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Having a herb garden and being able to get a fresh harvest for ingredients or garnishes in cooking is a rewarding and fun experience for any kitchen aficionado. And get this – you don’t need to have an outdoor garden or space to have the ability to grow fresh produce for your kitchen. These days more and more people are beginning to use indoor spaces of all sizes for growing their own herb gardens. Not only is a kitchen herb garden practical for the obvious cooking benefits, but they also add a beautiful splash of greenery to any room.

While it’s unlikely to find the indoor space to grow larger veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers, smaller herbs are super easy to grow inside the home. They can thrive when planted in tiny containers in cramped spaces. All you really need is a proper container or pot, some good natural sunlight, and a bit of patience.

For all indoor herbs and veggies, make sure to keep the pots or containers that they are planted in over a dish with some pebbles and small amount of standing water to allow for a constant stream of humidity that will keep the leaves healthy and happy throughout the seasons.

Don’t have a kitchen or appropriate space that gets natural light? Don’t worry. These days there are great lighting options that can help simulate the sun, so you can successfully grow plants anywhere. In the market for a grow light of your own? Check out the best on the market from our friends over at Jen’s Reviews!

There are also tons of interesting products on the market to help jumpstart the process, and unique and creative ways to find planters to fit the any space in the kitchen or home. Once the ideal setup is put in place, many herbs are low maintenance plants that can grow quickly and provide a tasty addition to any meal, and oftentimes can continue to grow for multiple cycles of use.

We’ll go over some of our favorite and easiest to grow herbs for the kitchen garden, along with some important things to know, sprinkled in with tips on how to keep your kitchen garden flourishing!

Basil

Kitchen Herb Garden Basil

Leafy and Beautiful Basil!

Topped as a finisher on pizzas or pastas, or used to make fresh pesto, basil is a universally loved herb that adds a lot to dishes. This broad, leafy green plant is incredibly easy to grow, and also provides some surprising and welcome health benefits.

Lighting

Basil appreciates a lot of light, so make sure to place in a window sill that can get up to 6 hours a day of sun. If you’re planning on using grow lights, we recommend letting the basil get up to 12 hours a day of exposure.

Soil and Fertilizer

We like to use a PH neutral soil for our vegetables and herbs, and Espoma is a great option fo the majority of indoor plants and herbs.

During the growing season, try to fertilize every 1-2 weeks for optimum growth.

Watering

Like with all plants, make sure to use a pot or container that has adequate drainage. These herbs need to be watered generously and regularly, so make sure to give them about  once a week. It’s never a bad idea to mist the plant regularly, and wilting is a sure-fire sign that the basil could use a watering.

If they’re getting a lot of sun, keep notice of how the soil is responding. Keep the soil moist and don’t let it dry out between waterings. Try to keep the soil moist, and in some instances, you might need to water every few days.

Propagation, Longevity, and Things to Know

This is a great herb to propagate or to grow from a seedling. With the proper care, a basil plant can continue to produce fragrant and tasty leaves for up to a year, and provide a lot of leaves, making them an ideal vegetable to grow for people who like to cook a lot. When ready to enjoy your home-grown basil, simply clip off the leaves with a sharp pair of sheers or scissors, and it’s ready to go.

When the plant starts to die, cut off a few leaves from the stem and place in a glass or jar of water with good sunlight. Monitor the process, and soon roots will begin to sprout. Once this happens, repot, and let the process repeat!

Mint

Mint grown in a container indoors

Mint Smells and Tastes Great!

This is a wonderful herb to use for a garnish on dishes or to add a flavorful infusion to drinks. An added bonus to growing mint indoors is that it has a strong, distinct fragrance that can fill up the kitchen.

Mint can thrive when grown indoors and grows quickly, making it an excellent and obvious addition to any kitchen herb garden. The upright growing nature of mint and the abundant, small green leaves make mint an eye catching herb to have around the home.

Lighting

Like all vegetable plants, mint prefers strong, direct light. However, they are known to be among the herbs most tolerant for low lighting. That’s not to say that this plant will thrive with no light. Try to get this plant at least 4-6 hours of natural sunlight a day, preferably beginning in the mornings if possible.

With grow lights, try to get them up to 8 hours a day of light.

Soil and Fertilizer

Mint prefers a soil that is rich in nutrients and drains well. Espoma works great, and we’ve had success using Miracle-Gro.

When it comes to additives, these plants can grow like weeds even without dedicated fertilizers, so it’s not always necessary even during the growing months. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt, so if preferred, fertilize early on during the grow season, and continue to do so around every 6 weeks until around September.

Watering

Mint should be watered every couple of days. These plants won’t tolerate dry soil, but they also don’t like for the top soil to be too moist. As a good rule of thumb, stick a finger about an inch into the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time for a drink.

