Setting Up Your Indoor Herb Garden

Don't have outdoor space or live in a cold climate?  You can still have an indoor herb garden is within your reach! Herbs are remarkably hardy and tend to thrive in small spaces. And they can be very simple or elaborate. But where to start? Here are some tips on how to grow herbs indoors!


Types of Indoor Herb Gardens

Depending on your needs and space, you may choose to do a simple windowsill garden year-round for your favorite kitchen herbs or just move your herbs indoors when the weather turns.  I do a combination of the two.  We have a large windowsill on our back porch that works great for holding some of my favorite herbs year-round for easy access.  The porch is right off the kitchen so it's super easy to step out and snip a little basil for a tomato sandwich or some rosemary for a roast.

The Windowsill Garden

The simplest way to grow herbs indoors is to line up pots on a sunny windowsill. This simple, small garden works well for those with wide windowsills and the desire for just a few herbs. All you need to start are pots with good drainage. Simply fill pots with potting soil and place them in dishes or plates (to catch water). Then you can plant seeds or plant seedlings from your garden center.

Seasonal Indoor Herb Garden

Another approach is a seasonal indoor herb garden. This works great for annual herbs that are not cold-hardy. Simply bring them indoors when the weather starts getting cold (before frost), and set them up in a sunny window area. They can be on tables, plant stands, or whatever you like. Then out they go in the spring.

Just make sure to make the transition in and out gradually, or you'll kill your herbs. To do this, move them indoors overnight only, then back out in the morning to start with. Gradually put the plants outside at a later and later hour until they are outside all day. Use the same technique for moving indoors.

Year-Round Indoor Herb Garden

Like the two types of gardens above, you'll need excellent drainage, a reliable light source (6 to 8 hours of light a day), and good soil. But for a year-round indoor herb garden, you might need a more elaborate set-up. Here are some ideas:

  • Tiered herb gardens are fun. You can use a wire plant stand. Set it into a large plastic or rubber pan (shallow), and then when you water the top layer of herbs, the water will drain out and water the herbs beneath. Set this in front of a window and you'll also create some privacy!
  • Hanging plants are very attractive, especially if you choose vine-like herbs or trailing herbs, like mints or thyme.
  • Groupings in windows are attractive. Use plant stands or pots turned upside-down to create various heights in sunny spots in your home.

Light and Water for Your Indoor Herb Garden

No matter what method or arrangement you choose, light and water are the most important factors in a successful indoor herb garden! Soil should be well-drained and watered frequently, and your plants should receive 6 to 8 hours of light a day. If you have a few hours of sun at one window and then a few hours at another, consider a movable arrangement like the tiered plant stand that you can move from window to window for optimal light exposure.

These tips should help you grow a successful herb garden indoors at any time of year!

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  1. I would love to grow herbs on my own, but can I grow them outdoor as well? I do not get sunlight through my kitchen window. (It’s covered with a carport) So I was thinking of making a garden on my back fence. Would that work, or will they die in the sun?

    1. I have an outdoor & an indoor herb garden! Just check for sun exposure on each (shade, full sun, or partial sun) and plant accordingly!

  2. I’m trying this for the first time this year. I usually kill plants, but figure since I picked up the seeds at Dollar Tree for 25 cents and 8 pots for $1 I won’t be out too much if they die.

  3. Herbs grown indoors don’t have the oils and flavour they get from the sun. It’s a good way to overwinter but outside is best. These little pots they sell for herbs are a waste of money. Parsley roots will grow to a foot if not more. If you want healthy plants and some success get a pot with lots of root space.

    1. I prefer to grow outdoors, but not everyone has the space or a long growing season. Great tip on the larger pots for increased root space.