Herbs Indoors in Containers on Windowsills for Indoor Herb Gardens
Growing Herbs Indoors. Is it Possible?
herbs indoors is very possible. Quite a few
herbs will grow well in indoor herb gardens. This is because windowsill
unlike vegetables, don't need a lot of light to grow successfully.
In fact, chervil is a herb that will grow better indoors than outdoors.
However, that is not to say that your herbs will grow well in some
dark, forgotten corner. Herbs must have some light, reflected
sunlight or warmth on them for some part of the day, that is why
windowsills are perfect for growing herbs.
When growing herbs in containers it is best to establish them in
spring. Of course you can grow your indoor herbs from seed, but you
can also buy smaller plants already potted for you from your local
nursery. I prefer this method of growing herbs inside as at least I
know that I already have a good, well-established plant without waiting
to see if the seeds will germinate successfully.
If you wish to encourage growth re-pot your store-bought herbs into a
The ideal place to grow your herbs is on a kitchen windowsill. As long
as they are away from the steam and cooking of a hot stove. Above the
is perfect because you never forget to water them! However, if you have
a sun room, atrium or solarium herbs will grow equally well there too.
Of course, if you have a window
these are also perfect for growing herbs indoors and create both useful
and visually interesting indoor herb gardens in your house. This is
especially so when the herbs flower, as is the case with the chives,
You can design an indoor herb garden that has interest where your
window boxes can be
suspended either inside, or outside, but remember
that some herbs like basil are frost-tender and if it is winter and you
live in a cold
climate it is best to grow this herb indoors. During the
summer basil will take off and have another growth spurt, but tends to
slow down in winter when grown indoors.
can also grow herbs in hanging baskets. If you have somewhere to hang
it, preferably outside where it can catch the sun, plant trailing
thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and in the center plant upright sage and
parsley or chives.
If you have a large hanging basket, plant
trailing nasturtiums as the leaves and flowers can both be used in
salads, and the seeds can be pickled for capers.
what happens if you live in an apartment with very little light? You
can still grow indoor herbs! However, you will need to buy a herb
that will provide you with everything that you will need to grow your
herbs. This includes grow lights, the seeds, nutrients and the pod
where you grow the plants. Basically, these growing kits work using
aero hydroponics technology.
The Best Herbs for your Indoor Gardens and Containers
One of the Best Herbs for
Growing Herbs Indoors - Chives
When growing herbs
indoors make sure that you buy good,
strong specimens from
your nursery. Herbs
should not be leggy or pot-bound. Chives,
marjoram, basil, thyme, lavender, woodruff, rosemary and chervil are
some of the best herbs to grow indoors.
geraniums are also successfully grown
and mustard cress
again are easy herbs for growing in containers and creating indoor herb
Large growing herbs should be avoided as part of your indoor herb
garden and they would be better growin outdoors. Examples of large
growing herb plants are borage, lovage, angelica,
comfrey, horseradish and tansy.
easiest herbs to
grow indoors in containers are parsley, chives,
lemon grass, Vietnamese coriander and Thai basil.
of course there is no point in planting herbs that you won't eat.
Choose herbs that you use often. Parsley is always a firm favorite, as
well as marjoram, chives, rosemary, oregano, sage, basil, thyme and
mint are probably the most constantly used in most homes.
Difficult Herbs to Grow Indoors
Herbs like rosemary,
oregano and thyme are difficult herbs to grow indoors
because they really need a lot of
light to grow successfully. Rosemary is difficult because it
doesn't like wet feet on the one hand, but it also doesn't like being
completely dry between waterings.
those of you who have had experience in indoor gardens, we all know too
well of the times where we have either created the cardinal sin of
either over-watering or indoor plants, or neglecting them until they
wilt before our eyes. So if you have a poor memory, or just a very busy
person who doesn't water their indoor plants regularly, rather stick to
the easy herbs to grow.
More difficult herbs for growing in containers are Italian basil,
sage, marjoram and cilantro because they are sensitive to being
also susceptible to diseases like mildew. Allow these plants to dry out
If you are growing herbs in containers for the first time, start with
first, and then progress to the more difficult ones, once you have the
right growing conditions.
Conditioning your Plants for Growing Herbs Indoors
If you have purchased
your plants from a nursery, chances are that your
herbs have been growing outdoors. In order to acclimatise your plants
you need to place them outside for a week in an area of low light.
After that, bring your plants inside for a day, and then
return them to the low lighted area outside for another day. Increase
the time that they spend inside before re-potting them. In this way,
are slowly acclimatising your plants to a life of low light which they
may not have been used to in the past. If you don't do this you run the
risk of shocking your plant whereby it will not recover, and it will
The Best Soil for Growing Herbs in Containers
Because your indoor herbs will
be grown containers they cannot search for any more
what you have already supplied them with. So therefore, your soil for
growing herbs indoors successfully has
to be the very best. Do
not use commercial potting mix.
The best soil for indoor
herb gardens can
be made by
taking 3 parts of good garden loam, 1 part of moistened peat moss, and
1 part coarse river sand. Added to this should be some
In addition to your organic material,
you can add the following to every 8 liters of soil:
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/4 cup coffee grounds (rinse
4 egg shells (dried and
crushed to powder)
To get air into your soil and to make
it lighter, add some granular polystyrene. A couple of cupfuls to your
containers should be enough. Adjust according to the size of the
container, but can make up 1/3 of the volume. Don't add too much as it
is a water-repellent, and unless you add extra peat moss, you will find
that your soil will dry out quicker than you want.
Finally I always add a good handful of
blood and bone to give the herbs a good start in their pots.
Best Growing Conditions for Growing Herbs Indoors
As already mentioned, window boxes are
ideal for growing herbs indoors in containers. These can be either
terracotta or plastic,
each of which will result in you having to water differently.
Terracotta does not retain moisture very well, and as such you will
have to water your herbs more often that you would if there were in a
To create humidity it is better if you
stand your window box in a tray that is layered with gravel, crocks or
small stones. Make sure that your window box or any other
container used for planting up has drainage holes.
your herb container doesn't have drainage holes your soil will go sour
and your plant will remain with wet feet and eventually die. Therefore,
if there are no drainage holes in the container, you will have to make
Ideally, for a window box drainage
holes should be spaced 5-8 inches apart. To
prevent the soil from escaping out of the bottom, line the
window sill or container with fine wire netting first or place a layer
of stones larger than the holes at the bottom.
If you are growing herbs in containers with their own saucers
have a layer of small stones, crocks or gravel between the pot and the
saucer. This is to ensure raising the humidity level but also to
prevent the herb pots from becoming water-logged.
no time should the herbs be
sitting in pools of water for any length of time. Water until the water
drips out, then throw the excess water away in the saucer. Don't
over-water your indoor herbs. This is one of the enemies of growing
herbs indoors in that many of us just kill them with kindness. Herbs
are hardier than you think.
Growing Herbs Indoors - Conclusion
From time to time, if it is at all
possible, move your indoor herbs outdoors to get some fresh air and a
Don't over-expose them to the strong
they won't be used to this and they could burn. However, a little bit
dapple light or indirect light will be just the thing to give them a
little boost and to keep disease down.
some love and attention, indoor herb gardens are a great addition to
any kitchen or home, and make it very easy for the cook or home nurse
to just cut a stalk or pull a few leaves to add to that special dish to
grab for those herbal
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