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How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors

There's nothing nicer than being able to pluck fresh herbs from your own little garden – especially when that garden is right in your home!


  • Step 1: Choose your herbs Decide which herbs you'd like to plant. Basil, cilantro, chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme all grow well indoors.
  • Step 2: Get containers For each herb, get a container that measures, from end to end, one-third to one-half the expected height of the grown plant. Buy ones especially made for herbs from a gardening center, or use a clean milk carton or yogurt cup; just make sure you punch a hole in the bottom for drainage.
  • TIP: Basil needs a large pot because of its extensive roots.
  • Step 3: Cover the bottom and add soil Place pottery shards or gravel in the bottom of each container for drainage, and then put each container on a saucer. Fill the containers with planter soil, or use potting soil mixed with perlite.
  • Step 4: Plant your seeds Plant the seeds according to the package's instructions. Most should be sown close to the surface.
  • Step 5: Find a sunny spot Find a spot where the plants will get a lot of sunshine. A south- or west-facing window works best.
  • TIP: If you don't have a sunny window, put your herb garden under fluorescent light for 12 hours a day.
  • Step 6: Water carefully Water once a week, or whenever the soil an inch down feels dry. Add enough water so that a little runs out of the hole at the bottom of the pot. Pour out any that collects in the saucer.
  • Step 7: Consider using starter plants Consider growing some or all of your herbs from starter plants, which you can get from gardening centers. Some herbs, like mint, sage, thyme, and savory, take a long time to develop from seeds.
  • Step 8: Savor your herbs Savor the luxury of snipping off some fresh herbs whenever you want to spice up a dish.
  • FACT: In ancient Greece, students wore garlands of rosemary while studying for exams to help their memory. Today, it is being studied as a possible Alzheimer's treatment.

You Will Need

  • Containers
  • Pottery shards or gravel
  • Planter soil or potting soil and perlite
  • Saucers
  • Seeds
  • starter plants
  • or cuttings
  • A sunny spot
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Plastic wrap

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