The Biggest Mistakes You're Making With Your Indoor Herb Garden

Avoid these common indoor gardening mistakes if you want your herb garden to flourish.

Short on outdoor space but desperate to flex your green thumb? A windowsill herb garden is the easiest way to step up your indoor plant game. Plus, it's a genius way to quickly reap all the edible rewards your plants have to offer. But as low-maintenance as an indoor herb garden may seem, there's a right and a wrong way to go about caring for fresh greens. Help your herb garden thrive by avoiding these seven common indoor planting mistakes the next time you put down roots.

Watering your plants too often (or not enough)

You may be tempted to water your plants every day to help them grow, but most herbs only require a drink when their topsoil feels dry to the touch. Instead of immediately busting out the watering can, literally stay in touch with your plants by feeling the soil on a daily basis. If the top soil feels slightly dry, give your herbs a drink. If the soil still feels damp, let the plant be.

Forgoing a drainage pot

Choosing the right pot for your plants is another key to a successful herb garden. Of course, it's crucial to purchase a pot that you enjoy looking at, but it's equally as important to plant your herbs in a pot with ample drainage. So what exactly does that mean? Simply put, drainage means a pot is equipped with teeny, tiny holes at the bottom of its base that allow any excess water to flow through. To properly water your plants, pop them in the sink, wet the dirt, and allow time for the water to drain. This will help provide the entire root system with water and, once again, stop root rot in its tracks due to overwatering.

Not placing them in the right amount of sunlight

Like water, you also need to find the right spot for sunlight for your indoor herbs. Some herbs require more light than others, and many varieties need a specific amount of direct or indirect rays. Research the type of herbs you plan to grow, then place each one in an appropriate spot around your home to maximize growth.

Turning up the heat

Give your herbs a home near the sun, but away from artificial heat. Heated air from vents, space heaters or radiators are naturally very drying, and a heater's ability to suck water from a plant's leaves will quickly kill your hard-won herbs.

Forgetting to prune

Just like you require a regular haircut to look your best, your indoor herbs require a regular trim, too. Pruning will help your herbs grow both healthier and faster, and by harvesting the plants leaves, you're ultimately helping your herb stay in its growth stage longer. This means more product for you to enjoy! Make the pruning process easier for you with this affordable pair of top-rated shears ($10;

Trying to start from seedlings

You don't need to start from seeds to succeed. During your first attempt at an indoor herb garden, start with a small plant rather than a seedling. That way, you know the plant already has an established root system and you can focus on helping your herbs grow rather than hoping it simply sprouts. Confused on the specific plants you should purchase? Ask a horticulture pro at your neighborhood nursery for a bit of expert guidance on what herbs are best suited for you.

Not feeding your new plants enough

Before you can add your herbs to homemade meals, you have to first feed your herbs. Ensure you're using high-quality organic potting soil to give your plants the best shot at a long and healthy life. Avoid using soil from your yard or outdoor garden, and instead opt for a light, loose potting soil filled with materials like vermiculite and peat moss.

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