A Guide to Growing Herbs Indoors

A guide to growing herbs in the kitchen

Seeing pots of green on my kitchen bench makes me happy. Growing herbs indoors can be a simple way to add ‘greenery’ to your kitchen. It’s also practical for cooking as there is no need to go to the garden to pick fresh herbs when you have them in arms reach.

Growing herbs indoors

But, growing herbs indoors can be tricky and I’ve had my fair share of failed attempts at keeping my herbs healthy.

I thought I’d share my successes and failures with growing herbs on my kitchen windowsill.

Despite the withering death of some herbs, there are some herbs that I’ve been able to grow all year round. There are tricks to keeping your herbs healthy so they can have the best chance to thrive.

Herbs growing on a kitchen windowsill
Herbs I’ve had growing on my kitchen bench in the past

Location for growing indoor herbs

The kitchen window is an ideal area to grow herbs because it offers maximum filtered light, which is essential for your herbs to grow.

Consider areas in your own kitchen that get a lot of sunlight as this is necessary for optimal growth.

If you don’t have any light that filters into your kitchen, make it a habit to take your potted herbs outside to get direct sunlight.

Herbs that can be successfully grown indoors

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Edible Flowers
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

Herbs that have died on my kitchen windowsill

  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Mint

What you need to plant your herbs

Seedlings from your local nursery, potting mix, a pot and saucer are all you need to plant your herbs.

If your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom, you can add stones to the bottom for drainage.

Watch for when your outdoor herbs flower – like basil. When the flowers turn brown, these can be seeds that can be planted into a pot.

When a herb dies in a pot, I will go out to my vegetable garden and notice any seedlings that have started to sprout and transplant them into one of my pots. It saves money going out to buy seedlings and it helps me use up existing supplies from the garden.

The success of growing herbs on your kitchen windowsill will be due to a combination of these factors

  • The amount of light they get – early morning to midday light is great.
  • How often they are watered – only water at the soil, not the leaves and do it each week, first thing in the morning. Always check the soil if you live in an air conditioned environment as this can dry out the soil quicker.
  • Drainage of the soil – herbs don’t like to have their roots sitting in wet soil.
  • How often the leaves are trimmed – this is easy to do if they are being used for cooking.

herbs on the kitchen windowsill

My herbs have been planted in pots that don’t have drainage holes. I have put a layer of gravel/stones at the bottom of the pot and have used potting mix and cacti mix to allow for adequate drainage.

herbs on the kitchen windowsill
From the outside looking in

Have you tried growing herbs on your kitchen windowsill? Got any tips to share?