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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.