8 Herbs for Your Indoor Herb Garden

There is nothing like picking fresh thyme for your healthy chicken dinner on a hot summer afternoon.
There is also, nothing like picking fresh mint for your honey sweetened tea from your indoor garden on a freezing morning in the dead of winter.
Make that your indoor herb garden.
While growing vegetables indoor during the winter will require a special setup of growing lights, herbs will do just fine with a few hours of winter sun. So, even though the vegetable growing season is coming to an end, herb gardening is simply moving indoors.
There are many kinds of herbs that can grow indoors. I choose the eight bellow because they are common and very easy to grow.
8 Herbs for Your Indoor Herb Garden
1. Parsley
Parsley comes from the Mediterranean and is a part of the Apiaceae plant family. There are two main groups of parsley: curly leaf and flat (Italian) leaf. A third kind of parsley is less known and is grown mainly for its root (leaves are edible too). Italian parsley is used more commonly for cooking and salads because of it’s stronger flavor while curly leaf parsley is used more for decorative garnish.
Parsley is a biennial herb that prefers cool weather. It will grow a flower stalk in the second year. Although parsley will reseed itself and keep growing as long as weather conditions are appropriate, you might not find the quality of the leaves comparable to the first year.
Parsley contains a volatile oil named Myristicin, which has been shown to suppress formation of tumors. It is high in vitamin K, C, and A and is a good source of folic acid (promotes healthy heart).

2. Cilantro (Also Known as Coriander if Used for its Seed)
Cilantro comes from regions across southern Europe to southwestern Asia and northern Africa. Like parsley, it’s also a member of the Apiaceae family. Cilantro is an annual herb.
If you let cilantro go to seed, you’ll get two herbs from one plant; the leaves, and the seeds that are called coriander.Cilantro leaves are soft, thin and very flavorful. Both cilantro and coriander are commonly used in Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as many others.
Cilantro is rich in vitamin A, C, and K as well as antioxidants.

3. Thyme
Thyme comes from Southern Europe and Northern Africa and is a part of the Lamiaceae (mint) family.
There are more than 300 verities of thyme including Common Thyme, English Thyme, French Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Orange Thyme (has a citrus flavor) and many more.
Thyme is a perennial that thrives in warm, dry weather. In the South, it usually survives the winter, however, on a northern homestead it might need some protection.
Thyme is widely used in cooking and pairs delightfully with lemon and garlic. Thyme essential oil is used as a therapeutic oil as well as in soaps, lotions, and even candles.

4. Rosemary
Rosemary comes from the Mediterranean and Asia and is a part of the Lamiaceae (mint) family.
Rosemary is a fragrant, evergreen perennial but most likely will not survive a harsh winter. If cared for, it can grow many years and reach a substantial bush size of up to 3 feet tall.
The leaves are used to flavor foods, and many people use bunches of rosemary for their fragrance and decoration. You can also use rosemary as pest repellent in the garden.
Rosemary is a source of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6.
5. Chives
Chives are native to Europe, Asia, and North America. They are a part of the Amaryllidaceae plant family and a relative of garlic and onion.
Chives are a perennial herb that grows in dense clusters, 12-20 inches tall. They are the smallest specie of the onion family and has hollow leaves and purple flowers that are also edible (preferably before they open).
Chives are a flavoring herb that can be used just like green onions; in soups, salads, fish, potatoes and many other dishes.
Chives are rich in vitamines A and C and contain trace amounts of sulfur. They are rich in calcium and iron. They have the same medical properties of garlic but are much weaker.

6. Oregano
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean and is a part of the Lamiaceae (mint) family like rosemary.
Oregano is a perennial. It will survive a cold winter. However, it’s most comfortable in hot, dry claimants. If left alone, this herb will spread and take over the garden.
Oregano is widely used as a culinary herb either fresh or dry. It’s an inseparable part of almost any Italian or Greek dish. It is also used to flavor meat, fish, vegetables, and sauces.
Oregano has too many health benefits to list here. It is rich in antioxidants and is antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Oregano essential oil is used to support the digestive system and relieve joint pain among many other uses.

7. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is native to North Africa, South-Central Europe, and the Mediterranean. It is also a part of the Lamiaceae (mint) family.
Lemon balm is a perennial that grows in clumps and will spread vigorously. During the summer, small white flowers will appear. Those flowers are full of nectar and will attract bees.
Lemon balm is mostly used for tea and sometimes to flavor ice cream.
Lemon balm will help support your immune system. It is rich in antioxidants and is antiviral and antibacterial. Lemon balm can help reduce redness and itching from eczema and infections. It will also help with insomnia and tension.

8. Mint
Mint is native to the Mediterranean and is a part of the Lamiaceae family.
Mint is a perennial herb that likes to grow close to pools of water or in misty areas. It likes lower temperatures and partial shade but will grow in full sun as well. Mint will send runners and take over the garden if not contained.
Mint will attract the good bugs and will deter the bad bugs. You can use mint in teas, salads, and desserts.
Mint promotes healthy digestion, can relieve nausea and headaches, and is very helpful with respiratory disorders.
So now that we know a little bit about each of the herbs for the indoor herb garden let’s see how we get this garden going…
Where Can I Get Herbs for My Indoor Herb Garden?
There are four options here:
Seeds – You can start all of the herbs above from seed. Some are easier than others to start. If you want to start from seeds, you will have to start thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives,mint and lemon balm during the growing season when the days are longer, and there is more available light. Start them outdoors, and then move the pots indoors in the fall.
You should start parsley and cilantro from seed. You can start seeds in spring or in fall. Let me suggest a very cool product here: Johnny’s selected seeds seed disks for parsley and cilantro. Those are 4” round fabric disks that will fit in a 6” pot. They have some seeds inside them that are pre-spaced. The disks are very easy to plant. You can find other seed disks on their site.
Cutting – you can start rosemary, mint, oregano, lemon balm, and thyme from cutting. So, if you have a family member or a friend who grows one of those, you’re in luck!
With scissors or a sharp knife, cut a 3-4 inch stem of new growth from a healthy plant, preferably one that is growing outdoors. Clean the leaves from the bottom inch and a half, and place the stem in a jar of water. The water should reach the lower leaves. Place the jar on your windowsill or in another place with plenty of light, but not direct sun. Change the water daily. Every herb is different, you can see roots after two days or three weeks. When roots are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, it’s time to plant the stem in soil.
Division – you can divide chives, lemon balm, and mint, and you might be able to divide oregano as well.
This job is better done on an overcast, damp day in the spring. You will need a shovel, a pair of pruning clippers and a healthy plant, preferably one that is growing outdoors (in your garden or someone else’s). Dig around the area that you want to divide. Try to go 10 to 15 inches deep. Then, place your shovel in the center of the plant (or off center, depending on how big of a section you want to divide), and push down on the shovel to cut and divide the plant. You might need the help of the clippers to cut some roots.
Make sure to fill the hole you left with compost and soil and to plant the divided piece in a pot with good garden soil and compost. Water both plants well.
Nursery – Your local plant nursery, home and garden supply store, or even your local supermarket should have rosemary, mint, oregano, lemon balm, and thyme in small pots for sale. They might have seeds for cilantro and parsley as well.
It will be a small investment to purchase your herbs this way, however, except cilantro and parsley, you won’t have to buy them ever again assuming you care for them properly.
How Should I Plant My Herbs?
Here are a few points to consider…
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
    on Feb 11, 2018

    how do I grow a kitchen herb garden when I have no sunlight

    • Kathy
      on Sep 18, 2018


      Do you have any sunlight in any part of your house? Where eve you have sunlight put a small pot in a saucer and water. If you don't ever get ant sun, get a end table and attach a light to it, then it will get some light & you can have a indoor herb garden.

      Hope this helps

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1 comment
  • Small garden
    on Oct 9, 2015

    very informative. it helps a lot to do my blogging as well. i am writing a blog post "19 herbs with benefits "

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