From parsley to rosemary, fresh herbs can make an everyday dinner feel like a five-star meal. But buying herbs at the grocery can leave you with way more than you needed and backyard gardens limit your pestos to the summer months. For fresh herbs all year round, you’ll need to bring the garden indoors. Growing herbs inside is an easy way to keep ingredients right at hand and add a little life and air to your space. Whether you’re ready for a small sage plant in your kitchen or want to dive into a full garden, these indoor herb garden ideas will make your space look—and smell—great.
Before you start planting, you’ll want to pick out your herbs.
Rosemary: You can plant this versatile herb from a rootless cutting.
Basil: Make sure this plant gets plenty of sunlight and warmth.
Parsley: Grow this garnish go-to in bright light and with organic potting soil.
Chives: This perennial grows easily just about anywhere. Inside it prefers a south-facing window. Trim sections off with scissors.
Mint: This hardy leaf is essential for everything from desserts to tea and can live in moderate light.
Oregano: Take a cutting from an outside plant and plant in soil to bring this Italian-, Mexican-, and Middle Eastern–staple into your kitchen.
Thyme: Set thyme plants in bright sunlight and let the soil dry completely between waterings.
Indoor Herb Garden Ideas
Hang some pots.If you’re short on counter space, try hanging your herb garden in front of your kitchen window or on an adjacent wall.
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Reuse containers.No need to go buy planters. Just start your garden in vessels you already have such as mason jars, leftover tea tins, or a cup and saucer.
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Install a window box.Who says a window box has to go on the outside? Install a planter inside your window or simply set it on the sill.
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Design a terrarium.Protect your plants from kitchen spatters and curious cats by creating a terrarium with a glass case, such as this one from IKEA.
Get smart.Ditch the loose dirt and grow your herbs in a smart garden, such as the Click and Grow Smart Herb Garden, which will do everything for you but chop the herbs. The herbs grow in a nutrient-rich soil and come in easy-to-plant pods.
The Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 waters your plants for you.
Indoor Herb Garden Tips
Pick the right spot.
Conrad Richter, president of Richters Herbs, a Toronto-area nursery and grower that specializes in herbs, says to choose a window that gets at least four hours of sunlight per day—south-facing is ideal, though an east- or west-facing one will also work.
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Grow for good looks.
When you plant herbs of varying colors and textures, the garden becomes as decorative as it is functional. To achieve that perfect combination of beauty and flavor, Richter likes purple-leaf Rosie basil, broadleaf thyme, Tarragold tarragon, Corsican mint, purple sage, and scented geraniums.
Choose compact varieties.
When you’re growing indoors, go for herbs that look tidy in a kitchen window and won’t hog too much space. Richter’s picks: Spicy Globe and Globette basil, Kaliteri oregano, Fernleaf dill, Blue Boy rosemary, and English mint. Hoping to grow parsley? Plain and Italian are best for indoors; the curled varieties grow too slowly.
But give them room to thrive.
Herbs can be grown either in individual pots or in a shared container—it depends largely on your space and aesthetic preference. In a shared container, be sure to check the growing habit of each herb and give it the space it needs. Mint and other fast-growing, spreading varieties need individual pots so they don’t crowd out other herbs; display them together with a system like IKEA’s Satsumas plant stand.