Growing culinary herbs indoors can brighten our homes and add freshness and flavor to our meals.
The beauty of an herb garden is that it requires little space—a windowsill, shelf, or small table will suffice. Several herbs grow well indoors, as long as they get sufficient sunlight (a minimum of six hours per day is necessary). Place pots in an area that receives direct sunlight through a window and gets plenty of air circulation; you’ll want to avoid windows that are too drafty.
Beginning an indoor herb garden requires a few supplies—quality potting soil, seeds or starter plants, and pots—and then it’s time to get your hands dirty. Upcycle plastic containers that you already have at home, or use garden pots; all containers must have small holes at the bottom (you can easily make these yourself) to ensure proper water drainage, which avoids rotting. Place a saucer underneath each container or pot to catch any excess water.
As for which herbs to grow, here are some of the best.
How to grow oregano indoors
Oregano has a pungent flavor and is beloved by chefs and home cooks alike. This herb goes beyond seasoning slices of pizza and is great in marinades, salads, sauces, and vegetable dishes. Oregano is easy to grow from seed and is low-maintenance, making it ideal for beginner gardeners. Sprouts emerge within a week to 10 days, and you can begin clipping the leaves once the plant is established (typically within a month or two). Water oregano when the soil gets a bit dry instead of keeping it continually moist.
How to grow parsley indoors
Parsley is one of the most widely-used herbs around the world. Incredibly versatile, it complements a wide array of dishes—from omelettes and stews to fish and meat. Choose the flat-leaf variety for a robust aroma, or the curly-leaf type for something milder. Growing well from seeds, parsley seedlings are slow to emerge: it takes about two to four weeks. This herb prefers frequent waterings, so you’ll want to ensure the soil is always damp but not soggy. Leaves can be harvested within two to three months.
How to grow sage indoors
Sage is an intense herb with a slight pine aroma that can brighten dishes like stuffing or soup. Common garden sage is often the go-to for growers and is relatively easy to cultivate. Sowing seeds can be tricky, though; instead, purchase a starter plant from your local garden centre. Sage, a Mediterranean plant, will grow well indoors with direct sunlight, warmth, and infrequent waterings. Let the soil go dry before watering again.
How to grow thyme indoors
Thyme is lovely to sprinkle into sauces, to jazz up a salad, to toss with roasted vegetables, or mix into your own spice blends (think French or Italian). A great herb for newbie gardeners, thyme grows well with minimal attention. Varieties are abundant, but consider the typical culinary favorites of French, caraway, and lemon to get started. Purchase seedlings, because thyme doesn’t grow well from seeds. A drought-tolerant and hardy shrub, it thrives with infrequent waterings.
And just like that, you’ve got your very own herb garden from the comfort of your kitchen.