If you’ve been thinking of ditching herbs from the market and growing an indoor herb garden, we’d say it’s one of your best decisions.
More often than not, the vibrant herbs you buy from the market contain several harsh chemicals from the pesticides and herbicides used to grow them. That’s why using home-grown herbs for all your dishes can make for a healthy and safe alternative. And it would also help preserve all the nutrients in the herbs.
So, here we are with a comprehensive guide on the 19 best herbs to grow in your indoor garden. Go ahead and give it a read.
Types Of Herbs To Grow Indoors
- Types Of Herbs To Grow Indoors
- Herbs To Grow Indoors Frequently Asked Questions ?
- Herbs To Grow Indoors Final Words
Mint is, of course, a universal favorite when it comes to culinary herbs. You can utilize its cool and refreshing flavor in a range of continental dishes and drinks like mint juleps and mojitos.
Mint is known to calm the stomach and freshen the breath, but the only challenge of growing this herb is that it can spread quickly and soon take over an entire garden. So, the best way to grow it is in a small container indoors.
But make sure you monitor this culinary herb regularly and trim it to prevent uncontrolled growth. Also, you’ll need to retain moisture in the soil and provide the herb with moderate to strong light throughout.
Next up is another widely used herb that’s fundamental to cuisines from across the globe. Basil is considered best for pairing with tomatoes and is a very easy herb to grow indoors.
You can pick each leaf off a stem and add it to sandwiches, salads, and sauces as per your preferences. Interestingly, it’s also perfect for making a rich and flavorful pesto at home or adding to your favorite homemade pizza.
Basil comes enriched with antioxidants that can prevent the lowering of blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases like arthritis. While growing this plant, remember that it loves bright light and heat.
That’s why it’s best to keep the basil near a south or west-facing window or bring in a grow light. Also, make sure to use rich and organic potting soil for the plant.
This relatively lesser-known herb is a major ingredient of herbal teas in the United States. You’ll be glad to know that chamomile can lend an apple-like flavor to any dish. That’s why it’s widely used in candies, ice cream, and jams as a natural flavoring agent. You can even incorporate this intriguing herb in fish salads, risottos, and soft breakfast cakes.
But there’s another facet to it as well — chamomile has been traditionally applied as a medicine for calming nerves and settling stomachs. Plus, it may help treat fevers and reduce inflammation.
And chamomile is just as easy to grow as basil. All you need to do is keep the plant near a window facing the south and make the soil moist, though not too wet. And in a span of 60 to 90 days, the leaves should be ready for use.
Rosemary is quite popular among connoisseurs of everything gourmet as it comes with an appealing scent and enriched flavor. Notably, such a rich flavor serves as a perfect addition to meats, poultry, and various kinds of vegetables.
Rosemary grows best when planted in soil that’s slightly dry. Also, ensure that you don’t overwater fresh leaves as that can have the opposite effect. A great benefit of including rosemary in your meals is that it can strengthen your immune system and thus lower the chances of infection.
Parsley is another intriguing option to utilize for enhancing the flavor of various foods. Its trademark bitter and mild taste can even be used for balancing the flavor in dishes such as stews. Thus, this herb is much more than just a garnish, as many might assume.
Speaking of the health benefits of this herb, it’s known to help in better digestion, improve levels of blood sugar, and support bone and kidney health. You can grow parsley at home in a deep pot containing rich and organic potting soil; just make sure the plant gets strong light. To harvest the leaves, pinch the stems off close to the base of the plant.
Doesn’t the mention of oregano make you crave a bowl of rich white sauce pasta or a tempting cheesy pizza? Well, you can grow your own oregano plant at home easily to add the seasoning to all exquisite recipes.
The growth requirements for oregano are the same as other mint plants — water whenever the soil surface is slightly dry, and never let the soil dry out completely. As for the light required, it can be moderate to strong.
Oregano can well be called a constant for Central American, Middle Eastern, and Italian cuisines and is well known for its strong antibacterial properties.
When it comes to seasoning sauces, vegetables, and meats, sage is an equally useful herb as it provides a pleasing aroma and a strong taste to the food. At the same time, you’ll need to be careful about the amount added to a particular dish; otherwise, it may overpower the rest of the flavors.
