10 Delicious Indoor Herbs You Can Easily Grow Yourself

An empty windowsill or a spot in your sunroom may be the ideal place to grow a selection of indoor herbs. Nothing feels more satisfying than snipping a few home-grown ingredients to add to your dishes to give additional flavor and aroma.

A pot of aromatic herbs grown in between your houseplants is a beautiful thing, and eminently achievable.

Herbs form an essential part of so many home-cooked dishes, and they add a special something to every meal. Furthermore, growing indoor herbs is an excellent way of using a sunny windowsill and making it a useful and productive space.

Such a task doesn’t have to be difficult, and we could all grow delicious indoor herbs to use every day.

What Is an Herb?

An herb is any plant used to season food and for medicinal properties, fragrance, and household applications. We tend to think of herbs as those delicious leaves that we add to food to give it flavor and aroma.

Herbs may elevate our cooking and add that something special to our dishes.

Indoor Herbs

Who doesn’t love fresh parsley on their baked potato? What about a sprig of mint for that cheeky mojito of an evening? Perhaps you love to make Thai curries, in which case, having fresh lemongrass at hand may prove useful.

Imagine chopping some crisp, green chives to add to your salad or toss in with your tuna salad.

Indoor herbs are easy to grow as long as you choose the right varieties. A couple of small pots and a bit of sunlight will see your windowsills bedecked with delicious herbs ready to cut and use.

Cress, chervil, and cilantro will reward you with lush, fresh leaves to combine with your dishes at a fraction of the cost of buying them in the stores.

Growing Indoor Herbs

Growing indoor herbs is easy. Just give them a pot, some space on your windowsill, and some glorious sunshine, and you may soon harvest some fabulous stems and leaves.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have an outdoor space, which makes growing indoor herbs all the more vital.

Most of us have spare plant pots lying around, so why not put them to good use? Or you could buy a variety of containers and starter kits to get you going.

The advantage of growing indoor herbs

Unlike growing herbs in the garden, growing herbs in pots offer a great deal of flexibility. If the sun’s position changes throughout the day, you may quickly move your pot of herbs to capture the valuable rays.

When you start creating those delicious meals, you may have a pot of herbs on your counter ready to pick.

Additionally, growing indoor herbs will extend the growing season. When the weather turns cold, and the garden stops producing, indoor herbs continue to give you their bounty.

Start at the Very Beginning

Growing indoor herbs is easy. Start with a few simple herbs to gain experience before moving up to some of the more complicated varieties. With a little bit of space and some tender loving care, your herbs will flourish.

1. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a fantastic indoor herb filled with fragrance and flavor. The structural nature of the plant looks fantastic in pots.

Traditionally, the herb grows in the tropics, but give the plant a little moist soil and partial sun, and it should thrive on your windowsill.

2. Mint

Mint is such a versatile herb with the most incredible aroma. It adds a fresh, zingy flavor to your dishes and forms an essential ingredient to your mojitos. Fresh mint sauce on lamb is a match worthy of an award.

If left unchecked in the wild, mint grows rampantly like a weed. However, contained within a pot on your windowsill, it will behave itself. Just remember to keep your mint out of direct sunlight.

3. Parsley

Parsley is one of those old favorites that we should all have on our windowsills. It is one of the easiest herbs to grow and adds the most delicious flavor and aroma to sauces and stuffing.

The herb is easy to grow from seed, but taking cuttings from time to time to replace old plants will keep your stock going indefinitely.

A medium to large pot proves the best vessel in which to grow parsley. Parsley grows best in indirect sunlight.

4. Chives

Chives should sit on every windowsill. The herb is amazingly easy to grow and adds a subtle onion flavor to your dishes. The long graceful leaves in luscious green look striking in a pot.

Finely chop the leaves into your salad and see the difference it makes. Or fold chopped chives into cream cheese to make a fabulous topping for baked potatoes.

Chives like partial sun and moist soil to grow successfully. Note: You can split the roots to propagate and increase your stock easily.

5. Cress

Cress is a firm favorite for the kids to grow because it is so easy and quick. You don’t even need any soil. Simply place the cress seeds on a wet paper towel, and you can almost see them growing before your eyes.

