Just because the temperatures have turned cold outdoors it doesn’t mean you can’t grow delicious herbs indoors – especially when you can do it with ease by growing them right on your windowsill!
Not only do herbs add a bit of color and life to your interior spaces, they can really add a big punch to a wide variety of dishes. Whether topping off a potato dish with chives, or adding oregano to a zesty Italian dish, having fresh herbs on hand through the long winter months can flavor your winter cooking like never before.
But what’s really great about growing herbs inside is that it doesn’t require a lot of space or effort. In fact, herbs can grow and flourish incredibly well on a small windowsill without any problem at all!
Unlike most vegetable plants that require extremely fertile soil and longer hours of light to grow, mature and produce, many herbs can flourish without the need for power-packed nutrients and long hours of daily lighting.
In addition, herbs tend to grow in a more compact fashion. That allows for multiple plants to grow and produce in a small space. One thing is for sure, all of those advantages make herbs perfect for windowsill growing!
Growing Herbs Indoors On A Windowsill – The Basics
Choose A Southern Facing Window
When it comes to growing herbs indoors on a windowsill, there are a few important factors to consider. The first and most important of which is to know which direction your window faces. When growing herbs, a south-facing window is the window of choice.
Why are southern facing windows the best? Quite simply, because they allow for the most winter sun to reach plants. If there are no outside obstructions (trees, bushes, structures, etc.), a southern facing window can usually provide at least 6 hours of good lighting for plants -and in some locations, even up to 8!
The reason for this is that in the winter, the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west, but it bends on a much more southerly arc. As it does, it provides light to the southern facing window more than any other window direction.
Selecting The Right Size Container – How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Once you have selected a good location for growing your herbs, the next step is to select the right pot for the job. Windowsills can measure anywhere from two inches to ten inches in depth, so choosing a pot that fits securely is a must.
For most average windowsills, a four inch diameter pot works well. At four inches, there is plenty of room for the roots of nearly all herbs to expand with ease. Even better, at that size, the pots fit securely on most standard windowsills.
As when growing in any container, always make sure there are drainage holes in your pot. Without the ability to drain away excess water, herbs can easily rot away.
One final note on selecting containers, it is always a good idea when growing on a windowsill to have some type of saucer under the pot. Water and soil can easily drip through the bottom of the holes in the pot and damage the windowsill. A small saucer or plate underneath will keep any damage from occurring.
Selecting Your Soil – How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Whether you are starting your herbs from seed, potting up starts of herbs from your outdoor garden, or purchasing established herbs already in pots, it is important to make sure your plants are growing in a fertile, well-draining potting soil mix. See: How To Re-Pot & Bring Herbs Indoors To Grow And Use All Winter Long!
Although herbs do not require a massive amount of nutrients, quality soil that drains well will keep them thriving through the long winter. With herbs, there is no need for special mixes, a good, basic all-purpose potting soil will work well.
Now that we have covered the how and where of growing herbs indoors, here is a look at three of the easiest of all herbs to grow indoors through the winter months. All three of the selections below can grow with minimal effort and care, and have you flavoring all kinds of great dishes this winter!
3 Simple Herbs To Grow Indoors This Winter!
Mint – How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Mint is one herb that can handle almost any climate and growing condition. Not only does it freshen up the air with it’s fragrant aroma, it lends itself to a lot of uses in the kitchen as well.
Mint needs around 6 hours of passive window lighting to continue growing well indoors. It will suffer more from over-watering than under-watering. With that in mind, allow the soil to dry out between watering, and only water to slightly moisten the soil
Snip off leaves as needed, and trim back if growth becomes to aggressive. If potting outside in the spring, be sure to keep the plant in a container. Mint is an aggressive grower, and can become invasive if allowed to grow uninhibited outdoors. Plant Product Link : Mint Plants
Chives – How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Chives, like mint, are one of the easiest herbs of all to grow and maintain. They are perfect for adding a little onion flavor to soups, salads, casseroles and more. And of course, wonderful for giving a little zip to potatoes too!
Chives grow easily from seed or by division from an existing plant. Unlike mint, they do require a fair amount of moisture when growing in pots or containers.
Water plants thoroughly when the soil becomes dry to the touch. Harvest the tips as needed by snipping off with sharp scissors. When spring arrives, they can be kept indoors, or planted outside to expand their growth. Plant Product Link : Chive Plants
Oregano – How To Grow Herbs Indoors
Oregano is one the most widely used of all herbs, flavoring everything from Italian and Greek cuisine, to authentic Mexican. And it also happens to be simple and easy to grow indoors!
The key to growing oregano indoors is keeping the root ball submerged in the soil, while keeping the lower stems out of the dirt. The lower stems can easily rot off, especially if the plant is over-watered. Like chives, simply snip off leaves and stems as needed to enjoy all winter long!
And don’t stop with just these three! You can grow so many more herbs indoors such as thyme, rosemary, basil and more with just a little work. For a great list of herbs to grow from seed, check out this herb seed link from Eden Brothers Herbs. Here is to growing herbs this winter indoors!
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