Looking to flex your green thumb this season? One of the easiest ways to do so is to cultivate your own indoor herb garden. Anyone can start growing plants indoors, but it’s especially helpful if you live in an apartment or home without a yard.
Growing your own herbs comes with benefits such as access to fresh plants with plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. They also have unique health benefits like anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Let’s not forget the psychological benefits! Studies show that growing and nurturing plants lowers blood pressure and improves productivity and feelings of well-being. Makes sense to us!
Which Plants are Right for Your Indoor Herb Garden?
So, you’re ready to begin growing your own herbs. The big question of course is: which herbs? If you’re a beginner to cultivating your own garden, it makes sense to begin with some of the easiest plants to grow.
Easy Herbs for Beginners
These are just a few! Other herbs you can plant include basil, bay, rosemary, coriander and thyme. Many herbs require some of the same basic tenets of care, but others may have specific needs. Be sure to do some research into the herbs you choose to grow. These are some of the care tips we found!
These onion-like tubular herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow. The easiest way to start is by taking a bunch from an already growing plant. Plant in a small pot with potting soil, making sure to cover the roots. Chives grow best with full sun and can even sprout purple and pink flowers (that are also edible!). Harvest chives at the base and never take more than a third of the bunch.
Best uses: Sprinkled over savory dishes and soups, added to butters and cheeses, works as a natural pest repellant (keeps aphids away)
Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C and E, as well as iron. There are two main variants of parsley: curled and Italian. Curled parsley is the type most are familiar with as a garnish or sprinkled over dishes. Parsley seeds can be slow to grow- to hurry things along, soak the seeds in water overnight to crack them open. Full sun is best, but parsley will still grow in partial sun (just slowly!).
Best uses: Sauces, green juice, tabbouleh, salads
This fragrant herb is a favorite addition to dishes and one of the easiest plants to grow- you don’t even have to plant it at first! Pick up a fresh lemongrass plant with an intact base next time you’re at the grocery store. Trim the top and place the stalks in a few inches of water in a sunny window. After a few weeks, tiny roots should start growing. Once the roots mature, you can transfer the plant to a pot with all-purpose soil.
Best uses: Essential oil, tea, soups, chicken dishes, infusions
This fresh herb is voracious in its growth. You definitely want to make sure your peppermint or spearmint has its own pot to take over. Plant mint in potting soil and place it in a window with indirect light. You can also grow mint in water by placing tip cuttings in a glass bottle or jar and leaving it in a sunny window.
Best uses: tea, dressings and sauces, salads, infusions, vinegars and oils, soups
Plant oregano in potting soil making to sure to only cover the roots, not the stems. Oregano thrives in warm conditions and bright light- direct sun for six to eight hours is ideal. Let the soil dry out between waterings and trim leaves frequently to keep them growing.
Best uses: Mediterranean and Mexican dishes, bread, pesto, seasoning
General care tips
Most herbs will benefit from a few basic care tips:
- Plant herbs in pots with good drainage.
- Don’t overwater! Top soil should be damp, but not soaked.
- Almost all herbs benefit from four to six hours of direct sunlight a day.
- Each herb should have its own pot to prevent overcrowding.
- Label your pots so you don’t forget which seeds you’ve planted!
How to Display Your Indoor Herb Garden
Now that the hard part is complete- deciding which herbs to grow- it’s time to decide how to display your indoor herb garden. If you like to keep it simple or don’t have the space for anything elaborate and want to just put your pots in the window and call it a day- that’s fine!
There are ways to get creative with displaying your new plants.
Get creative with your pots- You certainly don’t have to keep your herbs in the plastic pots from the local greenhouse or even a pot at all. Coffee mugs, small pitchers, antique tins and containers or glassware can all serve as containers. However, drainage is key! Most of these don’t come with holes in the bottom. Fill the bottom with a layer of pebbles- this helps water drain rather than collecting at the bottom and prevents the herb’s roots from sitting in water.
Go vertical-If you don’t have windowsill, counter or table space, hang your plants! Use a macramé holder to hold your pots and add vintage style to your home. Keep plants in the window by attaching suction cups or magnets to the pots and lining them up along your kitchen window.
Fill a bookcase- If you plan to go all out and have an extensive herb garden, it may be best to utilize a bookshelf. It doesn’t have to be a big one, you can pick up small two or three-shelf bookcase. Make sure you find a spot for it that will still get an adequate amount of sunlight and just line the shelves with your potted herbs. Easy!
These are just a few examples of how to display and store your indoor herb garden. You know your space best, so get creative with your new plants!
Show us your indoor herb garden!
Are you a master planter? Just starting off with your new plants? Show us your indoor herb garden! Tag us on Instagram @shophomemakers.
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All photos used with permission.