Would you like to have quick access to herbs for pesto pasta, salad, or to flavor the soup? If you can’t plant herbs in your backyard or don’t have one in your apartment, you can still grow an indoor herb garden so you have your fave herbs at your disposal. Without further ado, here are the best herbs that you can grow indoors:
Delicious with tomato-based pasta, pesto, and salads, this herb is a must if you enjoy Italian cooking. Indoor-grown basil can be useful for a few weeks until it becomes woody. You may need to plant basil in batches with a few weeks interval to ensure you have a good stock of basil at hand. Take note that basil won’t grow in cool places and during the winter.
- Bay laurel
A must for Asian cuisine, this herb is best planted, picked, and dried ahead of cooking to achieve a strong flavor. Like most herbs, bay laurel requires bright light, good air circulation, and fast-draining soil.
This flavorful herb is not just for garnish but it can also add an interesting flavor to soups and stews. Be sure to trim the leaves regularly to keep it from flopping. To ensure the chives re-sprout, leave at least two inches of the plant.
Also known as Chinese parsley, this herb is essential to many Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine. In some countries, this herb goes by the name coriander and can add spice to Mexican and Indian dishes. Take note that cilantro or coriander leaves have an aversion to warm soil.
This herb provides a delicious flavor to fresh-caught fish. It is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors. However, it is also prone to wasps.
This all-around herb goes well with American, Italian, and Mexican dishes. Its leaves pair well with tomato-based sauces, stews, casseroles, and meat dishes. Like bay laurel leaves, oregano leaves are more flavorful when dried.
The leaves of mint perfectly complement tea and even some desserts. They are also fragrant and aesthetically-pleasing as an indoor plant. This perennial plant can tolerate moderate as well as strong light.
Like mint and chives, parsley is also one of the few herbs that are shade-tolerant. It is one of the essential herbs you can have in your indoor garden as it gives flavor to meat and vegetable dishes. It can be included in chicken stuffing or used to garnish the soup and some sauces.
This is another favorite herb in meat stuffing, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas time. It also lends flavor to creamy and tomato-based sauces. You can grow rosemary in the winter season as well as in the dry summer months. Be sure to have grown lights to maintain your indoor herb garden during the cooler months.
A skillful cook can turn many dishes into a flavorful and aromatic delicacy with sage. This herb tends to be overpowering when used too much. Still, it is easy to grow and care for indoors.
A versatile and main flavoring of many dishes worldwide, thyme can provide any cook with the unique flavor a dish needs. It is pretty as a house plant too. Be careful of overwatering herbs like the thyme. It prefers fast-draining soil.
- Winter Savory
Add a kick to chicken, fish, and beans with this spicy and aromatic herb. It is also useful as a garnish to salads. It is nice to know that winter savory also has antibacterial properties to keep you healthy.
Buying the herbs
You can buy young plants or cuttings of herb at a local garden center. Your local flower shop may also sell seeds of the basic herbs like basil and cilantro. If you purchase potted herbs or cut from your garden, be sure to check the plant for aphids and other pests. Most pests will leave behind sticky droppings or webs on the leaves. A pest-free plant is essential to succeed in growing an indoor herb garden.
Choosing a location
Herbs grow best when they have access to natural light for most of the day. It is best to position the plants where it can get 5 to 8 hours of direct sun. If your kitchen is located where no natural light can enter, you may utilize full-spectrum grow lights for your indoor herb garden. Position the artificial lighting at least a foot away from the potted herbs and provide at least 12 hours of light.
Choosing a container
Opt for clay pots as these do well in providing proper drainage for your indoor herbs. Adequate drainage is a must as herbs can die in soggy soil. Metal and plastic containers may also be utilized provided that these have adequate drainage holes at the bottom. To catch the water that drains from the container, be sure to use a drain pan or saucer under the pot.
Caring for your indoor herb garden
There is a higher chance of herbs dying from too much water than the lack thereof. Avoid getting the soil soggy when watering your herbs. It is okay to let the topsoil dry in between watering. Some herbs fare better when you let the plant absorb the water first before the next watering session. The way you let the herbs drink also matters. Be patient and water your herbs slowly to give the plants time to absorb the water. Most herbs require watering two to three times a week.