Sage is capable of relieving cuts on the skin, thanks to its antioxidant-rich composition. It has even been shown to treat memory issues and may help in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Coming to its growth requirements, the plant is simple to care for — keep it on a sunny windowsill, and use well-drained soil. And it won’t be long before you can start adding it to your favorite meals!
Thyme is known for its versatile flavor and numerous varieties, making it an integral part of almost all cuisines worldwide. The gray-green leaves and a minty, lemony smell make this herb stand out.
Interestingly, tasting fresh thyme leaves early in the morning is considered healthy and refreshing. That’s why the herb is utilized in flavoring beans, eggs, and various vegetable dishes. You can even pair this herb with poultry, tomatoes, and lamb or add it to stews and soups to balance their flavor.
Moreover, thyme is a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. Such a composition makes it beneficial for providing immune support, building healthy cells, improving bone health, and preventing blood clots.
You might’ve seen lavender being used in dressings and salads, which is due to its mild, sweet flavor. Plus, these herb-bearing beautiful purple blooms are ideal for use in syrups, marshmallows, and scones.
Lavender also has a range of health benefits, including relief from inflammatory issues, headaches, stress and anxiety, menstrual pain, and several skin conditions.
Notably, a significant feature of this herb is its ability to survive in different growing conditions. But it’s generally recommended to keep them in the sun or near a warm place to derive the best results.
Cilantro is a herb that can work wonders in any spicy dish, be it Chinese, Southeast Asian, Indian, or Mexican. So, if you like to add an exciting spicy touch to all your meals, then consider including cilantro in your indoor herb garden.
The seeds of this herb are known as coriander and should be planted early during the season to ensure the proper growth of the plant. Additionally, keep in mind that cilantro grows well in soil with moderate temperatures.
This herb also has several health benefits, including improved immunity, better heart and brain health, and lowered blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it’s a source of many essential vitamins such as Vitamin K, A, and C that are integral to maintaining overall health.
Another flavorful and aromatic herb, fennel finds use as a garnish and is also perfect for salad mixes. Plus, you can have the bulbs of the fennel plant in their raw form, grill them, or sauté them as per your preferences.
Note that this herb can grow properly in moist, well-drained soil with acidic pH and will also need plenty of sunlight. And apart from its culinary uses, the herb can enhance the appeal of your indoor garden as well.
Fennel is known to benefit our health in many ways, such as by aiding efficient weight management, reducing inflammation, and improving anemia-like symptoms.
For those who love to enhance their meals with a peppery twist, this leafy plant will fit the bill perfectly.
But remember that the growth stage of arugula will determine the flavor it would add to the meal. Thus, the flavor imparted might be tart, slightly bitter, peppery, or bright based on the maturity of the leaves you’re using.
Another interesting aspect is that arugula is just as useful in its raw form. You can add it to a salad or top your pasta and pizzas with this herb to incorporate a spicy kick.
Moreover, arugula is a fiber-rich herb low in calories, fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. That’s why it has emerged as an immensely popular ingredient among today’s generation. It’s also high in different vital nutrients such as calcium, folate, potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.
Tarragon can make even an ordinary dish taste incredible by virtue of its spicy flavor similar to that of the Mediterranean herb anise. Just add a pinch of this herb into your chicken salad, and it will impart an unforgettable taste that will keep you craving for more.
This herb also makes for a perfect addition to vegetables, sauces, and soups of all kinds. All in all, name a hearty meal, and you can easily enhance it using a bit of tarragon.
Note that this herb is nutritious, too, as it comes packed with minerals such as manganese, potassium, and iron, which can improve your health in many ways.
Imparting a bright and sweet flavor that’s similar to parsley and anise, dill is a perfect match for meat dishes, peas, and potatoes. It’s enriched with a range of vitamins and minerals and is a great antioxidant. Some common issues it may act on include muscle cramps and swelling. Also, it can freshen your breath and aid in proper digestion.
Dill can be grown in loamy, sandy, or well-drained soils that are acidic and thrive in any place that receives direct sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours daily.
The light-green, lacy, and flat leaves of the chervil plant can add an elegant touch to any indoor garden. Speaking of its use in cooking, this mild-flavored herb is pretty versatile. While it can easily upgrade any chicken or fish recipe, it’s equally useful for eggs, salads, and vegetables.
