Gardeners of any level can grow herbs indoors all year round. Given the right conditions, they can be very low maintenance. Learn the essentials here to start cultivating your own garden!

1. Know What to Grow

Growing herbs at home

The best herbs to grow indoors? Most are good for indoor garden growth. There's a great choice of seed packets and seedlings.

Here are a few examples of what you can choose:

  • Basil 
  • Catnip 
  • Chives
  • Lemon balm
  • Parsley 
  • Rosemary 
  • Sage 
  • Spearmint 
  • Thyme 

2. Give Your Herbs Lots of Sun

Sunlight for herb growth

Your herbs need at least 6 hours of light daily, preferably 8. Typically, the more they get – the better! Whether they get enough light even affects their flavor. 

Try placing your indoor herb garden in a sunroom or near a sunny, south-facing window sill. South-facing windows have the brightest light and most hours of sun during winter days. East- and west-facing windows receive bright sunlight in the morning and afternoon. 

Don’t have a sunny window sill or sunroom? A grow light can also do the trick. Place plants within a foot of the lightbulbs or follow the instructions provided. Check a garden center or shop online for a small light setup if you think you might need one. 

3. Water Wisely

Watering your herb garden

When cultivating herbs indoors, the soil should be moist but not soggy. Allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering your indoor herb garden. It can be slightly moist, but it should not be soggy. Watering infrequently and slowly is best. Before watering, test the soil by touching it with your finger. If you feel that the soil is dry about 2 inches below the soil surface, then it is time to water.

Although the top of the soil is dry, the bottom of the pot likely has enough moisture since the soil dries from the top down. The goal is to train the roots to reach deep while looking for water, encouraging a strong and healthy root system.

Remember to water slowly. If you water too quickly, the soil might not have time to absorb the water before it drains from the container. Water using a regular schedule, preferably two to three times a week depending on the moisture level in your home. 

4. Provide A Comfortable Temperature

Temperature for growing herbs indoors

Keep indoor temperatures between 60-70°F, ideally between 65-70°F. Dropping the temperature to between 60-65°F can slow growth if that’s what you need. Some plants require a dormant period, and those that are overwintering can be stored in a cooler location.

Drafty windows in your home? That may get too cold. Try adding insulation to protect your indoor herb garden. It can be as easy as placing a towel between the window and screen.

Unless it’s basil, most herbs enjoy the warmth and will thrive at temperatures of 70-75°F.

5. Remember Humidity Levels

Misting herbs

When it comes to humidity, consider planting your herbs in individual pots or placing multiples of the same plant in larger pots. They can each have different humidity preferences. 

You can create microclimates in your home so that herbs get the humidity they need. For example, place them in rooms like the kitchen or bathroom that have increased humidity if you’re cooking or showering. Try using a humidifier or mist with a spray bottle! You can also elevate pots above saucers that are lined with a few stones and some water. As the water evaporates, it creates a bit of humidity. 

6. Help your herbs breathe

Fresh air for herb growth

Good air circulation is important. Crowding can invite the spreading of disease and pests from plant to plant. Follow the “no-touch, no-feel” rule with your herbs. Pots should be spaced enough to have breathing room and not touch each other. This reduces the likelihood of issues like powdery mildew and other fungi.

Don’t have good air movement in your home? A small fan blowing gently will help increase air circulation. This also helps to improve stem growth and strength, especially in preparation for moving them outside.

7. Rotate Your Herbs

Thyme, basil and rosemary in an indoor garden

Rotating is easy, it’s a good idea, and it helps to mix up the light exposure and increase air exposure and circulation, too. Rotating on a near-weekly basis can keep them growing happily and evenly. Even turning individual plants can make a big difference, exposing different sides to light and helping to keep the growth even all the way around the pot. It prevents herbs from stretching towards the light or sun.

Want to know how to grow indoor herbs? Just follow the suggestions above. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Pick the herbs you want to harvest, and get growing!