How to Grow Herbs Indoors

How to Grow Herbs Indoors

Mar 7th 2024

Indoor gardening is an exciting idea for many people who want to make their homes fresh and lively with the presence of nature. And what's better than having your own homegrown healthy and aromatic herbs?

Unfortunately, not all of us have access to an outdoor garden, but the best thing about herbs is they can be easily grown even on your windowsill. An indoor herb garden provides a year-round supply of culinary delights and brings a lot of color and fragrant foliage inside your home.

If you are looking forward to an indoor herb garden DIY, this guide is worth reading before starting.

Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

Most herbs can grow well indoors, but some may have particular requirements regarding sunlight, space, soil, and harvesting. We have listed some of the healthiest and best-smelling herbs to grow indoors:

  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Chives

Starting An Indoor Herb Garden: Step by Step Guide

It is easy to grow indoor herbs if you live in an apartment or have little outdoor space. Herbs are not demanding plants. They only need sunlight, water, soil, and a little love. Here is a step-by-step guide to read before starting an indoor herb garden.

1. Choose a Location with Good Sunlight

Herbs need natural light and moderate temperature. The amount of light you provide to your plants directly impacts their taste and flavor. Place the pots or planters near a bright, sunny spot, such as a south-facing window, where they can get 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted natural light daily. Different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and mint, can also grow in low or partial sunlight.

If you don't have direct access to natural light, use LED or grow light to mimic the sunlight. Growing herbs indoors with artificial light could be an alternative solution during winters, rain, and cloudy weather.

2. Select the Right Pots and Planters

There are plenty of planters and pots available for indoor herb gardening. When choosing a container, ensure it has proper drainage holes with a saucer or protector underneath. This is necessary for plants to retain moisture without drying quickly and allow excess water to drain from the holes.

Choosing the right size pot for properly growing your herbs is also essential. Choosing a pot that is too big can make it challenging to moisten the soil. Similarly, small containers can disturb your plants' growth and root development. As a beginner, you can use this table as a reference to select pots for your indoor garden.


Minimum Container Size

Plants Per Pot



















3. Soil and Fertilizers

Like planters, choosing the right soil type helps your indoor plants thrive. Use an indoor potting mix for an indoor herb garden, as it helps the water drain well and allows roots to grow and breathe. Avoid using outdoor garden soil as it is too compact for indoor plants, and they wouldn't be able to breathe. Add some vermiculite to your potting mix if you live in a hot or dry climate. It will help the soil retain moisture and prevent it from excessive drying.

As indoor plants can't get nutrients from garden soil or rain, it is essential to boost them with fertilizers once a week. Use the fertilizers at half the recommended rate only when the plants are actively growing, as overfeeding can destroy their growth.

4. Planting Seeds

If you are new to indoor herb gardening, start with seeds instead of transplants or cuttings. Herbs like basil, parsley, lemon balm, and rosemary are great choices to begin indoors, as the seeds take little time to germinate. For planting seeds:

  • Moisten your potting mix and make it a little damp.
  • Carefully read the directions on the packet of seeds and how deep they need to be planted for proper growth. Some seeds need to be planted at ½ or ¼ inch deep, while others need more sunlight and should be sworn on the surface.
  • You can also use a heating mat to speed up the germination process.
  • Place the planter or container on a windowsill that receives good sunlight.

5. Watering

How much you should water indoor herbs depends upon different conditions, such as the type of herb, temperature, humidity, and the pot in which they are planted. Woody herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage, only need a little water. On the other hand, Basil, cilantro, parsley, and mint need more moisture and regular watering to grow.

Before watering, check the soil in the pot by sticking your finger 2 inches inside. If the soil's top layer is dry, it is time to water your plants. As a rule of thumb, you should water the indoor herbs two to three times a week.

6. Harvesting

Harvesting means the flavor and aroma of your herbs have reached their peak, and you can use them in meals, medicine, aroma therapy, etc. Clipping herbs at the right time promotes bushy growth and increased production. For herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint, snip a few inches from the top of each stem.

For oregano, parsley, and thyme, cut from long stems with few leaves. For mint and sage, skip the cutting and pinch off individual leaves. The best time to harvest the herbs is in the morning, just after the dew dries but before the day's heat. To maintain healthy production, never cut more than ⅓ of a plant in harvesting.

Some Additional Care Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you grow healthy and flavorful herbs:

1. Good Air Circulation

Good air circulation is necessary for the optimum growth of indoor herbs. Grow your herbs in different pots instead of one, and make sure they are spaced out. This is essential for plants to get a constant flow of fresh air and remain safe from molds and fungal diseases.

2. Humidity

Like other plants, moisture and humidity help herbs grow and nourish. For an indoor setup, a windowsill above or near a kitchen sink is the best place to keep the pots. This will also help you during winter when the indoor air gets dry.

3. Temperature

To grow your herbs at an appropriate temperature keep them in a room that can sustain a temperature of 65 to 70°F during the day and 55 to 60°F during the night.


Starting an indoor herb garden is excellent when you lack space outside. The best thing about them is they are easy to grow and maintain with basic care. However, choosing a bright and well-ventilated space, proper pots, and soil for healthy production is essential. Also, ensure good air circulation, appropriate humidity, and temperature to enjoy a continuous supply of fresh herbs.

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