How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor, texture, and color to any meal, and you can grow your own. Herbs are visually appealing but can be intimidating if you don’t know how to take care of them or properly use them. Have no fear! Here are some tips:

  • Sage, rosemary, and thyme thrive best with dry soil and heat.
  • Cilantro, parsley, and mint thrive best with cool, moist environments.
  • Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage need 6-8 hours of light.
  • Mint, parsley, and cilantro can handle more shade and get by with 4 hours of light.
  • Herbs that prefer the soil to dry out between waterings: rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage.
  • Mint, basil, parsley and lemon balm like the soil to stay moist but be sure not to overwater.

Other Tips: 

  • Obviously, most plants need light to thrive, so placing the herbs near a well-lit window is preferable. If this is not feasible, you can purchase LED growing lights on Amazon. 
  • Use pots with drain holes in the bottom to prevent overwatering.
  • Rotate the herbs so that each side gets an equal amount of sunlight. 
  • Pinch off any “leggy” portions or stray leaves. This will help the plant fill out and grow better.
  • Don’t harvest more than ⅓ of the plant at a time and do not harvest it again until it has grown back.

You can purchase ready-to-use herb plants from local supermarkets, or you can order starter kits online. An indoor herb garden can be a great winter activity and a chance to get kiddos involved in science and nutrition. Start with plants that you know you and your family will like. If you end up with more herbs than you can use, drying or freezing them is always an option. Starting an herb garden can save you money, improve the flavor of your dishes, and provide visual appeal to your home.

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