The harvest tastes delicious in salads and dressings.

Cress likes partial sun, and if you sew fresh seeds every three to four weeks, you will have a constant supply.

6. Catnip

If you have cats, don’t grow catnip as they will go wild over it. But it’s interesting to note that catnip is a centuries-old traditional herbal medicine! Infuse catnip into a tea to help alleviate stress and induce restful sleep. Plus, catnip may help fight off colds and fevers.

Catnip is easy to grow from seeds, and you may take regular cuttings to keep your crop going. Grow the indoor herb on a sunny windowsill and water it well.

7. Chervil

Chervil is an easy to grow indoor herb and makes the most delicious herb butter. The herb tastes fantastic when combined with fish and poultry and adds a beautiful aroma when chopped into salads.

Grow the herb at room temperature, and because it is not overly fussy concerning light, it will cope with low light conditions.

8. Basil

The taste of fresh basil with juicy ripe tomatoes is a thing of pure joy. Add fresh basil to your pasta sauces to elevate them to the next level. Why not make fresh home-made pesto with your home-grown basil?

Basil is easy to grow on your windowsill in pots. The herb likes a warm sunny spot on your windowsill and moist, well-drained soil.

9. Sage

Sage is one of the most aromatic herbs and makes for the most delightful herb bags to hang in your wardrobe. Also, a fresh sage stuffing for your poultry is a thing of absolute beauty.

Sage may be one of the more challenging herbs to grow as it likes a South or West facing window with a minimum of five hours of sunlight. The herb takes a while to establish itself when grown from seed but is easy to propagate from cuttings.

10. Thyme

Thyme, like sage, has the most incredible aroma. Cut stems of thyme and hang them up in the kitchen to dry to release the most beautiful fragrances. Use the herb in stuffing recipes, soups, and casseroles to give the dish the most fantastic flavor.

Give thyme partial sun but ensure you expose the plants to at least five hours of sunlight a day to achieve successful growth.

Starter Kits

An easy way to grow indoor herbs is via the use of a starter kit. The advantage of using herb kits stems from their ease of use because they provide everything you need to get started.

A simple herb windowsill kit will provide a selection of easy to grow varieties to help cultivate your confidence.

Most starter kits come with the pots inside a propagating unit. Simply follow the instructions and watch your herbs grow.

Herbs are useful and easy

Make your own herbal vinegar to use as a safe, eco-friendly cleaner around the house. Not only that, herb room fresheners offer an environmentally friendly alternative to the synthetic, store-bought air-fresheners.

Rosemary, thyme, and oregano taste divine, but also have antiseptic properties. Additionally, the herbs have excellent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities.

Indoor Herbs Made Easy

Growing indoor herbs is an exciting hobby that may reward you with a delicious, aromatic bounty. Add your home-grown herbs to your recipes to add an incredible depth of flavor. Why not experiment with herbal teas and home-made cleaning solutions?

Parsley, chives, basil, mint, and chervil all prove easy specimens to grow on your windowsill. And they make for incredibly attractive houseplants that not only look good but serve a valuable purpose.

Buying fresh herbs from the store is expensive. With a little patience, some pots, and some sunshine, you may successfully grow your own indoor herbs. Full of flavor and heady with aromas, indoor herbs will enhance your cooking and give purpose to those empty pots!

What is your favorite herb to grow indoors? Share your growing expertise and recipes below.

Author bio

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry making business and sells his creations online.


The Many Benefits of Companion Planting

When growing a vegetable or herb garden, your goal is to get as large of a harvest as you can. After all, you put hours of work into planting and maintaining your garden, so it only makes sense that you would do all you can to increase the yield. That’s why it’s so important to learn about the benefits of companion planting.

And here’s the deal: if you don’t know about the benefits of companion planting, you are missing out on one of the best ways to grow a healthy and abundant garden. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

What Is Companion Planting?

When most people picture a vegetable or herb garden, they think about long rows of vegetables, each row containing the same type of plant. For instance, in the fall, you may see a long line of broccoli plants or onions. But what if we told you that by mixing up some of the plants in your garden it would make it much more productive and healthy?

