Top 9 Tips to Successfully Grow Herbs Indoors
Herbs are plants that smell and look great and help you feel happy. Growing herbs inside is a great way to enjoy having plants and get tasty cooking ingredients. Herbs have a great smell that can fill your home and make you want to cook excellent meals. Also, they are beneficial to your health and can be used as medicine.
Growing herbs is easy, convenient, and saves money compared to buying them at the store. In addition, it’s great to do if you don’t have a proper garden. All you have to do to grow herbs indoors is make sure your micro-garden has the right conditions, and you’ll be able to have herbs on the window ledge all year long. Below are some tips that can come in handy to grow fresh herbs indoors.
Providing Strong Light
Your indoor herb garden may thrive with as much natural light as possible. Did you know that the brightness of the light affects the taste of your herbs? The best taste from herbs is cultivated under intense, bright light, and a bright, direct light source is essential to aid their development. When growing herbs indoors, adequate lighting is crucial.
Herbs benefit most from 6-8 hours of daily sun. Herbs grown indoors benefit significantly from exposure to natural light, so a sunny window or sunroom is excellent. Windows facing south are ideal. If your window sill is too small to accommodate your planters, you might put a small table in front of the window.
A suction cup window ledge can be another option if you want to cultivate herbs but don’t have a table in front of a sunny window. However, indoor herb gardening is possible even without a sunny window, and you need only supplement the existing light. Purchase a cheap task light with a CFL bulb from a hardware store if you are cultivating only one or two herb pots.
Several offline and online gardening shops sell miniature versions of this grow light. From a compact unit that can be placed on a kitchen counter to a wall-mounted garden that can accommodate a wide variety of herbs, they provide a wide range of choices. Herbs that prefer scattered sunlight are another option. Tender herbs like mint, parsley, and chives only need about 6 hours of daylight daily.
Maintaining the Right Temperature
Herbs need a specific temperature range to grow and develop when cultivated indoors. The recommended temperature ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit to grow most herbs well, which is easily achieved in the average domestic setting.
On rare occasions when you want to slow the development of your herb plants, lower the temperature to somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees. A dormant period is necessary for some plants, and ‘overwintering’ plants inside can benefit from being kept in a colder environment.
You should use caution while growing herbs near a window. When the glass gets hot from the reflected sunshine, it might burn the leaves if they brush it. In addition, some homes’ drafty windows can make the area near the glass unbearably chilly. Putting up window insulation is a simple solution; you can use a towel between the screen and the window as an alternative.
Basil has the most temperature requirements of any herb. Basil enjoys a steady temperature of 75 degrees F and would thrive in warmer conditions if given a choice. However, too much cold will cause the basil to wilt and turn brown within 24 hours, so you’ll know immediately if that happens.
Using the Proper Watering Method
The secret to successful indoor herb gardening is to let the soil dry out a little between waterings. Use your finger to feel the earth. The dirt needs watering if it dries up to approximately two inches off the surface (give or take, based on the size of your pot).
You should also water your plants slowly. Too much water could escape through the holes in the bottom before the soil could absorb it if you water too quickly.
Aim to establish a routine. Depending on the humidity level, twice or three times weekly should be sufficient. Regular watering is unnecessary for herbs. However, if you find yourself constantly watering, it could signify a few different things:
- The herb plant will outgrow its pot quickly. Turn the pot upside down and examine the roots. Do the roots need a larger container? It’s time to upgrade to a more extensive vessel because of this.
- It’s too warm. Pots can dry out faster in the heat of the sun. Relocating your herb plants away from the window may help prevent them from wilting and drying up as quickly.
- Your home may have too low of a humidity level. Place a tray of small pebbles next to your indoor garden. Submerge them until the water level is barely below the surface. Your plants will get the supplemental moisture they need when the water evaporates around them.
A soil moisture meter could be helpful if you need help determining whether or not your herbs are getting enough water. With the implementation of these valuable devices, you’ll always know when to water because you’ll know exactly how much water that soil can hold.
You shouldn’t worry that the herb plants will die because of the dryness. Although the soil appears dry on top, there is likely plenty of water in the base of the container. The purpose is for the roots to extend downward in search of a water source, resulting in a more robust and healthy root structure.
Choosing Containers or Pots
If you want to succeed in growing herbs inside, you need to make sure you choose suitable pots or containers.
The most vital factor is adequate drainage in your herb containers. Herbs grown indoors require a container with good drainage. Since herbs do not perform well in containers with stagnant water, a drainage hole is needed.
