The 12 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.

The Easiest Herbs to Grow Indoors
Photo: Getty Images

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.

If you lack the outdoor space needed for a garden—or live somewhere with cold winters that'll kill off all but the most perennial herbs—you don't have to forgo fresh herbs. Just choose herb plants that do well indoors and ensure that they're given the light and water they need to thrive.

Try planting a few of these 12 easiest herbs to grow indoors, and see how those fresh herbs add a real spark of flavor to your meals.


Rosemary plant on a kitchen worktop
Sally Williams Photography / Getty Images

Rosemary, a plant that originally hails from the Mediterranean climate, is perhaps the ideal house plant 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. Keep your rosemary plant near a solid natural light source, and make sure its dirt remains moist, not wet or dry, at all times.


Potted mint plant against a natural wood table.

redhumv / Getty Images

Like rosemary, mint also 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.


A close up view of thyme plant on a white pot

Karl Tapales/Getty Images

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.


High angle view of parsley growing in pot.

Kristin Oldenburg / Getty Images

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.


Grow Chives Indoors

Claudia Nass/Getty Images

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.


Lemongrass Grown Indoors

stigmatize/Getty Images

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.


Dave King/Getty Images

Want everything you 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.


Oregano Plant indoors

Biitli/Getty Images

This favorite Italian herb is a perennial plant that'll do just fine indoors as well. It's perfect buddied up in the same planter with thyme, as they share similar light and watering preferences, Place it in a sunny window (preferably south or west facing), and let the soil dry out completely in between waterings.


Potted Sage Plant

Achim Sass/Getty Images

Sage is often associated with fall cooking—like Thanksgiving stuffing—but having a pot of it on hand may encourage you to put a pinch or two into other dishes. (Sage is especially wonderful with apples, squash, and other fall veggies and fruits.)

Sage plants thrive in sunlight and are pretty drought-tolerant. Let the soil dry out between waterings.


Catnip plant grown indoors

Zen Rial/Getty Images

Catnip is a perfect herb to grow indoors if you're a cat parent. It'll give your kitties little something special to enjoy. Catnip thrives on sunshine, so place it in a sunny southern or western window, and water regularly when the top of the soil dries out.


Bay Laurel Plant

annick vanderschelden photography/Getty Images

Bay leaves are an essential (though not edible!) addition to so many recipes—and having a plant indoors lets you keep then on hand whenever you need it. Bay laurel should be placed near (though not directly in) sunlight, and needs regular watering to thrive.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm Plant

Lisa Romerein/Getty Images

Lemon balm is an herb that's been associated with reducing stress and anxiety—and it has a pleasant, citrusy-mint flavor that makes a great addition to iced tea, cocktails, desserts, or practically anywhere where you'd like a little touch of freshness.

To thrive indoors, it requires plenty of sunshine, and can stand up well to a little bit of neglect—let the soil dry out a bit before watering.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles