Having a green thumb is a skill so many wish to possess. We’re here to tell you that harvesting plants doesn’t mean having to create and maintain an outdoor garden! To fulfill your yen for a more traditional garden, you can create one indoors! Here are some tips for successfully growing herbs (and other plants) inside.
- Location is key. To grow well indoors, herbs need as much natural light as possible. A sunny spot near a window that faces south and gets at least 6 hours of sun daily is ideal. Keep an eye out for signs that herbs are not getting enough light – poor growth, spindly stems, leaves that are too small, and stems or leaves that are pale or begin to yellow.
- Fake light is fine. The best (easiest) way to make sure indoor herbs are getting enough light – no matter where they are – is to use a grow light, which mimics direct sunlight. This is a great solution if you’re short a southern-exposure window sill or it’s the darker days of winter.
- No one likes root rot. Herbs don’t like to have wet “feet”, so make sure pots can drain well. Use a saucer, liner, or drain pan to catch water and protect whatever surface they’re on. On the flip side, indoor heat can make plants dry out too much. Try glazed or plastic containers that won’t dry out as quickly.
- Herbs are not fussy. They like the same temperatures that you do. So if you’re comfortable, they probably are. At night, temperatures near a window may drop, but most herbs like that, too. Just keep the leaves from touching the glass to protect them from getting too cold. Dry air, whether from air conditioning or heating, is hard on herbs, so watch humidity levels.
- Basil is the Exception. Unlike other herbs, basil needs to have plenty of sun and warmth to thrive. Basil leaves will droop and fade after a short time in cool air. It prefers indoor temperatures in the 70s day and night.
- Where to start? If starting an indoor herb garden seems too daunting, there’s a kit for that! Some have their own seed pods and grow lights, others come in a variety of sizes. They can be stackable or hangable, too. It’s up to you!
- What to grow… other than basil. Here are some popular herbs for your indoor garden: Chives, Dill, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mints, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon and Thyme.
Growing an indoor herb garden not only provides you with a new hobby and some extra cooking ingredients, but it also can help to reduce stress and anxiety! Along with sprucing up air quality and acting as a natural humidifier, indoor plants add a welcoming quality to your new home! We wish you great gardening!