11 Simple Steps to Growing Herbs Indoors: Get Fresh Herbs All Year Long!

Growing herbs indoors

Growing herbs indoors is one of the best ways to ensure that you always have access to fresh herbs, right at your fingertips.

Having an indoor garden is not only rewarding but can be lots of fun too. Saving a few dollars on your monthly grocery bill isn’t too shabby, either.😉

Our team has put together this comprehensive guide to help you set up your indoor herbs garden, step by step. All the information you need is laid out in 11 simple steps, anyone can use.

To get the complete picture, read the entire article. But, if you’re short on time, click on one of the following links to jump to the related sections below:

1. Choose The Right Herbs
2. Get The Supplies For Your Indoor Herb Garden
3. The Right Temperature For Growing Herbs Indoors
4. Pick A Location For Your Herb Garden
5. Add soil To Your Container(s)
6. Use Seeds, Seedlings, Or Scraps To Grow Herbs Indoors
7. Here’s How To Plant Herbs Indoors
8. Water And Care For Your Indoor Herbs
9. Add fertilizer
10. Watch Out For Pests And Diseases
11. Harvest Your Herbs As Needed

It’s super simple and the steps are easy to understand and follow.

But if it gets a bit overwhelming, you also have the option to purchase an indoor herb garden kit. They are easy to set up and very effective. So, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re ready to learn exactly how to grow your own herbs indoors, let’s get started!

1. Choose The Right Herbs

When growing herbs indoors, it is important to choose the right herbs for your climate and growing conditions. Some herbs are better suited for growing indoors than others.

Depending on the growing conditions in your home, there are a number of different herbs that you can grow indoors.

Here is a list of some popular herbs that tend to grow well indoors:

Basil: This herb is perfect for growing in containers but it needs plenty of sunlight. Basil has a strong flavor and is great for adding to tomato sauce, pasta dishes, salads, and soups.

Chives: This herb is perfect for growing in containers on a windowsill or growing indoors with grow lights. Chives have an “oniony” taste and are great for adding to salad dressings, stir fry dishes, and dips.

Cilantro: Cilantro grows well indoors if you can provide it with plenty of sunlight (six hours per day) or grow lights. The leaves of this plant are called cilantro and the seeds are referred to as coriander. Both parts of the plant can be used in cooking! Try using them to season rice pilafs, tacos, salsa, or chili recipes.

Dill: Dill has fine-textured fronds that have a strong flavor and can be used in vinegar, pickling or to season a variety of different dishes.

Mint: This plant will grow well indoors if you provide it with plenty of sunlight. Similar to cilantro, it needs about six hours of sunlight (or grow lights) per day. Mint is great for growing on its own or growing alongside other herbs, such as basil and chives. It has a strong flavor that works well in hot tea, salad dressings, drinks, and desserts.

Parsley: Parsley grows very slowly but provides an abundance of leaves once it gets going! The leaves have a mild taste and are perfect for seasoning salads, soups, and sauces.

Rosemary: This herb needs lots of sunlight. You may want to try growing them in a greenhouse, window, or under grow lights. Rosemary is wonderful for seasoning meats and vegetables, soups, and stews.

Sage: Sage grows well indoors if it can receive plenty of sunlight. This herb has a strong flavor that works well with poultry dishes, jams, jellies, and fruit desserts!

Thyme: Thyme doesn’t need as much sunlight as other herbs so growing thyme indoors can be easier than growing rosemary, for example. It is great for seasoning fish dishes (especially salmon), salads, and stuffing recipes!

Choosing the right herbs for growing indoors can sometimes be confusing. There are so many different options to choose from. Review the list above to see which ones are suitable for the environment in your home. Also, choose herbs that you like and use often.

If you are still unsure which herbs to choose, talk to your local nursery or garden center for some advice.

2. Get The Supplies For Your Indoor Herb Garden

Now that you know which herbs to grow, it is time to get your supplies ready!

When growing herbs indoors, you will need at least three (3) basic things (apart from the plants themselves): container(s) or pot(s), soil, and fertilizer.