These herbs also benefit from occasional misting.

Propagation, Longevity, and Things to Know

If growing from a seedling, it might take mint a couple of months to begin to grow and sprout. For mature plants, make sure that the stems are around 6 inches before you start harvesting for use. Again, these plants grow quickly, and once mature they’ll provide a lot of mint for the kitchen. Use sharp sheer or scissors to snip off the stem, but don’t over prune. Try to leave at least 2/3 of the plant left after each harvest.

In the kitchen herb garden, mint plants can last for years, and it’s generally a good rule of thumb to repot every 3 years or so once they’ve outgrown their current pots.

To propagate mint plants, cut off about 8 inches of a stem and place in a container of water in good light. After a couple of weeks, roots should begin to sprout, and they can be replanted easily.

Keep in mind mint can be toxic to cats or dogs, so make sure to keep out of reach from curious pets.

Parsley

Trailing Parsley grown indoors

Trailing Parsley

A great garnish or topping that’s also used as an essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines, parsley can be easily grown indoors for any kitchen garden. This mildly bitter herb is also jam-packed with essential nutrients, and has some interesting health benefits when eaten. Another bonus of growing parsley in the kitchen? The plants delicate, draping growth pattern and vibrant green leaves add a wonderful visual touch to any space.

Lighting

Unlike some other kitchen herbs that might require extremely bright, sunny conditions, parsley can be grown indoors under full or partial sun. While it’s best to keep parsley in direct sun if possible, choose a spot near a southern facing window. This herb should get around 5-8 hours of sunlight a day for maximum growth.

If using artificial grow lights, try to get 8-12 hours of light each day.

Soil and Fertilizer

As with all vegetables and herb producing plants, parsley grows best when planted with a soil that is rich in nutrients with a PH level between 6.0-7.0. Espoma and Miracle-Gro are our favorites.

Parsley appreciates regular fertilization during the growing season every 1-2 weeks. Use a fish emulsion liquid fertilizer for best the best results. The brand Alaska has a great product that can be used for a variety of plants in the kitchen herb garden.

Watering

Parsley is a pretty adaptable herb, meaning that it can tolerate more sporadic waterings than other kitchen herbs. But that doesn’t mean they can go extended periods of time without a good watering. Make sure to keep the soil lightly moist but not overly saturated with water.

Watering once a week and supplementing with the occasional misting is usually perfect to keep a healthy plant.

Propagation, Longevity, and Things to Know

Parsley has its fair share of challenges when growing in any herb garden. These veggies are whats known as a biennial plant, meaning that they will have 2 growth cycles before the plant is spent. The first growth cycle is intended for the leaves; once harvested and used up, the second growth cycle focuses on the roots, which are actually jam-packed with flavor. But once those 2 growth cycles are complete, the plant is spent, and will die.

You’ll need a fair amount of parsley for most recipes, so it’s important to grow as much of the plant as possible to not only achieve the proper amount for any dish, but also to hedge against using up all the parsley in just a few goes.

If you’re trying to grow parsley from the seeds, be warned that the process can be slow. To propagate parsley from a fully mature plant, clip off some healthy portions of the plant from the stems, leaving about 4-6 inches between the stem and leaves. Place directly in a cool cup of water with exposure to direct sunlight, and in a few weeks roots should begin to sprout, indicating a readiness to be planted.

One neat thing about parsley? It can be grown in the same pots or containers as a ton of other herbs, an important aspect if space becomes an issue.

Rosemary

Kitchen Herb Garden Rosemary

Rosemary Adds Scale to any Kitchen Herb Garden

Rosemary can be a bit of a tricky herb to grow indoors, but offers a number of benefits that make mastering the process worth it. An evergreen shrub, this herb can last for years if cared for properly. Packed with a distinct, intense flavor, all you need is just a little bit of rosemary to add a punch to any meal or dish. Looking for some recipes that call for Rosemary? Check out some of our favorites here.

Lighting

Native to the Mediterranean, these plants need lots of sunlight in order to thrive. Southern-facing windows will get the best growth, and we recommend getting them a minimum of 8 hours a day of direct light if possible. Even with direct sunlight, Rosemary should have supplemental growth lighting as well, especially during the winter months.

Soil and Fertilizer

The first step to making sure that rosemary is planted with the proper conditions to thrive is the drainage. Besides planting in a pot with proper drainage holes, line the bottom of the container with pebbles and small rocks before adding any soil.

Used to harsh, arid environments, rosemary prefers a grainy, sandy soil that drains well and is slightly acidic. The soil PH should be between 6.0-7.0, and we’ve had great success with this soil from Black Gold. Aim to replace the soil/repot this plant once a year to refresh essential nutrients.

