If you’re itching to start an herb garden but short on space, just bring the farm indoors. All you need is a windowsill or two to start an indoor herb garden. Growing herbs indoors rather than out means you’ll avoid pests and can grow all year, so you can add your own mint to your juleps in May and tarragon to your coq a vin in December.
Drainage for an indoor herb garden
All indoor herb gardens will need to be set up to accommodate water drainage. If you let your plants drain onto your windowsill, you’ll end up damaging the paint and the wood, leading to warping or rotting. On the other hand, planting herbs in a pot without drainage holes will mean root rot, so make sure you have a metal or plastic tray that can hold all of your potted herbs.
Note that individual saucers may not be adequate to prevent spillover and that terracotta or ceramic saucers absorb water and can still damage your windowsill, so go with metal or plastic.
Ensuring the right light for your plants
Most herbs will want as much light as they can get, so find a spot that gets at least five hours of sunlight every day. Choose a window that’s south- or southwest-facing when possible; north-facing windows tend to get the least sunlight.
Watering your herbs
Note that watering requirements vary by plant, and we’ve made note of some below. But generally, indoor herb gardens require regular watering. Water when the top of the soil starts to look and feel dry. Don’t water more frequently than that—your herbs won’t survive overwatering.
Setting the right temperature for your indoor herb garden
Keep your home 65–70°F during the day and 55–60°F at night. Some herbs like humidity as well, so consider a humidity tray to give them the balminess they need.
Fertilizing your herb garden
Most indoor herb gardens won’t require much fertilizer, but if you want to opt for a little juice, apply only when herbs are actively growing. We like this liquid fish emulsion or another liquid organic fertilizer like these from Planet Natural.
Pruning your herbs
Look, herb flowers are lovely, but blooming will reduce the life of the plant, so make sure to prune any blooms. Woody herbs will need to be trimmed back about once a year so they don’t get too woody. For tender, fast-growing plants, like basil and mint, prune them semi-regularly from the top.
7 plants for you indoor herb garden