When growing herbs in pots, hanging baskets, window boxes or other containers of our choice, we will offer them the same care that we would when we grow them outdoors in the garden.
Like all plants our herbs are going to need three basic things to thrive. What are they? Sunlight, good soil and water, of course. Southern or western sun exposure is the first and most important requirement for our herbs grown indoors or outside in the garden for that matter. For our indoor growing of herbs, we’ll put them in or near a window facing that good southern or western sun. Although there are a couple of exceptions, most of the herbs we are going to grow need a sunny spot in the house. Maybe in the kitchen or another room we know that lets the sun in.
In case we just don’t have that good sunny location inside, sometimes we herb growers may have to help our herbs, with a little man-made light. Fluorescent or a grow light will do the trick.
Type of Soil for Growing Herbs in Pots:
We’re going to use a nice clean and sterilized potting soil, but we are going to make sure it is well drained. To do this, here’s a little soil recipe for our herbs grown in containers: 2 parts potting soil and 1 part sand. We want to use course sand or perlite. Nothing too fine. And one more thing, like many of our indoor plants, we are going to put an inch of gravel at the bottom of the pot. This is important to make sure we have good drainage. Without it, our soil can stay too damp and we can accidentally introduce mold and root rot to our potted herbs. Optional: Adding a teaspoon of lime can make sure the soil isn’t too acidic for our herbs.
How Much Water Do Herbs Need?
Misting plants regularly is important for growing herbs in pots because it mimics the humidity that our outdoor plants enjoy. The air in our houses is often much dryer so misting is essential. Generally speaking, our herbs grown in containers are going to need to be watered more often than herbs grown outdoors in the garden. But again, we can’t soak the roots and cause the herbs to be unhealthy or harmed by fungus.
Like our other plants, herbs can be “annuals” or “perennials”. The annuals are fine with spending their whole season indoors. Perennials on the other hand really appreciate it if they can spend the summer outside. When we are growing herbs in pots, we ave to make sure, to bring them inside before the first frost. We don’t want them to lose any of their foliage unnecessarily. Here’s an exception to this rule however: Tarragon, Chives and Mint actually react to a bit of frost, by growing even stronger and fresher foliage.
We can grow all our herbs successfully indoors in containers. But mint in particular definitely should be grown in a container or pot, because it is invasive in the garden and can take over the whole garden if we’re not careful. So we might as well grow mint indoors because when growing kitchen herbs, we get the added pleasure of reaching over and snapping off a few leaves to use as we’re cooking.
Indoor Herb Growing Tips:
When growing herbs in pots, we should also give our herbs a periodic feeding and we should re-pot them every year to make sure the soil is fresh and remains nutritious.
And remember, we have to replant “annuals” every year because they only live for the one growing season and the perennials have to come indoors for the cold winter.
Lastly, use your herbs! Harvest and pick foliage occasionally because this not only will be a benefit to you, it will cause the herbs to be happier and healthier with thicker stronger growth.
So we’re going to use our herbs in our recipes, and we’ll look back at our article about how to dry and preserve them and… we’ll share them with our friends. It doesn’t get much better than that.