Rosemary does not need to be fed with fertilizer as often as some other plants in the kitchen herb garden, but it will still appreciate some on occasion, especially during the growing season. Plan on adding some liquid fish emulsion fertilizer every couple of weeks for a healthy plant, and Grow Organic has a perfect product suitable for rosemary.

Watering

One of the biggest challenges with keeping indoor Rosemary comes with the watering cycle. Too much or too little water can easily cause rosemary to turn brown and die, so it’s important to nail down a consistent schedule. Being from the Mediterranean, these plants are used to droughts and sporadic waterings, but they won’t appreciate completely dry soil when grown indoors.

Make sure to keep the drainage pot underneath the growing container consistently filled with water. In natural environments, rosemary gets most of its water from the air, not from rain, as it usually grows around the coast where water gets blown over it’s leaves. Rosemary will also appreciate a consistent misting about once or twice a week, and will also absorb a good amount of moisture from the evaporation of water from the drainage dish.

Water about once every 2 weeks, or when the soil is dry to the touch.

Propagation, Longevity, and Things to Know

The best time to harvest rosemary is during the spring/summer months, and it’s exceptionally easy to get pieces of the plant to use for cooking. Simply trim some parts of the plant from a healthy stem.

For propagation of Rosemary, it can be grown from seedlings but it can take a long time to mature, and the process is finicky especially indoors. Instead, clip healthy growth from the stem, and in moist seed-starting soil in indirect sunlight. Mist daily for a couple of weeks and ensure the soil doesn’t dry out.

Part of the difficulty in growing Rosemary indoors is the potential for pests or mildew that can kill off the plant. The humidity level is essential; a dry plant can easily invite spider mites or aphids, especially during the winter months. Overwatering the plant can invite Powdery Mildew that can drain the rosemary of it’s energy, leaving it weakened.

Want an in-depth guide on how to deal with pests? Check out this guide from Hunker on what to look for on your rosemary.

Oregano

Oregano grown indoors

Oregano grows Thick and Vibrant indoors!

A little bit of oregano goes a long way, and this plant is a fantastic addition to any kitchen herb garden. Suitable for beginners or anyone with an established green thumb, this leafy green plant is sure to be a visual show-stopper that grows easily and can flourish for years at a time. Oregano can be used as a fresh herb or dried, and has amazing health benefits to boot.

Oregano has been used in a variety of ways for thousands of years, and for good reason. Looking for additional uses or recipes for Oregano? We’ve got you covered.

Lighting

As with most herbs, oregano thrives under bright lights. This plant originates from the Mediterranean, so they prefer to have bright light. In the kitchen herb garden, place the potted plant in a southern facing window to take advantage of early morning sunlight. Oregano does best when it receives around 6 hours a day of natural light, and the flavor comes out even more when supplemented with grow lights or even fluorescent lighting.

Oregano tends to grow outwards towards the light source, so make sure to consistently rotate the pot or container that it is planted in to equally distribute sunlight for even growth.

Soil and Fertilizer

Keep oregano in a drainage pot or container with standard vegetable planting soil. Oregano appreciates a well-balanced, fast draining soil, and Espoma is a tried and true brand to plant with. Cactus soil or one geared for succulents also works well for this kitchen herb.

To keep the oregano healthy, use a liquid fertilizer every 1-2 weeks during the growing season and every month or so during the winter to supplement growth. This 3 in 1 set from Fox Farms is great fertilizer to spur growth for a variety of herbs and veggies.

Watering

Oregano can be finicky when it comes to it’s water, and it’s easy to kill the plant with excessive over-watering. Make sure that the soil dries slightly between waterings, but never let it get to the point where it’s completely arid and cracked, especially with a plant that is not fully mature.

Although oregano hails from a dry climate, in the kitchen herb garden it is good practice to water oregano at least every week, and often every couple of days to keep the soil properly moist, especially when growing seedlings or propagated plants.Once the oregano plant is established and growing well, they can be a little more lenient with more sporadic watering.

Propagation, Longevity, and Things to Know

One of the few indoor vegetable plants that are easy to grow from the seedling stage, oregano can grow quite quickly when given the proper environment. It usually only takes about 1-2 weeks for seeds to sprout. Keep the soil moist and in a sunny part of the kitchen to promote maximum growth.

It’s also effective to simply clip off a stem of the plant and plant directly into a container of soil for immediate growth. Simply cut off a long, healthy stem and remove the bottom inch or so of leaves. Once placed into soil, they will grow quickly and take the same maintenance requirements as fully established plants.

These herbs are wonderful “companion” plants, meaning that they can also be housed in containers with plants that have similar care requirements, such as sage or thyme.

*Already mastered the kitchen herb garden and want to move onto a new project? Learn here how to grow a citrus tree in any home so that you can get fresh citrus all year round!

And as always, be sure to check out the latest news and trends to help keep your kitchen fully stocked!