Herbs are such a fantastic addition to your indoor garden! Not only are they one of the easiest plants to grow, but they also don’t take a lot of room and yet are so useful for your culinary needs!
Nothing is quite as blissful as preparing a beautiful homemade meal and having to only reach out and snip off the necessary aromatic and tasty supplements to your recipe from your nearby living herb collection! No more dried herbs that are stale and blah! These will provide fabulous fragrance to your kitchen and make your menu pop with flavor!
So what herbs should you grow? Here are my personal favorites that I don’t want to be without and that grow nicely in my windowsill or on nearby kitchen shelves.
This herb is especially loved by my family. Not only is it far better as a fresh herb, but it is so versatile and flavorful. Best grown in a medium-size pot, it will continue to replenish its leaves each time it is “pruned” (picked for your recipes!). It will need to be fertilized regularly depending on how often you pluck the leaves. Don’t let your basil “flower” but pinch off any blossoms for sustained foliage growth.
It needs at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and loves room temperature. It may not be able to tolerate being placed too near a cool window if the temperature outside is cold, so consider its position carefully. Make sure that the soil in the pot stays moist but not saturated or bone dry.
Totally fun and interesting, mint is a great addition when you are creating unique dishes. Plus, it tastes great in desserts, teas, and appetizers. One of the great things about mint is that it is fairly prolific. Once you get it started, it just keeps growing! This means that you will always have a plentiful supply!
As with most herbs, mint is easy to grow and only requires well-drained moist soil, a bit of fertilizer, and several hours of indirect sunlight. Mint tends to put out runners, so you will need a wider pot as it grows bigger. Pinch off any blossoms or spindly stalks to help it bush out more heavily.
A wonderful culinary herb, thyme is a great compliment to potato dishes, meat rubs, and other savory foods. Growing your own on your windowsill means that you will have an abundant supply of fresh leaves that are so much more aromatic than dried.
Not tolerant of soggy roots, thyme thrives best in a mixture of potting soil, sand, perlite, and peat moss in a clay pot with proper drainage. It loves room temperature and will bless your kitchen with a fantastic aroma once it gets established. You will want to cut back any woody stalks to promote new leaf growth and fertilize with diluted fish emulsion or liquid seaweed to give it the nutrients it needs.
A must have if you like to cook Italian food, Greek oregano is also fabulous as a seasoning for chicken, vegetables, soup, and Mediterranean dishes. It also can be used medicinally and can be made into a tea.
As with the other herbs that we’ve covered, oregano is perfect for the indoor garden. It is easy to get established and requires little care beyond the usual: Sunlight for about 6 hours, room temperature of approximately 60-75 degrees F (16-24 degrees C), occasional liquid fertilizer, and well-drained soil. Oregano is a bit more drought-tolerant after it reaches maturity, so it is okay if the soil becomes a little drier between waterings. Otherwise slightly moist soil is fine.
Both ornamental and culinary, this herb can grow about a foot tall, so consider the size of your pot and your shelf. There are both curly-leaf and flat-leaf varieties, with the latter being a bit more flavorful. This herb will make your dinner presentation pop with color and beauty!
Kitchens are a prime location to grow parsley because it loves the warmth and humidity that occur a bit more naturally. Parsley also does well with diluted fish emulsion for fertilizer and will leaf more prolifically if you pinch off any blossoms. Because these plants do tend to grow a bit tall, make sure to turn the pots every few days so that they don’t get spindly while trying to reach sunlight.
There are two types of chives, those that are mild onion flavored and those that taste like mild garlic. The first has foliage that is round and hollow, while the latter is flatter in appearance. Both types are easy to grow indoors and appear as clusters of tiny bulbs that look like they are competing for space near the soil surface. They like the conditions of a windowsill and can tolerate fairly frequent clippings.
Perfect for garnishing, these will bring the savory flavor of onion and garlic to your menu with minimal effort. They also make a lovely presentation of bright green when added fresh to any dish. These are a family favorite and are easy to harvest with a pair of kitchen shears.
Also known as coriander when in seed form, cilantro is an annual that will need to be replanted once the plants reach maturity. There are several different varieties with varying flavors and looks, but they each have their own special appeal. I encourage you to try different types to find your favorite. Excellent for homemade salsa or as a topping on any Mexican dish, cilantro is a staple in our home.
Make sure to provide well-drained, but moist soil for these plants and give them 4-5 hours of window sunlight each day. They may tend to become spindly if not turned often. Though they may require a bit more attention than other herbs, cilantro is well worth any extra effort.
Though there are many other culinary or medicinal herbs that you may want to try, these 7 types will definitely get you started. They will provide you with a broad range of flavors and uses to get you well on your way to having a beautiful little indoor garden. Not only will they enhance your home-cooked meals, but they will beautify your space and bring a bit of the natural world inside. You will enjoy their fragrance, their beautiful colors, and their deliciousness, as well. What herbs would you like to grow on your windowsill? We’d love to hear about your favorites!
Melanie is mom to five energetic kids, including a sweet little toddler. She enjoys homeschooling her children from a peaceful parenting perspective and traveling with her family whenever she can.