As we approach the spring and summer months, it is a good time to grow herbs in your home that you can use all year round. You don’t need special lights to grow herbs because certain herbs grow with natural light that comes in through windows.
Which herbs can you grow indoors?
• Bay Leaves
Basil likes a lot of sun and warmth. Plant the basil seed in a pot that is sitting in a south facing window. Basil needs at least six hours of sunlight; but will also grow under fluorescent light. If fluorescent light is used, be sure to have plant under light at least 10 hours to grow healthy. When growing basil indoors, you will need to use fertilizer. If you will be cooking with the basil, use organic fertilizer. Make sure you only use half the recommended strength.
Bay leaves grow great in a pot but needs room from air circulation to be healthy. Make sure roots don’t get crowded in the pot. The pot you use, should have drainage holes and soils that drain well. Allow the soil to dry out, a little, before watering. Bay leaves grow slow, so you may want to invest in a large plant. Bay leaves are pricey.
Chives like a lot of sun. Place the pot in a south facing window. Chives need at least six hours of sunlight. Plant your chives in a well-drained soil and add a little organic fertilizer. Water chives frequently because they grow best in moist soil. Make sure there is proper soil drainage. When planting chives in a pot, make sure the bulbs are 6 inches apart (if you are going to grow more than one in a pot).
Oregano grows best when the temperature inside is 65-70 F during the day and 55-60 F in the evening. As with the other herbs, make sure there is excellent drainage. Oregano needs six to eight hours of sunlight. Place the oregano pot in a south facing window. The soil should be dry between watering. Fertilize oregano every two weeks with diluted water-soluble food.
Parsley grows well in six to eight hours of sunlight. Place the parley pot in a south facing window. Turn the pot every three to four days so the plant doesn’t lean into the sunlight. Make sure the pot has several drainage holes and a saucer underneath to catch the water as it drains. Use a good quality potting soil. Sand can also be used to help improve the drainage. When planting parsley, sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil and over them with an additional ¼ inch of soil. Water the pot regularly to keep the soil moist, but don’t ever water the parsley. Feed parsley every two weeks using half-strength liquid fertilizer.
Sage needs six to eight hours of sun late. Place the sage pot in a south facing window. You can use fluorescent lighting if your window doesn’t provide six to eight hours of sunlight. Sage needs to be kept in a warm area, away from drafts, in temperatures around 70 F and needs humidity. Place a humidifier near the pot, and water as needed. Let the top inch of the soil dry out between watering.
Tarragon will need at least 24 inches of height to grow inside. Don’t place the tarragon in a south facing window. Tarragon will need six to eight hours of light. A south facing window provides too much sunlight on the leaves. When planting tarragon, use a clay pot that isn’t glazed. A non-glazed pot will allow excess moister to evaporate. The clay post should have several drainage holes and at least 12 to 16 inches deep. Tarragon shouldn’t be over watered. Allow tarragon to dry out between watering. Provide humidity to the leaves by spraying them every couple of days.
Thyme grows well in a mix of sand, potting soil, and peat moss. Grow thyme in a clay pot. A clay pot allows the thyme to dry out between watering and prevents the roots from becoming overly wet. There should be at least one large drainage hole. Thyme needs 6 hours of sunlight; place the pot in a south facing window. The temperature inside should be around 60 F during the day to grow thyme.
Fresh herbs have a softer flavor than dried ones; you will need to use twice as much as you would with dried herbs.