added to the soil.
If whiteflies, aphids or other pests become a problem, you can spray the plants once a week with a soapy solution made from 1-2 tablespoons of a mild soap dishwashing soap to one gallon of warm water.
If the plants begin to discolor, decrease the amount of soap used in the solution, or discontinue use. Make sure to wash the leaves off before using them.
Can You Grow Herbs All Year Round Indoors?
For many people, the appeal of indoor gardening is the ability to grow plants year-round, regardless of the outdoor temperature. While some plants are better suited for indoor growth than others, there are a few tricks that can help you successfully grow herbs indoors all year round.
One of the most important things to remember is that herbs need plenty of sunlight. If possible, place your indoor herb garden near a south-facing window.
Supplementing natural light with grow lights is also beneficial. Herbs also need good air circulation to prevent mold and mildew from developing. Keep this in mind when choosing a location for your herb garden, and consider adding a fan to circulate the air if necessary.
Finally, don’t forget to water your herbs regularly. Indoor plants often dry out more quickly than outdoor plants, so be sure to check the soil regularly to make sure it’s not too dry. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy fresh herbs indoors all year long.
If you’re looking for a little greenery to spruce up your indoors, consider adding some herbs to the mix. Not only will they add color and life to your home, but they’ll also make your cooking that much more delicious.
Herbs are easy to grow indoors, so there’s no excuse not to give them a try! Do you grow herbs indoors? Do you have any tips you wanna share?
updated 07/26/2022 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.