Growing Herbs indoors should be an easy task for many beginning herb growers. Just place the herb in a pot on a nice, sunny, south-facing window sill and they should be fine, right? Two very important factors make this assumption untrue.
Sun is available for fewer hours per day during the shorter days of winter, north of USDA Growing Zone 5
Intensity of sunlight passing through the sunniest widows is half that of direct sunlight out of doors.
Most herbs are sun-loving and for this reason, herbs grown inside must struggle to survive on fewer hours of weaker sunlight. Even though you have placed the herbs in
a nice south-facing window, there will be less light available for normal growth. Less light will produce weak, spindly stems and leaves with little flavor or fragrance.
Common herbs to grow indoors are basil, dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, summer savory or thyme.
Perennial Herbs such as Rosemary, Tarragon and the Mints are more difficult to grow indoors. A challenge with these herbs is moving them from the garden into pots without destroying the tender root structure.
Providing enough supplemental light for sun-loving herbs like Rosemary, Tarragon and Mints is another part of the challenge. Additional light of any kind is a help but supplemental light of the correct color spectrum and intensity is a must.
See our complete article about lighting options available for: Growing Herbs Indoors under Grow Lights.
A few things to remember:
Herbs should be grown in pots with proper drainage. Let the soil in the container dry out at least to 1/2 inch below the surface before watering.
Do not let the plants wilt between watering, but don’t let the soil become soggy, either. Root Rot is a direct result of continuously wet soil and is a common problem for those who are winter growing herbs indoors.
Fertilize your indoor herbs sparingly with a mild solution of soluble fertilizer.