Are you looking for an easy way to add fresh herbs to your cooking? Now it’s getting colder outside, why not try growing them indoors? It’s simple to do and can be done in a variety of locations. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, read on for some helpful advice.
Which herbs can be grown indoors?
There are several different types of herbs that grow well indoors, and many can be kept as houseplants for years. Some are annual plants, and they will only live for around a year.
When selecting which ones to keep inside, seek perennial plants if you want them to survive the longest. Here is a brief list of some popular varieties; rosemary, parsley (biannual), sage, thyme, cilantro (annual), oregano, lavender, chives, mint and basil (annual). They are easily attainable and relatively cheap to purchase.
Where is the best place to grow herbs indoors?
Indoor herb cultivation requires indirect, strong light. Though in the winter, they will require some direct sunshine.
It’s critical to keep them away from cold drafty windows and doors, as well as heat sources like the stove or oven.
Plants can also be susceptible to several other issues, particularly if they’re neglected. Extreme heat or cold can damage leaves, which might prove fatal in the long run.
How to look after an indoor herb garden
Even though keeping herbs inside is common, it may be difficult to do so. Many of them come from hot, dry areas, while others prefer colder temperatures.
Keeping them content may be a bit of a balancing act. Don’t worry, once you get the hang of it, you’ll discover that it’s rather simple…
The most common mistake made when growing indoor herbs is overwatering. They can’t withstand soggy ground for long.
If your indoor herb garden becomes consistently wet, the soil will rot (it’s especially simple to overwater them when they’re next to the kitchen sink!).
During the winter, keep the soil wet but not soggy. It’s perfectly acceptable to allow it to dry somewhat between waterings, but never let it become completely dry.
Always test the soil by placing your finger one inch deep into the soil. If it feels moist, wait to water. Allow the dirt to dry somewhat before watering it again. Pour water on top of the surface until it begins to come out of the drainage holes in the pot.
If you’re having trouble giving your plants the right amount of water, I recommend investing in a low-cost soil moisture meter to make things easier. Or sign up to a plant watering app, that will send you notifications when it is time to water your plant.
They don’t require a lot of light to grow in the home, which is wonderful. They prefer to be grown near a south-facing window, where they may receive bright, indirect sunshine.
Place your indoor herb garden on an east- or west-facing windowsill, or you may place it directly on the window.
They grow fast in direct sun, but they need some shade when it’s hot and bright outside. If your plants aren’t getting enough light, they’ll soon become tall and leggy, or they’ll reach for the nearest window (especially if your kitchen is north-facing like mine is).
If that happens, relocate them to a more brightly lit area or provide them with a grow light. This little gadget is ideal since it doesn’t take up too much room or appear to be an eyesore in my kitchen.
The best time to repot herbs indoors is in the spring or early summer. However, don’t repot them unless they truly require it. They’d rather be pot-bound than planted in a container that’s too big for them.
Choose a container that is only one size larger than the one they’re in, and be sure it has drainage holes. I also recommend using a pot with drainage holes on the bottom, especially if you tend to overwater.
If your indoor herb garden is housed in one big container, you may either repot the whole thing at once or split up each plant if you want.
If you must split them, make sure the pots are no larger than the rootball of each plant.
They do best in alkaline, fast-draining soil, in general. As a result, make sure you use a high-quality potting mix for them.
However, if you water frequently, a fast-draining mix is suggested. Otherwise, perlite or pumice can be added to your potting mix, as well as coarse sand for improved drainage.
If you’re using peat moss, add a bit of garden lime to lower the acidity and balance out the soil pH.
Since they are light feeders, your indoor herb garden will not require a lot of fertilizer. They will, however, benefit from being fed in the same manner as any other potted plant.
In early spring, give them a half dose of liquid fertilizer to begin feeding them. Compost tea is an excellent natural fertilizer that you can buy in concentrate or make yourself by filling tea bags with it.
Add slow-release granules to the bed in early spring and then again once or twice during the summer, or use a hormone-free fertilizer that releases nutrients slowly throughout the growing season.
Avoid feeding them in the fall, and don’t give them any fertilizer during the winter. Fertilizing plants in the winter can make them weak and spindly.
How to tackle pests
The good news is that herbs are natural bug repellents, and they aren’t as susceptible to insect infestations as plants in glass or plastic containers. However, tiny black gnats may be observed whirling around them.
Fungus gnats are tiny insects that thrive in damp soil and reproduce there. As a result, if you have them, it’s an indication that you’re overwatering.
The biggest area to eliminate these pesky little flies is the top inch of soil.
You may also use a tiny amount of liquid soap in your watering can to help speed up the process. Alternatively, you might try putting one inch of sand over the soil to prevent them from nesting.
Powdery mildew is another common fungus that affects many types of plants. It can quickly spread to other plants and even other parts of your home if you don’t control it.
It’s far better to water the soil than the leaves if you can try and make sure the leaves are always dry.
Pinching and trimming is an excellent approach to keeping your indoor herb garden looking fresh and healthy. It will also guarantee that you get a good amount of produce!
Pruning will stimulate new bud formation and branching, resulting in fuller plants. You may simply pinch out the delicate new tips, or prune leaves and branches with a sharp pair of micro snips.
The nicest aspect about maintaining herbs indoors is that you’ll always have them on hand when you need to add taste to your favourite meals!
It’s simple to harvest as well. Simply pinch a few leaves or cut off full branches – whatever you need for cooking – and put them in a bag with ice.
You should never try to harvest all of the stems or leaves at once, no matter how large your plants are. Always make sure you keep a few on your plants so they may develop further.
4 Common indoor herb growing difficulties
The most difficult part of growing herbs indoors is determining what’s wrong when they begin to show signs of illness. The good news is that the majority of problems can be readily resolved. Here’s a list to assist you in troubleshooting the problem…
- Overwatering, in combination with low air circulation, is the most common reason for yellow foliage on herbs indoors. Allow more time between waterings to allow the soil to dry out more. It should never be wet or soggy.
- Your plants are drooping due to either overwatering or underwatering. Insert a finger into the dirt one inch deep. If it’s still wet, allow it to dry out a bit more.
- Powdery mildew – If you discover white spots on the leaves, it’s probably powdery mildew or another fungus. Remove the diseased leaves, provide the plants with more ventilation, and make sure to keep the leaves dry at all times.
- Indoor herbs that are tall and leggy – When indoor plants become spindly and leggy, it’s a sign they aren’t receiving enough light. Move them to a brighter location or add a grow light.
Herbs make a wonderful addition to any kitchen, and growing them indoors is a great way to have them on hand when you need them. In this blog post, we’ve provided tips on how to grow herbs indoors, including information on what conditions they need and how to care for them. Are you tempted to get started and grow your own herbs?