With spring just around the corner, we’re super excited to make the most of the warmer weather and enjoy the outdoors to its full potential. It’s also a great time to start if you’ve ever considered growing your own herbs indoors. Don’t worry if you’re green thumb is a dud, we’re here to help with our top tips for growing your own herbs indoors.
If you’re growing your own herbs indoors, then selecting the correct pots or containers is vital to your success. Here’s everything you’ll need to consider.
Most herbs do not like to be kept in standing water. Therefore, ensuring your herb pots have adequate drainage holes is probably the most crucial factor when it comes to growing your own herbs indoors. Our top tip: fill an empty container with water to see how quickly it drains. If it’s slower than you’d like, then add a handful of pebbles to the pot. This will speed up the drainage process and ensure your herb’s roots don’t rest in water!
Without a saucer, nothing is stopping your freely draining pots from leaking and spoiling your natural wooden furniture pieces! Let’s not have that. Many pots are sold with respective saucers. If not, you can pick up plastic ones for less than a dollar at your local gardening store.
Far too often have we seen amateur horticulturists back themselves to the end of the Earth with an undersized pot and still wonder why their plants are dying or stunted. Consider your pot circumference as well as depth, and keep in mind some plants, such as basil, have longer roots than others.
When selecting pot size, opt for the larger of two choices. This will naturally allow for your herbs to grow. Realistically, the only downside to choosing a pot that’s too large is the water distributing itself and evaporating unevenly. So, by a rule of thumb, go for a pot that’s slightly larger than normal.
Plastic pots are fine for growing indoor herbs, plus they’re cheap and easy to move. They are also better for those who forget to water frequently, as they won’t draw moisture out of the soil like ceramic pots. The only downside to plastic pots, if you’re looking for a permanent indoor setup, is the design.
This one is all yours to have fun with! We see it as an opportunity to add some more character to your space with styles to suit your taste. Even better, use it as an opportunity to repurpose some otherwise unused household items. We’ve given some DIY recycling tips in the past, but our favourite recycled pilots include soft drink bottles or tin cans with holes drilled in the bottom. Otherwise, it can be a great excuse to head out on a garage sales hunt!
There’s no denying that some plants require more or less love than others. If you’re someone who often forgets about your little green friends for extended periods, but you’re interested in growing your own herbs indoors, then you’ll want to stick to these easy picks.
- Basil – Easily started from seeds. Loves lots of sun and warmth.
- Chives – Best repotted from an outside garden.
- Oregano – Start from a cutting of an outdoor plant.
- Parsley – Seeds or an outdoor clump are excellent starting points.
- Rosemary – Cuttings can be tricky to get started, but once they’re off they’re nearly impossible to kill. Start your cutting in a soilless mix until it roots.
- Sage – Sage grows well from the cutting of an outdoor plant.
- Thyme – Can be started from a cutting or by digging up an outdoor plant and repotting the entire thing.
Garden soil is too heavy and lacks the required nutrients to grow healthy potted herbs. Therefore, a lightweight and porous commercial potting mix is vital when it comes to growing any plant in a container.
Great quality potting mix works a treat straight out of the bag. If you’re really getting down and dirty in your garden, you might have some compost, worm casting or horse manure on hand to supplement your mix. Try blending your nutritious decaying matter with some perlite, pumice or sand for added aeration and drainage.
The indoors can make for a dim environment for plants. You don’t want to be chasing the sun with your plants all day, so to counter this you can set up your indoor garden at a north-facing window. In the southern hemisphere, north-facing windows receive the most sunlight.
Think low and slow watering when it comes to indoor plants. You can test the moisture of the soil with your finger, but as a rule of thumb, two or three times a week should get the job done. The goal is to get your roots to grow deep down to look for water, encouraging a healthy root system. Frequent watering will only stunt your plants’ growth.
Don’t let the air around your plants become stagnant. Also, if you’re plants are too close together, they won’t receive enough air flow, which contributes to disease.
Show some love
Showing your plants some love, ultimately, is the only way to prevent them from kicking the bucket. It’s even been scientifically proven that talking to your plants helps them grow! Maybe they’re into cheesy one-liners or soft angelic notes, or maybe it’s something to do with releasing CO2. We’ll let you decide.
On top of the already provided tips, pinching and pruning is the best way to show your herbs affection. By removing dying flowers and stems, you’ll encourage bigger blooms and new growth. The result will be a thicker, healthier, more productive plant, providing you with more flavour for your favourite home cooked dishes.
- Grow each herb in a separate pot.
- Rinse pots before potting to remove excess fertiliser build-up.
That’s it for our top tips for growing your own herbs indoors. We can’t think of a better way to gain access to cheap cooking fragrances, not to mention how they can bring a room to life! Now it’s up to you to get planting and reap what you sow!