Herbs grown indoors have the same
requirements as herbs grown outdoors. Here are some tips for indoor
herb growing that will help to replicate those
SOIL. Please don't ever use garden dirt. Use good
soil with organic fertilizer mixed in. If the soil is very fine, add
up to 30 percent more perlite. Indoor herbs need excellent drainage to
avoid winter rot.
CONTAINERS. Go from
a three inch herb pot to a gallon size pot unless you know the plant is a
rampant grower (like Lemon Grass) and then a 2 gallon pot is preferred. Don't do anything to the roots of
the herb plant and be very careful not to damage the herb's stem. A perennial
to be really old (or really root bound) to need its roots pruned and, even then it is, in
most cases, better to just repot and leave the roots alone.
Forget about the rocks on the bottom of the pot. This is a myth and it
just takes valuable growing space away from the plant's roots. Only
put one kind of herb plant in a pot. If you feel you must combine plants,
don't leave oreganos, mints, lemon balm or bee balm with other plants
for very long.
They will overgrow everything. If you pot separately, each plant can
be given air space around it and if one herb plant has a problem it is
easy to remove it and keep it from affecting the other indoor
like outside, plants need at least six hours of sun a day. If your sunny
window doesn't fill that requirement, then you may want to purchase some
regular fluorescent lights. These shop lights need to hang no more than three
inches above the plants and stay on for 14 hours a day. If you are trying to
grow seedlings, put the lights an inch or less away from the new plants. And
like outdoors if your window is too hot in the summer, lower the
shades in the afternoon to prevent scorching. If your window freezes
in the winter, keep the foliage of the plant away from the
WATER. Water thoroughly when the plant is dry.
Err on the side of dryness without letting the plant wilt. An
inexpensive water meter
invaluable if you have doubts about when to water your indoor plants. Make sure the water
is not too frigid or too hot. Fill your watering can and let it sit
for a while to become room temperature.
TEMPERATURE. The hardest of all indoor requirements
to moderate. Ideally it would be 70 or 75 during the day and 55 or 60
at night. Do your best to keep the temperature close to this for
maximum survival and growth.
FERTILIZER. If you put some in when you
repotted, your plant should be happy until spring. When it starts to
grow vigorously, add a little organic liquid fertilizer to the water.
PLAN. If you think you want to
do some indoor herb growing,
don't wait until winter to get started. Start the plants going in their
containers in late summer or early fall and prepare them for the months ahead by letting them settle
in during pleasant conditions.