Herbs are a wonderful addition to any meal, not only providing flavour but often also aid good digestion. This blog looks at how you can grow herbs successfully inside.
Which herbs can you grow indoors?
The difference between growing herbs outside and inside is the level of both light and sun and the amount of air movement that the plant experiences.
- Light - The light makes the plant grow strong and the sun brings the oils to the surface of the leaf so enhancing the flavour.
- Air - The air movement not only prevents disease such as mildew but it also helps to make the plant strong.
So, bearing those points in mind, choose herbs that you will use in the kitchen and which do not grow too tall trying to find a good light source.
Jekka's 8 top herbs for growing indoors
These herbs will all adapt to being grown inside as long as they have a good light source:
- Basil (Ocimum)
- Wild Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia)
- Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
- Dill (Anethum graveolens)
- Red Frills Mustard (Brassica juncea 'Red Frills')
- Parsley (Petroselinum)
- Oregano (Origanum)
- Thyme (Thymus)
Sage is not included because it hates being inside as it needs very good light levels to grow and is very prone to disease if it does not have good air flow.
Want to get growing? Jekka's Grow At Home Herb Kit is the perfect start for the home gardener containing seeds, Jekka's peat-free seed compost and biodegradable pots.
Jekka's 6 tips on growing herbs from seed indoors
- Choose a small container, fill with seed compost and water well.
- Sow the seeds onto the surface of the damp compost. Sow thinly, average about 6- 10 seeds per small pot, depending on the size of the seed.
- Cover with standard perlite; we use this rather than compost.
- Watering will not be needed for the first few days, only water if you see the compost drying out. Do this in the morning, not at night.
- Once the seedling emerges, only water in the morning, not at night. This is because windowsills can often be cold at night and a seedling sitting in cold compost can cause it to wilt, commonly called ‘damping off’.
- Once they are starting to grow strongly and have produced a number of leaves you can then pot up one size of pot, commonly called ‘potting on’. Check out Jekka's "Grow On" Kit - 1 ltr pots.
Wish to give the gift of herbs? Jekka’s Home Gardeners Gift Box is perfect for the avid gardener who wants to become self-sufficient and to add that little bit extra to their cooking.
Jekka's advice for 'potting on' herbs indoors
When you are ready to pot the plant on, there are a number of things you need to consider:
The herb container
Jekka’s top tip is to add some broken crocks or some stones to the bottom of the pot before adding the compost as this will aid drainage.
Air and ventilation
Cropping and harvesting
Want to know more?
For more information on growing herbs from seeds please see Jekka's blogs on sowing herb seeds and sowing your winter culinary herbs or see our Jekkapedia pages for the individual herbs pages. We also have Jekka's blogs on growing herbs in containers and growing on your herbs, which are useful follow-on blogs once your herbs are growing.
Jekka's "How to Grow Herbs" videos, includes Jekka's video on how to sow herb seeds for an informative step-by-step guide to seed sowing.
If you require pots or compost, we have put together some Jekka's Herb Kits, including a complete Jekka’s Grow at Home Herb Kit and a Jekka's Grow at Home Veg Kit which contains all you need to start a little kitchen herb garden as well as Jekka's Seed Sowing Kit, if you have the seeds and just require seed compost and pots.
For advice on growing and maintaining herbs, check out ‘Jekka’s Seasonal Tips’ blog series, which includes what to do in your herb garden in early spring, late spring, summer and autumn & winter. Together they form the basis of Jekka’s guide on how to grow herbs.
Herb plants are available and you can organise a collection from our herb farm in South Gloucestershire or at one of our Open Days or Herb Experiences (see our events calendar). Please see our 'Looking Good List' for availability and use our webform or email your list directly to us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We no longer offer a general mail order service for our plants but we do offer a limited selection of Jekka's Culinary Herb Boxes.