The Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors
These indoor herb garden ideas are so easy, you don't need to worry about how green your thumb is.
There’s nothing quite like tossing a fresh handful of basil into some pasta sauce, adding a pinch of just-picked cilantro to your guacamole, or even dropping a newly-plucked piece of mint into your muddled mojito. And sure, you can pick up all these ingredients at a grocery store, but nothing tastes quite the same as a home-grown herb.
Nearly 20 percent of Americans live in an apartment or condominium complex—but, just even if you lack the outdoor space needed for a garden, you don’t have to forgo fresh herbs. Here are seven nearly foolproof plants to grow in an indoor herb garden. No green thumb necessary, we promise.
Rosemary, a plant that originally hails from the Mediterranean climate, is perhaps the ideal house pant because it doesn’t require a lot of water. In fact, it loathes too much water and will quickly drown if you’re too overzealous. The best way to keep a rosemary plant alive inside is to ensure good drainage on the pot, keep it near a solid natural light source, and make sure its dirt remains moist, not wet or dry, at all times.
Like rosemary, mint too thrives indoors. All you need is a pot with solid drainage, some good potting mix, and a little bit of patience. But, unlike rosemary, mint doesn’t need a whole lot of light. Instead, it thrives in indirect sunlight. Try placing your mint plant in a location that gets some sunlight throughout the day but isn’t directly on a windowsill. Once again, keep the plant moist, not wet, at all times.
If you’re new to the indoor gardening game, thyme may the perfect plant to try growing first in your indoor herb garden. That’s because it’s a hearty, low-growing plant that is truly difficult to mess up. Thyme loves direct sun and lots of it. It also loves plenty of water, but make sure to allow the top of the soil to dry out completely between waterings to avoid root rot.
If you’re a fan of parsley, try growing it in a pot directly next to your thyme. The two do well together as they both enjoy a day full of direct sun and follow the same watering guidelines. To harvest your parsley, simply pinch off the leaves and add it to your favorite soups and dishes, or top things off using it as a garnish.
Chives not only provide a delicious, onion-like flavor to dishes, but they also give you a good boost of self-esteem. That’s because they are easy to grow and thrive just about anywhere. To become a chive farming master, all you need to do is pot your plant or start from seed, then place the pot in a south-facing window that gets about six hours of sunlight a day. Water when the topsoil feels dry to the touch.
Love Thai food? Then lemongrass is for you. And bonus: It’s an especially delightful plant to grow for beginners. Grab a pot with excellent drainage, fill it with potting soil, and watch your lemongrass grow. But, be warned: Lemongrass can grow fast and tall, so make sure to give it ample space to thrive. The good news is you can harvest it frequently to keep it happy, healthy, and growing.
Want everything you ever eat to taste delicious? The solution is clear: Grow basil. Pop your new basil plant or seeds in a pot, place it next to your chives in a south-facing window that gets about six hours of sun a day, and water it when you water your chives as well. In just a few weeks, you’ll have enough basil to whip up a pesto, top a pizza, or make the perfect pasta sauce to impress everyone you know.
Want to get started on an indoor herb garden? Keep it simple and get an indoor herb garden kit like this one ($22; amazon.com), which will make you a master gardener in no time.