That, in a nutshell, is what companion planting is. In nature, the same types of vegetables or herbs aren’t lined up in neat rows to grow. Instead, the plants interact with each other and form small ecosystems that help keep harmful pests at bay and produce healthier crops.

And that’s the idea (and benefits of) companion planting.

11  Benefits of Companion Planting

Whether you are growing a vegetable garden or want to understand how to master herb companion planting, the benefits you will gain from using this method are numerous.

Let’s look at a few of them now.

1. Make room for the veggies!

If you’re like many vegetable gardeners, you never have enough room to plant all the things you want to grow. Some vegetables take up a lot of room — think Brussels sprouts — and you lose valuable space in your garden for other varieties.

Or do you?

When looking into the benefits of companion gardening — or herb companion planting — one of the most exciting things you will discover is all the space the method frees up in your garden. For instance, the three sister’s method of planting corn, beans, and squash together not only helps to provide each plant with the nutrition it needs, but it also increases the amount of space you have in your garden. This planting system has been around for centuries for a reason — it works!

Here’s a quick primer on how to use the three sister method in your garden:

When looking to save space, you aren’t limited to corn, beans, and squash. You can plant many plant varieties together that will provide support (corn), ground shade to keep the soil moist (squash), and a vining plant (the beans). For example, asparagus, parsley, and tomatoes also grow well together. Just make sure all the plant combinations are compatible by using a chart for reference.

2. No scorched Earth here

When caring for a garden, it’s important to keep the soil moist and prevent any erosion from creeping in. If the soil is left unplanted for a while, that’s exactly what will happen to it. But when learning the benefits of companion planting, you will quickly realize that this system will allow you to use all of the space in your garden. That means no lingering soil that deteriorates because of a lack of nutrients from plants.

3. Weeds no more

Ask most gardeners what their number one challenge is, and many will answer with one word: weeds.

Weeds are a part of gardening, and gardeners resort to many methods to keep them out of their garden beds. They can drain the soil of the nutrients vegetable plants need to thrive.

One way to naturally reduce weeds is to use up all of the space in the garden so the vegetable plants don’t allow any room for weeds to grow. For instance, in the three sister’s method, we mentioned earlier, one of the jobs of the squash is to block out the weeds by covering the ground.

4. Save more for yourself

It’s every gardener’s nightmare: you walk out to pick that squash for dinner and discover that it’s been ruined by squash bugs. Or you find that the cabbage moths devoured your brassicas. You don’t have to sit by and watch pests ruin your garden — instead, use the benefits of companion planting to combat them.

For instance, if you plant marigolds next to your beans, the Mexican bean beetles won’t be as likely to invade them. And to protect your brassicas from cabbage moths, plant wormwood alongside them to keep them away.

5. Put the doctor on hold

When a large group of people gathers together and one of them is sick, it makes it much easier for the disease to quickly spread among them. The garden is no different. When you plant like plants close to each other and one of them gets a disease, it will spread more easily throughout the rest of the similar plants.

But when you break up the plants by inserting different varieties between them, it slows down the progression of the disease.

You can also use herb companion gardening to help deter pests. Many herbs are experts at repelling pests, and if you plant them close to certain plants, you will reduce the chances of disease. For instance, planting horseradish near your potato crops will help keep potato bugs at bay. And to keep squash bugs from ruining your crop, plant nasturtium, and tansy near the beds.

6. An open invitation

Although keeping pests out of the garden is important, you will want to attract certain beneficial insects to help devour those that would ruin your plants. If you’ve ever had an aphid infestation in your garden and released ladybugs, you know how quickly beneficial insects can solve the problem.

For beneficial insects to want to spend time in your garden, you have to make it appealing to them — and you can do that with the species you choose to plant around your vegetables and herbs.

Planting flowering crops and flowers are great ways to attract these gardening pest assistants. Some of the helpful cover crops are buckwheat, clover, rosemary, thyme, and mint which will provide a home for ground beetles. Additionally, flowers like chamomile and daisies will attract insects like hoverflies and predatory wasps. Don’t forget to provide a few shady and protected areas so the beneficial insects have a place to lay their eggs!