The size of the container(s) or pot(s) you choose will depend on the size of the herb. For most herbs, a 10-inch diameter pot or container should be sufficient. However, if you are growing larger herbs like rosemary or sage, you may need a larger pot.

Make sure to use soil that is specifically made for growing plants in containers. This type of soil will retain moisture better than regular garden soil. Good potting soil should work fine.

You will also need to fertilize your plants. Fertilizer will help your herbs grow lush and strong. Avoid using any type of chemical fertilizer as it may damage your herb plants. Instead, purchase a slow-release fertilizer from your local garden center.

If you have suitable lighting indoors, that’s great! But if the lighting in your home is not adequate, you may need to purchase some grow lights.

3. The Right Temperature For Growing Herbs Indoors

Most herbs generally grow well when the indoor temperature is between 55 to 70°F. Some of them can tolerate cooler temperatures and some can tolerate warmer temperatures. [1]

If the temperature in your home is not suitable for your herb plants, you can invest in some equipment to regulate the temperature.

There are many ways to regulate the indoor temperature of your herb garden. You can use a space heater, a fan, or an air conditioner to maintain the temperature at the right level. You may also need to use a humidifier if the indoor air is too dry.

4. Pick A Location For Your Herb Garden

When growing herbs indoors, you have a few different options for where to place your garden.

The most important factor to consider is the amount of sunlight the plants will receive. Most herbs need at least six hours of sunlight per day.

If you have a sunny window in your home, that would be a great place to set up your herb garden. Another option is to set up your garden in a greenhouse.

If you do not have enough sunlight, you can use grow lights to provide the necessary light.

Also, if you have young children or pets, put your herbs in a place where they cannot reach them.

5. Add soil To Your Container(s)

When growing herbs indoors, it’s important to use soil and fertilizer that will help them grow healthy and strong. You can buy pre-packaged soil specifically for growing herbs, or you can make your own mix using equal parts potting soil, compost, and perlite.

When adding soil to your herb container(s), be sure to wet the mix first. This will help it settle in better and make it easier to work with.

When putting the soil in your pot(s) or container(s), don’t fill them right up to the brim. Leave 2 to 3 inches of space from the brim to provide some space for watering.

Check out our container gardening article for more great tips.

6. Use Seeds, Seedlings, Or Scraps To Grow Herbs Indoors

Herb seeds, seedlings, scraps
You can grow herbs from seeds, seedlings, or leftover herbs

One of the cool things about growing herbs indoors is you can use seeds, seedlings, or scraps to grow your herbs.

If you would like to use seeds, you can soak them first at room temperature (this will help them germinate and sprout faster). This option is best for growing common culinary herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley.

If you plan on growing bushy herbs like thyme or rosemary, then growing seedlings is a better option. While it may take longer to grow from seeds, growing from seedlings will give your plants a head start to growing their strongest and best.

Finally, if you have some leftover herbs from cooking or growing your own plants outside, you can use those scraps to grow your herbs indoors. Just make sure they are clean and free of any pesticides before planting them in the container.

7. Here’s How To Plant Herbs Indoors

Planting herbs indoors
Planting herbs indoors is super easy.

If you’re using seeds to grow your herbs, you should read the seeds packet for planting instructions. Most herb seeds can be planted between 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in the soil or growing medium. Keep the soil moist until they start growing.

When you are planting herbs from seedlings, use a trowel or spoon to dig a hole in the soil that is large enough to accommodate the roots of the seedling. Gently remove the seedling from the container it came in and place it in the hole. Make sure not to damage the roots in any way when planting. Fill in the space around the seedling with soil and tamp it down gently. Water the newly planted seedling well.

Another way to grow herbs is to use the leftovers from the ones you bought at the market or grocery store. Just cut off a few inches of the stem from a herb plant and place it in a glass of water. Put the glass on a sunny windowsill and change the water every other day. Roots will start to grow in a few days. You can then transplant the herb into the soil once it has grown a bit.

If you’re growing more than one type of herb, you may want to plant them in separate pots or containers. This will make it easier for you to identify them and keep them growing in their optimal conditions.

If growing multiple types of herbs together in a single container or pot, keep all herbs at least 6 inches apart from each other to provide room for proper growth.