One way to evaluate its drainage is to fill a container with water and see how fast or slowly the water descends from the bottom. To prevent the roots of your plant from being wet if the water seeps too slowly, fill the bottom of the container with pebbles. It’s essential to do this inspection before planting your herbs in the soil.
When cultivating herbs in the house, it’s essential to use saucers under each pot. Without a drain, water may quickly cause damage to the table or create a mess. Some containers have matching saucers or lids included. Plastic plant saucers are for sale in most local shops’ gardening areas for significantly less than a dollar. A decorative tray might be used too.
Choosing the right size for the herb you produce is the second most significant factor in picking the ideal pot for indoor garden plants.
For instance, basil has longer roots and thus requires a more spacious container. Keeping the soil consistently moist can be challenging if you use a pot that is too large, and your herb’s growth could be impeded if you use a container that is too tiny.
When selecting a container for indoor herbs, you should consider the humidity in your home. Depending on the type of container used, humidity levels can be managed. Clay pots dry out more quickly than ceramic ones, although ceramic ones will retain water longer. Use a ceramic pot instead of a clay and porous pot if you live in a dry climate.
Have fun picking the design! Put those brightly colored pots to good use by sprucing up your kitchen or living area. Feel free to use even standard options. Many ordinary items can be reworked into attractive containers for herbs.
Using Separate Pots
Only plant one kind of herb in the same indoor growing container. This method works well when cultivating herbs in a natural setting or with a portable lighting system like an Aerogarden. However, it can be more challenging to produce the ideal habitat for several herbs in a single container if conditions are less than perfect.
When growing herbs indoors, you have the most flexibility if you plant them in individual containers. Herbs benefit from being moved around to increase their exposure to lighting and air circulation.
One herb might get eaten by a pest like a fruit fly or need to be drenched in the sink if you forget to water it. Using separate pots makes growing herbs inside much more accessible, and this lets you meet the needs of each plant on its own.
You can use those wonderful little multi-herb planter boxes you see in the local grocery and garden centers for the time being. But if you’re planning to grow herbs indoors for a long time, you might want to give each one its own pot.
Removing Fertilizer Salt Buildup
Herbs grown in pots on a windowsill can develop a fertilizer buildup problem. To keep your plants healthy, we have to fertilize them, which might leave a salty residue. The salts in your water supply may have left deposits.
Along the edge of the herb’s container, a white substance will begin to form. This accumulation is also present in the soil, which, if neglected, will eventually harm your herbs. The problem can be fixed by placing the pot over a sink and watering it so much that water drains out of the bottom of the vessel.
Before returning the pot to the indoor herb garden, ensure all the water has been drained. You should do this once every few months to keep your herbs healthy. As such, your herb containers must have adequate drainage.
Picking The Ideal Indoor Potting Mix
A potting mix with extra drainage is needed for the indoor herb garden. Check the label to be sure the potting soil you buy is designed for indoor gardens. You can lighten up dense potting soil by adding some perlite and vermiculite. If you live in a very arid region, vermiculite can help you save water by retaining a bit more of it.
Have you ever observed that some packets are labeled as potting soil while others are labeled as a potting mix? There is actually a distinction. The potting mixtures are lighter and can hold an aerator like perlite, which we need for indoor herb cultivation in pots.
Never use potting soil sourced outdoors for an indoor garden. It is significantly too small for indoor growing and won’t provide the plant’s roots enough room to flourish. You also shouldn’t bring any dirt from outside into the house because it may contain microscopic bugs or parasites.
Combine perlite, peat moss or coco peat, and coarse sand to create your potting mix. This method is more cost effective than purchasing pre-made blends and allows you to tailor the components to the specific herbs you’re cultivating.
Herbs like mint, which thrive in damp conditions, benefit from an added layer of peat. Likewise, herbs native to the Mediterranean region thrive in arid conditions, so feel free to increase the sand content of your garden.
Allowing Proper Air Circulation
The health of your herb plants will depend on how well you provide them with air. The disease can spread more quickly if there isn’t enough airflow between the plants, which might happen if the herbs are planted too closely. You should rearrange the herb garden every now and then. Make sure the airflow isn’t stagnated around your plants. Allow them some room to relax.
That’s right, be kind to your herbs. Plants respond positively to human words because it causes an increase in carbon dioxide, which they can then utilize as a source of nutrition. Also, provide your herbs a little love by petting them or having your kids do likewise. The stems will be encouraged to strengthen by the action, which mimics the wind’s blowing.
Growing herbs is a relaxing pastime and provides a ready supply of fresh herbs anytime you need it. It can be rewarding and enjoyable if you follow the proper methods. To grow your indoor herb garden successfully, remember the tips mentioned above and enjoy a happy green life.