7.  Leave behind the expensive trellises

When growing vining fruit or vegetables, you need something to support it as it grows. Most gardeners purchase (or make) trellises, but you can save that expense by using your tall, sturdy plants to support them instead.

For example, corn, amaranth, sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, fruit or nut trees, and sorghum are all great support plants for lighter weight climbing plants. These taller plants can also help provide some shade for plants that don’t thrive in full sun.

8. Who said vegetable gardens can’t be beautiful?

Although most gardeners would argue that a patch of peas, carrots, and onions is one of the world’s most beautiful sights, others (non-gardeners) would struggle to see the beauty. You can change that by planting beneficial flowers and other blooming plants in your garden.

In addition to adding pest control to your garden, it also adds beauty. Just think: a brilliantly yellow/orange line of marigolds lining the front of your garden will not only keep away harmful pests but will make your garden pop with color so even your non-gardening friends will appreciate its beauty!

9. Ooooh, that’s good!

Want your tomatoes to taste better? Plant basil next to them. Want better lettuce? Basil will help with that, too. When you combine certain varieties of plants, one plant can help the other one taste better. Want another example? Chives not only repel aphids but also improve the flavor of carrots!

10. Encourage the yield

The more pollinators in your garden, the bigger the yield you will have. That’s why it makes sense to plant certain herbs and flowers in your garden that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

You can plant sage, oregano, marigolds, lavender, nasturtium, borage, and verbena to attract these pollinators and at the same time, repel unwanted pests.

11. Add some variety to your meals

Growing peas is a great way to add deliciousness to your meals, but adding a variety of peas is even better. And why would you settle for only orange carrots when you can also grow yellow and purple, too? When you use companion gardening, you will free up enough space to plant multiple varieties of your favorite fruits and vegetables, ensuring that you continue to enjoy gardening even more!

These Two Don’t Get Along: What Not to Plant Together

For all the talk of the benefits of companion planting, you would think that all vegetables and herbs get along fine — but that’s simply not true. Some plants don’t get along, and you should never plant them together.

Here are the vegetables and herbs that just can’t seem to get along.

You say tomato, I say potato

Even though potatoes and tomatoes are both members of the nightshade family, they shouldn’t grow next to each other. That’s because they can both easily become infected with similar fungi that kill the plants. And chances are if one of the plants develops the fungi, the other one will quickly follow suit.

Sweet and savory

When growing cabbage and strawberries, you shouldn’t plant them close together. That’s because the insects that cabbage attracts also like to feed on strawberries. In other words, by planting these two together, you will put your strawberries in peril!

Two trellis plants

Both tomatoes and corn are great to use as trellises for lighter, climbing plants, but not next to each other. For starters, they both feed heavily, and next to each other, they will quickly deplete the nutrients in the soil. Also, both plants attract the tomato fruit worm, also known as the corn earworm. And once one of the plants are infected, the pest will quickly move to devour the other one.

They’re both too hungry

Two more plants that should never grow close together are cucumbers and potatoes. That’s because both require a lot of nitrogen from the soil. Even soil that is heavily supplemented with nitrogen-rich blood meal cannot support both plant’s needs at once.

Are There Disadvantages to Companion Planting?

Now that we’ve talked about all the benefits of companion planting, it only seems right to let you know about a couple of possible disadvantages. According to some, the possible drawbacks are:

  • Competition for the good stuff: When you grow crops close together, they can compete for the water and nutrients in the soil, and some consider this a disadvantage. But remember, it can work both ways. For example, when you grow beans near squash and corn, the beans will deposit nitrogen in the soil, which leads to healthier corn and squash.
  • Empty spaces: Others say that it’s easier for weeds to grow in the garden once the companion crops are pulled. That would be true if you left the spaces empty, but immediately filling them with another crop should eliminate the chances of weeds growing in the empty area.

The Benefits of Companion Planting: Get Started Now!

Whether you are an expert gardener or a beginner, the benefits of companion planting can help ensure that your garden produces more than ever next season. The system can ensure beneficial insects are drawn to your garden, harmful pests get eliminated, vegetables taste better, and the beauty of your garden shines through.

Do you use companion planting in your garden? If so, we would love to hear how it has changed your garden! Leave a comment below and tell us why you recommend this method!