How to Grow Herbs Indoors

How to Grow Herbs Indoors - Easy Balcony Gardening

Growing herbs indoor makes it possible for you to enjoy them all year round. The indoor herbs’ requirements are basically the same as those grown outdoors. You need at least six hours of direct sunlight and a moderately rich well-drained soil. For growing herbs indoor that require more lighting than your condition provides, use grow lights.

Types

There are three classifications:

  • Annuals that last only a season (e.g., cilantro, basil);
  • Biennials that live for two seasons but bloom and seed during the second season only (e.g., parsley, caraway); and
  • Perennials that will keep returning once established. Most culinary herbs fall under the perennial category.

Growing Herbs Indoor

  • Growing herbs Indoor means pots
  • You can plant them in groups or individually
  • Growing herbs indoor means growing those herbs that have the same requirements for soil and moisture
  • Use only high quality potting soil.
Parsley
Parsley is one of the many herbs you can grow indoors.

When to Bring Herbs Outdoors

  • Annuals do fine being potted indoors during its life cycle.
  • Perennials need to be brought outside during the summer months and pruned periodically. Bring them indoor before the frost comes. Herbs like chives and tarragon, however, enjoy light frost. Lavender, thyme, winter savory, garlic chives, and lavender are perennials that you can more easily switch to indoor environment.
  • You will have more success with transplants when thinking of growing herbs indoor. Select only healthy plants to bring indoors.

Potting Soil

  • High quality potting soil is not sufficient to ensure good drainage for your herbs
  • Add to one part of potting soil one part of sand and one part of humus. The humus helps the soil retain moisture.
  • Whenever the soil appears compacted, loosen it by scraping its surface with a fork.

Irrigation

  • Know the watering requirements of your herbs
  • For example, mint and geranium want more moisture than bay leaf or sage. The latter two prefer it thoroughly dry in between irrigation.
  • To play it safe, water only when the soil’s surface is dry
  • Mist your indoor herbs in the wintertime
  • You may also need to use a fan for air circulation. This means faster drying and more frequent irrigation.
  • Regularly check for blocked drainage.

Fertilization

  • Herbs in containers will need regular fertilization
  • Fish emulsions are good, but use them at half strength only.

Pest Control

  • Insecticidal soap is effective for all types of herbs
  • Drench both tops and undersides of the leaves
  • Check for pests prior to bringing them indoor. Recheck regularly.

Lighting Conditions

  • When purchasing seedlings from a nursery, acclimatize them first to your lighting condition.
  • If you need grow lights, remember to place them from six to no more than nine inches above the top of the plants
  • Temperatures should be kept between 55 and 70°F.

Suggestions for Beginners

  • Blue Boy Rosemary – up to two feet; ideal for growing in planters with other herbs
  • English Mint – least invasive variety of spearmint; refreshing pleasant taste as a medicinal tea
  • Fernleaf Dill –cut with scissors when preparing fresh to avoid loss of essential oil; dwarf form up to 18” in height
  • Spicy Globe Basil – compact, six inches high to 12” across; great complement to tomato dishes
  • Windowsill Chives – windowsill or under lights; great on salads and baked potatoes; loaded with antioxidants
  • Vietnamese Coriander – afternoon shade; plenty of water; grows rapidly; up to four inches tall
  • Parsley – biennial but best grown as an annual; too troublesome during second season
  • Sage – will thrive in containers if you can provide direct strong lighting

Growing herbs indoor is easy – even small children can do it!

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