Keeping houseplants can benefit your home in many ways, ranging from improved air quality to helping reduce stress levels. But one of the biggest perks to keeping houseplants is that some of them can have very practical purposes around the house, such as being edible. If you have some space near one of your windows, starting an indoor herb garden is an excellent way to put that area to good use.
While there are many different benefits to keeping houseplants, starting an indoor herb garden not only helps make your meals more delicious, they can help you save money on your grocery bill. Buying fresh herbs from the grocery store can get expensive. According to Investopedia, half an ounce of oregano or rosemary sells for about $2, but a package of seeds can be purchased for even less than that. So instead of continually purchasing herbs that can only be used once, you could have an ongoing source of fresh herbs for less than the amount of what it would cost to buy them at the store once.
So, what do you need to know before starting your own indoor herb garden?
Choose the Right Herbs
Some herbs are easier to keep indoors than others. Things like thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint, chives, parsley, bay, and lemongrass are all herbs that will grow well indoors.
Where to Place Your Herbs
To successfully grow herbs indoors, plenty of light is essential. Herbs typically need about four to six hours of sunlight per day. Try to put your indoor herb garden by a window that faces south or southwest, although a west or east facing window will also work. If you aren’t able to find a place with enough natural sunlight, electrical lights can help them get the light they need.
Not only do you have lighting to think of, you also have to think about temperature. Herbs tend to like being kept at about 65-70 degrees fahrenheit, which is pretty easy to maintain indoors. But you won’t want to keep your herbs near sources of heat or coldness, such as by a furnace or air conditioning vent or directly against a window’s pane of glass.
Planting Your Herbs
When planting your herbs, make sure you put them in a terracotta pot or another type of container which has holes for drainage in it. It’s very important that your herb containers have drainage, otherwise your plants will suffer from overwatering. Just don’t forget to place something underneath your pots to prevent surfaces from being damaged by water.
If you’re planting more than one type of herb, be sure to give each of them their own separate container and make sure you use potting soil, not dirt from your outdoor garden, which can become compacted when used in a pot.
Herbs need to be watered regularly, but you can’t let them get overwatered. Too much water will cause the roots to rot. Water them frequently, but give the dirt a chance to dry out a bit first. If the leaves start turning yellow, that’s a sign your herbs are getting overwatered.