You’ll also be glad to know that chervil is primarily suitable for growing indoors. Chervil seeds grow best in a shady area and need moist soil to germinate properly. The beneficial elements present in the herb include iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, and carotene.
16. Bay Laurel
This Mediterranean herb smells like clove, mint, and balsam combined together and has thick leaves that are a key ingredient of stews and soups.
The peppery and sharp taste that bay leaves or bay laurels add to any food is loved by many. For best results, make sure to add the leaves when you begin the cooking process and take them out before you serve the meal.
You may choose to harvest some leaves from larger plants and let them dry in storage or pick the leaves as per your needs. Remember that the older the bay leaf or laurel, the stronger its flavor will be.
Coming to the conditions essential for growth, you’ll need fast-draining soil for this herb, while the best spot for the pot will be near a west or east-facing window. Efficient air circulation will help prevent any disease in these plants, so be alert that it receives the same throughout.
17. Winter Savory
The aromatic flavor of this herb is known to uplift the overall taste of a range of dishes from different cuisines. That said, winter savory is best paired with beans, poultry, and fish recipes.
Note that this herb has a tendency to use some of its flavoring intensity while it’s being cooked but remains aromatic throughout. You can even apply it for garnishing salads or flavoring liqueurs.
Furthermore, this herb has excellent antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it useful for medicinal purposes. Keep in mind that it requires well-drained soil and continuous sunlight for at least 6 hours daily to grow to its fullest.
Native to the largest continent, Chives are popularly used to complement sour cream through their mild onion and garlicky flavor. They can also enhance the taste when added to fish recipes, soups, eggs, and baked potatoes.
With regard to nutrient content, chives are rich in Vitamin C and carotene, which prevent inflammation and provide protection against lung and oral cancer. A point worth noting is that chives can be grown from both seeds and bulbs.
But when you’re using seeds, remember to keep them in a dark spot first and move the pot near a sunny window only after they’ve sprouted.
19. Cutting Celery
Last but not least, we’d like to talk about this widely used ingredient for celery recipes that comes with a strong herbaceous flavor. Such a property makes it ideal for use in stews and soups from many cuisines.
Notably, a differentiating aspect of this herb is the dark and glossy look of its leaves which have sprig-like stalks and serrated edges.
Cutting celery is also just as nutritionally rich as the other indoor herbs we’ve dealt with in our guide. It’s a great source of fiber and vitamins and contains many antioxidants as well, which impart anti-inflammatory properties to the herb.
Herbs To Grow Indoors Frequently Asked Questions ?
Should you freeze herbs to use them in your food?
Yes, you can freeze several herbs before they can be used for cooking. These include chives, cilantro, dill, winter savory, and many other herbs.
Note that freezing helps preserve the essential oils contained in the herbs, and the oils impart flavor to them.
The process of freezing a herb is simple — just rinse them, remove the leaves from the small stems, and then allow them to dry on a flat surface. Finally, you can put the dried bunch in a bag and keep it in the refrigerator. What you’ll get is a clump of herbs that can be cut and added to soups, sauces, and other dishes at any time.
What are the different ways you can dry herbs?
Certain herbs like sage, thyme, and oregano can be air-dried easily. All you need to do is hang small bunches in a well-ventilated room and keep them away from any kind of light.
And when the leaves have dried up, take them off from the steams and store them in an airtight bottle or jar.
Now, there are some herbs like parsley and basil that should ideally be dried in a dehydrator. That’s because they have succulent and thick leaves that are difficult to dry unless you reside in an arid climate. Once the leaves are dried up, transfer them to an airtight container.
How long do herbs last?
This would depend on whether the herb is annual, biennial, or perennial. While annual herbs last for just one growing season, perennial herbs can last for several growth cycles. On the other hand, biennial herbs can be grown in two distinct growth cycles.
As such, you’ll need to be aware of the growth phase of the herb at any point in time to understand how long it will last. Note that annual herbs are the most short-lived among the three types and will die after they’ve gone to seed.
Herbs To Grow Indoors Final Words
And that was all about the most useful and easy-to-grow herbs to add to your indoor garden. We hope you enjoyed this journey through the world of culinary herbs just as we did. Now, it’s time to pick the options that would be most useful for you.
So, go ahead and experience the joy of growing and using your indoor-grown herbs for your favorite meals. We bet you’ll soon feel like including more of them in your garden!