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In the summer my favourite place to be is out in our garden. When winter comes it’s far too cold here to be growing anything outside. That doesn’t mean that I stop growing food though, there are many herbs you can grow indoors in the winter!
- Can You Grow Herbs Indoors In The Winter?
- Growing Rosemary Indoors
- Growing Mint Indoors
- Growing Parsley Indoors
- Growing Oregano Indoors
- Growing Basil Indoors
Can You Grow Herbs Indoors In The Winter?
Yes, you can! Many cooks enjoy growing herbs indoors in the winter. While it might be too cold outside to work in the garden, you can bring a smaller version of that inside.
Growing your own herbs indoors during the winter has many benefits. This time of year fresh herbs are much more expensive in the grocery store. These herbs are grown in more southern climates or greenhouses and shipped a long distance before they reach your local store.
I’ve grown frustrated with buying “fresh” herbs over the years only to find they hardly last a day after bringing them home. Growing your own herbs indoors means you will have high quality, fresh, organic herbs available to you at a very low cost!
Growing herbs indoors also means your home will smell amazing! While it’s defiantly not overpowering, when you water your herbs or brush by them you’re welcomed with their lovely scent. Free aromatherapy anyone? It certainly helps to cheer me up on the dark, winter days.
Here are some herbs that you can grow indoors and enjoy all winter long.
Growing Rosemary Indoors
Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs to grow indoors, it’s just a perfect flavour for winter recipes. It’s easy to find started rosemary plants in the late fall or early winter months as it’s often sold as Christmas tree topiaries.
Rosemary has a reputation for being hard to grow indoors but a few simple steps will have your rosemary thriving.
Don’t Over Water Rosemary
Rosemary prefers drier growing conditions and really doesn’t like to grow in soggy soil. It’s best to let your rosemary dry out a little in-between waterings. Only water when it starts to look a little too dry. Growing in terracotta pots will help to keep its roots dryer then a plastic pot will. You can also use a handy moisture gauge that will let you know when it’s time to water your rosemary.
Provide Enough Light
Rosemary needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. Place your rosemary pots in your sunniest window. If you can’t provide enough natural light then use artificial lighting. Using a lamp with a fluorescent bulb will be enough light for a few plants.
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Growing Mint Indoors
Mint is much easier to grow indoors then Rosemary. All mints prefer moist soil so as soon as the top of the soil starts to dry out water it.
Humid Growing Conditions
Mint likes a humid environment you can help provide this by misting it leaves when you water it. Another easy way to provide humidity is to fill a plant saucer with stones and fill it with water. Then place your pot of mint on top of this.
The water will provide the humidity your mint plant will love and the stones keep the pot from being submerged in the water. You wouldn’t want the plant to sit in water constantly as the soil would become too wet and the roots would rot.
Lighting Conditions For Growing Mint Indoors
Mint is a shade loving plant and this is one of the things that makes it so easy to grow indoors. Place your plant in a window that gets 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Growing Parsley Indoors
Parsley is a very easy to grow herb you just can’t pass up adding to your indoor herb garden. Parsley is used in so many recipes and fresh parsley tastes so much better than store-bought dried parsley.
Parsley Likes Moist Soil
Like mint, parsley prefers moist soil. When you notice the top of the soil is starting to dry out, that is the perfect time to water it.
Parsley Plants Need Humidity
When growing parsley indoors you need to provide enough humidity. If your herbs are in a kitchen window you may find that it receives enough humidity from your cooking.
If your parsley leaves start to look dry, mist the leaves lightly. It can also be helpful to place a saucer of stones and water under the plant pot. As the water evaporates it will provide moisture to the leaves.
Growing Oregano Indoors
If I could only grow one herb indoors it would have to be oregano. The flavour of fresh oregano is so amazing compared to dried oregano.
It’s the ultimate herb for any indoor herb garden. Not to mention it also makes your home smell so good.
Fresh oregano is perfect for any tomato based recipe, everything from pasta sauce to lasagna, or adding more flavour to your soup or chili.
Oregano prefers drier soil conditions. So it’s best to let the potting soil dry out a little between each watering. When the top inch of the soil is dry it’s the perfect time to water your oregano.
Lighting Needs For Growing Oregano Indoors
Oregano is easy to grow indoors but needs enough light to thrive. Place your oregano plants in a bright window that gets at least 6 to 8 house of sunlight each day.
If you need to supplement the natural daylight you can use a lamp with a fluorescent bulb.
Keeping Oregano From Getting Leggy
Oregano has a tendency to grow long and leggy indoors with smaller leaves. Providing enough light will help a lot to prevent this. But the best way to keep your oregano plants bushy is to harvest them often.
If you find you need to harvest your oregano more often then your using it, simply freeze or dry it to preserve for later.
Growing Basil Indoors
If you are going to grow oregano inside then you just have to grow some basil too. Basil and oregano are the perfect herb pairings for all your tomato based recipes.
One of the most important things when growing basil indoors is to get the soil moisture level right. Basil is prone to root rot in wet soils, yet likes damp soil conditions.
Try to keep the soil evenly moist and water only when the top of the soil has dried out a bit. Make sure that the container you’ve planted your basil in provides enough drainage. Look for a plant pot with larger drain holes or place an inch or so of small stones inside the bottom of the pot before filling with potting mix.
Lighting Conditions For Basil
Like oregano, basil likes a lot of light. Place your basil in a south facing window that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day. If you need to you can supplement the natural light available with fluorescent lighting or LED lighting.
Basil needs to be harvested often to keep it from growing leggy and flowering. You can read more about how to grow basil here.
Moving your basil plants outside in the summer? Learn how to grow and harvest basil outdoors.
Growing herbs indoors in the winter is very easy and helps to bring some pretty greenery to brighten up your winter day. While it’s nice to have all your herbs growing in your kitchen, you can take advantage of different lighting and humidity conditions throughout your home.
Your kitchen is normally a humid room in your home because of all the cooking that takes place. This is a great room to keep herbs like mint or parsley that thrive in humid conditions. While other rooms can be less humid and your rosemary will prefer that.
Lets bring a little bit of summer inside and have fun growing herbs indoors this winter. With minimal work you can save money and enjoy the lovely scent and taste of fresh herbs all season.
What are your favourite herbs to grow indoors?
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.