Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Written By Sasha Guntu
Are you bored at home during quarantine, struggling to find fun ways to spend your time? Or maybe you’re testing out new recipes and are spending money on herbs that you end up wasting. No matter what it is, stay stocked up on fresh herbs year round by growing them from the comfort of your own home! It’s easy, inexpensive, and a great pastime.
Fresh herbs are an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial & anti- inflammatory benefits. You’ll never have to run to the store to pick up some basil for your homemade pesto again!
Additionally, herb gardens can light up any room with their beauty and fragrance, and it’s much more cost-effective to grow them yourself instead of buying overpriced herbs from the store. Although it doesn’t seem like much, the costs add up, especially when most people only use about a quarter of the container they buy and throw the rest away.
Before starting an indoor herb garden, it’s essential to understand the proper conditions required for each herb.
Plants from tropical and semi-tropical climates require a lot of bright light every day, so they should be placed in front of south-facing windows to get the maximum amount of sunlight.
East- & West-Facing Windows
Herbs that prefer less sunlight and cooler temperatures would benefit from being placed in front of east- and west-facing windows.
Full-spectrum grow lights are another option and can be very appealing if you want to keep your herb garden in a room with little natural sunlight! Grow lights are incredibly versatile since they’re adjustable and can be used for all herbs.
Although many grow lights can be upwards of $200, there are plenty of cheaper yet still efficient alternatives under $50. [insert grow lights link?]
Top 10 easiest & most versatile herbs to get you started:
In order to thrive, basil needs a great deal of bright light and heat. Place it in front of a south-facing window.
Basil is native to the Mediterranean climate, so plant it in moist, fast-draining soil for best results.
Since basil plants only last for a couple months, plant a new batch every so often for a steady supply.
Basil is a must-have in the kitchen and can be added to almost any dish to immensely increase flavor!
Mint plants need moderate light, so place them in front of an east-facing window during summer & spring and a south-facing window during fall & winter.
Mint thrives when the soil is evenly moist but not overly wet.
There are dozens of different types of mint to choose from, including peppermint, spearmint, chocolate, and more!
Oregano, a type of mint, loves sunlight so make sure you place them in front of south-facing windows year-round!
Don’t overwater oregano, but never let the surface of the soil dry out.
Oregano is a staple ingredient in Italian, Mexican, Central American, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Parsley plants crave strong light, so be sure to place them in front of a southern window.
Plant parsley in a deep pot to allow room for its long taproot
Did you know parsley’s stems are even more savory than its leaves? Next time you use parsley in a dish, toss in the stems for extra flavor!
Place your fragrant rosemary plants in front of south-facing windows so they get maximum exposure.
Depending on the weather, water your rosemary plants once or twice a week after the soil dries out. Rosemary roots tend to rot in overly wet soil, so don’t overwater!
Rosemary can be used as seasoning in countless dishes, including chicken, pork, lamb, soups, and sauces.
Cilantro thrives on full sunlight, so let it grow in front of your south-facing windows.
The cilantro’s soil should always be moist and have good drainage.
Make sure you plant your cilantro in a deep, wide pot to accommodate for its deep roots.
Thyme plants love to soak in the sun, so situate them in front of southern windows.
Allow the soil to dry out before thoroughly watering again because most thyme plants are drought-resistant.
Thyme tends to robustly grow outwards so leave anywhere from 1 to 2 feet between plants.
One of the easiest ways to grow sage is to plant cuttings from an established plant in a pot and keep the soil most. Within a few weeks, you’ll be able to proudly use your home-grown sage in all your favorite recipes!
Sage thrives in full sunlight, so make room for it in front of your south-facing windows.
Like thyme, sage is also drought-resistant and doesn’t need much water. For the first few weeks, water your sage plant once or twice a week, but once it has rooted, you can water it less often and only when it gets dry.
Sage plants need approximately 2-3 feet of space between them because they grow outwards in a bush-shape.
9. Bay Laurel
Bay laurel needs to be potted in fast-draining soil, and it only needs one thorough watering per week after it’s established.
Since it’s native to the Mediterranean region, it needs full sunlight and deserves a spot at one of your south-facing windows.
Bay laurel leaves can be used in various cuisines to add flavor, but make sure you remove the leaves from the food before eating!
Similarly to most other herbs, chives desire very bright light and should be positioned in front of southern windows so they can thrive.
Make sure your chives are potted in well-draining soil and water them frequently so the soil stays moist.
The onion-flavored leaves of this herb are an excellent addition to eggs, soups, and salads, and they also function as garnishes.