8. Water And Care For Your Indoor Herbs

Watering is another important aspect of growing herbs indoors. You will want the potting soil to be moist but not too wet and not too dry.

Check the soil a few times a week by sticking your finger in the dirt to feel if it needs water or not. If you see that the top inch or two of dirt is dry, then that means that you should water it.

Don’t overwater or underwater your plants because both situations can be detrimental to their health. Too much water can kill your growing herb plants because it deprives them of oxygen.  Also, too little water will deprive them of moisture and make them grow slowly.

The best way to water your indoor herb garden is to use a watering can with a long spout. This will help you water the base of the plants (rather than the leaves) and will allow you to water the plants evenly.

9. Add fertilizer

When growing herbs indoors, it’s important to use the right fertilizer. A good rule of thumb is to use a water-soluble fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and potassium, with a small amount of phosphorus. This will help promote healthy, green growth.

If you want to learn how to make your own fertilizer, check out our article on homemade fertilizer recipes.

When applying fertilizer to herbs indoors, it’s important to be careful not to over-fertilize. This can cause the herbs to become weak and unhealthy. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully, and avoid fertilizing more than once a week.

10. Watch Out For Pests And Diseases

Herb pests and diseases
Look out for pests and diseases and deal with them right away.

When growing herbs indoors, it’s important to be aware of the various pests and diseases that can affect them. Some common pests and diseases that can occur are aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, powdery mildew, and botrytis.

If you notice any signs of pests or diseases on your herbs, it’s important to take action right away. This will help to prevent the problem from spreading and will keep your plants healthy.

Here are some tips for identifying and dealing with pests and diseases on herbs indoors:

Aphids are small, green insects that can cause leaves to curl and turn yellow. They can be treated with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

Spider mites are tiny creatures that spin webs on the undersides of leaves. They can be treated with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, and by vacuuming up their webbing.

Whiteflies are tiny, white bugs that fly around when disturbed. They can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Powdery Mildew appears as a white powdery substance on the leaves and stems of growing herbs. It can be treated with a fungicide that contains the active ingredient, chlorothalonil. [2]

Botrytis is a gray mold that can appear on growing herbs indoors when conditions are wet and humid. It can be treated by allowing air to circulate around your plant and by avoiding overwatering. You should also cut away and dispose of the affected parts of plants.

11. Harvest Your Herbs As Needed

Harvesting herbs
Growing herbs indoors provides excellent long-term benefits.

Harvesting is the grand reward of growing herbs indoors!

You can begin to harvest your herbs a short time after they start to grow. For most herbs, you can begin to harvest them once they have a few leaves. We recommend waiting 4 to 6 weeks after planting before you begin to harvest your herbs.

You can harvest them continuously over a long period of time. But it’s important not to over-harvest your plants. Be sure to only take what you need. Additionally, make sure to leave enough foliage on the plant so it can continue growing.

Harvesting herbs is super easy. You may need a small scissor or garden shear to make things easier. Here are some quick tips on how to harvest some of your favorite herbs:

Basil: Harvest the leaves or stems of basil as needed. You can cut them off with a scissor or garden shear. You can also pinch them off with your fingers.

Chives: Cut the chives at the base of the plant with a scissor or small shear. But avoid cutting into the roots.

Dill: Snip the stems when you’re ready to use your Dill.

Mint: You can pick a few leaves or you can cut off an entire stem.

Parsley & Cilantro: Just snip off a few stems or leaves, as needed.

Rosemary: Just like Parsley and Cilantro, you can snip off a few Rosemary stems, when needed.

What To Do Next?

Now that you know a little bit more about growing herbs indoors, it’s time to get started! Herbs make great indoor plants because they don’t require a lot of care and they add fresh flavor to any dish.

Follow the tips we shared in this article and you’ll be on your way to growing your own delicious herbs all year long. Don’t forget to experiment with different herbs and flavors – you may find some new favorites along the way. Thanks for reading!

You can check out our other gardening guides for more great tips and gardening ideas.


Our team of experienced gardeners has put together this article to help you with your gardening journey. Our goal is to ensure that your gardening experience is enjoyable and rewarding. We are constantly adding and updating articles, so take some time to explore our site.

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