Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden

Saving Space -- Growing Indoors

Most herbs can be grown right on your windowsill, and the best part about growing an indoor herb garden is that you're not a slave to the seasons. If you decide to grow from seed, you can start your garden any time you want. If you're new to the gardening process, though, we advise you start your herb garden by purchasing seedlings from a local plant store. This way your plants are already somewhat established and you won't have to worry about treating them with kid gloves in the beginning.

After you've chosen how you're going to grow your herbs (small individual pots, one big pot, other types of containers), set them up in a window area that gets a good amount of light during the day. Make sure you put something under the pots for excess water drainage. You can buy plastic drainage plates, use old mismatched plates, or round cork trivets from a kitchen supply store. And remember, if you decide to use clay pots, your herbs will need to be watered more often because clay tends to suck up excess water.

So, what kind of herbs do you want to grow? Ultimately it's up to you, but here's a handy list of herbs in order of ease of maintenance (easiest to more difficult). We advise following the growing directions you'll find with the plant when you purchase it.

  • Bay leaf
  • Chives
  • Lime leaves
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Sage

You may have to make adjustments to your setup if you have an inquisitive or mischievous cat. A well-placed spray bottle may do the trick, and help with watering duties. Win, win.

Next up, growing herbs with a theme.