Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors Year-Round

Herbs make excellent indoor plants when cared for properly. They require ample sunlight and regular watering, but can easily adapt to suit the climate in which your home lies.

Most herbs thrive when exposed to direct sunlight from south or west-facing windows; otherwise supplemental growing lights may be helpful.


All plants require three basic elements for growth: sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. Sunlight provides the energy that powers photosynthesis – and herbs are no different!

Herb growth indoors requires sufficient lighting intensity and quality for success, at minimum six hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive and more is better still.

Plants need adequate air circulation around their foliage in order to reduce the risk of fungal diseases, and fans or arranging your herbs in containers that encourage airflow are both excellent ways of accomplishing this task.

Chives make an attractive addition to many dishes from scrambled eggs to soups, with their spiky foliage and mild onion or garlic flavors complementing each other perfectly. But too close together will cause them to be overshadowed by one another and become leggy and spindly; to ensure optimal growth and health for each herb planter rotate your herbs weekly to ensure each receives equal light exposure.


Indoor herb cultivation relies heavily on water for their health. When using well-draining soil mixes and watering when the top surface feels dry to touch (not every day), overwatering can become an issue leading to root rot or mold problems.

Herb plants typically thrive when exposed to full sunlight. Find an area in your home where at least six hours of direct sunlight per day can reach them; during winter this could require using grow lights or greenhouses.

Choose containers that include drainage holes. If your herb container doesn’t already feature these, drill some before beginning planting. Gravel in the bottom can also improve drainage. Avoid metal and ceramic pots as these retain heat and dry out the soil quicker; when repotting, add potting mix to your new container first and soak thoroughly before placing your herb inside it.


Herbs require ample sunlight for optimal growth, yet this can be challenging in the house. To get maximum sun penetration into a planter box near a window or choose an area with southern exposure. Certain herbs such as mint (Mentha spp), bay (Laurus nobilis), and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) tolerate indirect light exposure better.

An indoor herb garden soil test can give you valuable insight into its nutrient composition and enable you to optimize fertilization applications accordingly. Many herbs thrive when treated early spring with high-nitrogen fertilizers like fish emulsion.

Herbs that have become infested with pests such as whiteflies, mealybugs and aphids require regular spraying with a soapy solution formulated from one to two tablespoons of mild dishwashing soap per gallon of water; apply as necessary. Be wary not to overwater; excessive moisture may lead to root rot. Adding humidity by misting can add humidity in dry environments while encouraging new foliage growth on taller herbs.


Herbs are sun-loving Mediterranean plants that need plenty of light. Give the herbs six hours of bright sunlight daily in a window with southern exposure (east- and west-facing windows are fine, though may not provide as much). Avoid north-facing windows as these may cause the leaves to burn off prematurely.

Pruning indoor herbs regularly is key to their beauty and prevents overgrowth that could otherwise become woody and overcrowded. Pruning will not only make your plants more aesthetically pleasing but will encourage new growth that prevents them from becoming overgrown and woody.

Sharp, clean kitchen shears will work just fine to prune just above a leaf node. If you don’t already own any shears, consider investing in a set and learning how to use them properly. Also important: placing a saucer or liner beneath herb pots so as to prevent overwatering as this can occur if too much soil stays wet for too long, leading to root rot and eventual plant death.

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