If you’re aiming to add some greenery to your home, herbs are a flavor-packed option for indoor gardening all year round. With tons of versatility, you can use herbs for cooking, decorating, and even making homemade teas, fresh cocktails, and DIY spa treatments.
Wondering exactly which herbs to plant indoors? You’ve come to the right place! There’s no shortage of herbs you can grow indoors, but some will thrive in indoor conditions better than others.
We’ve put together a list of the best herbs to grow indoors, along with care tips and creative ideas for how to use your harvest. Put on your garden gloves, and let’s dig in.
Basil needs the right conditions to do its best.1 Keep it away from drafts and provide lots of sunlight. Trim back frequently to encourage dense growth and to prevent flowering.
- Light – Basil requires at least 6 hours of sun a day. It’s also sensitive to drafts, so if your windowsill gets cold at night, the temperature shift may damage leaves. For this reason, grow lights are ideal for basil plants.
- Watering – Basil is prone to root rot, so water only when the top of the soil feels dry. Always empty the drainage tray, so your plant never sits in water.
- How to Use It – You can use basil to add zesty flavor to pesto, bruschetta, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, homemade pizza, and pasta.
Bay laurel matures into a large tree when grown outdoors, but can be grown successfully indoors while it’s small. It’s a slow grower, so you’ll be able to enjoy it indoors for a long time before it outgrows your space.2
- Light – Place near a bright sunny window and ensure it receives at least 6 hours of sunlight, or up to 12+ hours a day if using a grow light.
- Watering – When the top inch of soil feels dry, water your plant deeply.
- How to Use It – Bay leaves add a rich flavor to soups and stews—just throw a leaf or 2 in while cooking and remove before serving.
Chervil is one of our favorites for its pretty foliage and refreshing, anise-like flavor. However, it doesn’t dry as well as other herbs, so you’ll want to use the leaves right after harvesting. 3 Fortunately, this will be highly convenient when you grow chervil indoors.
- Light – Place the plant near a sunny window that receives at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. If your home doesn’t get enough natural light, you can use a grow light to help it grow.
- Watering – Let the top inch of soil dry between waterings. Depending on the type and size of your container and the environmental conditions (light and temperature), chervil plants may need watering about 1-3 times per week.
- How to Use It – Chervil is traditionally used in French cooking. Reach for it any time you channel your inner Julia Child. In general, you can use it like parsley—as a garnish for egg dishes, sprinkled over fish, or tossed in soups and salads.
Chives are related to onions, scallions, and garlic, and they’re packed with a similar spicy flavor. The flowers are also edible and make a unique garnish.4
- Light – Chives prefer full sun, so you’ll need to provide 5 hours of sun from a window or use a grow light for 12 to 14 hours a day.
- Watering – Chives prefer drier soil, so water only when the soil feels dry and cut back on watering in winter.
- How to Use It – Once the leaves are six inches tall, you can begin harvesting. If you’re not ready to use the leaves right after cutting, they can be stored in the fridge or dried.
Lemongrass is a narrow-leaved plant that grows in clumps like most grasses. It’s perfect for growing in a container that can be moved outdoors for summer and then brought inside for winter. For these reasons, lemongrass is one of the easiest options for growing herbs indoors and allows you to enjoy its fresh, lemony flavor all year long.
- Light – Lemongrass prefers full sun. A bright window may provide enough light as long as it receives close to 6 hours of sun per day. Supplement with a grow light if needed.5
- Watering – Don’t overwater, as lemongrass is susceptible to root rot. Water only when the top of the soil feels dry.
- How to Use It – Harvest full stalks by cutting them close to the root (the base of the leaves has the most flavor). Lemongrass is often found in Southeast Asian foods, so try it in curry, marinades, other sauces, and soups. It also makes a refreshing tea to serve hot or cold.
Mint is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow indoors thanks to its easy care and tasty, fragrant, and attractive foliage.6
- Light – Mint needs at least 6 hours of sunlight, or up to 16 hours a day from a grow light.
Watering – Keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet. Water deeply when the top inch or 2 of the potting soil is dry.
How to Use It – Mint isn’t just easy to grow—it’s also amazingly versatile. Simply snip off leaves or sprigs and use them to add a bright, bold flavor to meat dishes like lamb or pork chops. You can also chop it finely and add it to salads, lentils, couscous, or curries. Or, brew fresh leaves into a hot or cold tea for a refreshing flavor or to relieve an upset stomach.
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region, so it needs plenty of light and well-drained potting soil to thrive indoors.7
- Light – Oregano won’t do well with anything less than full sun. Be ready to provide a grow light if you don’t have a window that gets 6 full hours of sunlight.
Watering – Oregano can tolerate dry conditions much better than overwatering. Don’t water until the top inch or 2 of the soil is dry, and then water deeply.
How to Use It – Oregano is beloved in both Italian and Greek cuisines. Use it in entrees, pasta dishes, homemade pizza, bread dough, or toss it in a fresh caprese salad for a change from basil.
Although it’s often used as a garnish, parsley’s one-of-a-kind flavor complements an incredible variety of dishes. The most common varieties are curly-leaf and flat-leaf (aka Italian parsley). Either will grow well indoors.8
- Light – Parsley needs full sun, or 12 to 16 hours of light from a grow light. If your indoor plant appears spindly, it needs more light.
Watering – Parsley likes consistently moist soil, so don’t allow the soil to dry out. Do cut back on watering in winter months.
- How to Use It – Pick leaves as needed, or harvest full stalks by cutting them off at ground level. Italian parsley has a sweeter, stronger flavor than curly-leaf. Try it in green salads, grilled veggies, potato dishes, tabbouleh, curries, and more.
Rosemary is another plant native to the Mediterranean region, so be sure to provide lots of sun and keep the soil on the drier side.9
- Light – You’ll want to provide at least 6 hours of direct sun from a south- or west-facing window, or provide a grow light.
- Watering – Let the top 2 inches of soil dry out before watering. Saturate the soil well, then empty the drainage tray.
- How to Use It – Mix finely chopped rosemary into bread dough for delicious rolls or focaccia. This culinary herb pairs beautifully with lemon for everything from cookies to potpourri to entrees like roasted chicken or salmon. Or you can add long sprigs to flower arrangements for a long-lasting, aromatic decorative touch.
Sage is a perennial herb that’s not only easy to grow indoors, but also a snap to dry for use at any time. But it does want plenty of sunlight, so make room on that windowsill!10
- Light – Another Mediterranean native, sage wants at least 6 hours of sun a day. Most likely, you’ll need to provide a grow light to meet its needs.
- Watering – Sage is a low-water-use plant, so only water when the top inch or 2 of soil is dry to the touch.
- How to Use It – Snip leaves as needed, or cut whole stalks and hang to dry for later use. Sage’s warm, woodsy flavor makes it perfect for hearty, cold-weather favorites like roasts, stews, soups, and potatoes.
The tiny leaves of the thyme plant pack a big flavor that livens up any savory dish. This perennial herb's versatile flavor lends itself well to many different dishes, and pairs perfectly with many of the other herbs on this list.
- Light – Thyme wants at least 6 hours of sun per day.11 If using a grow light, you can provide up to 16 hours of lighting per day.
- Watering – Thyme prefers consistently moist soil (not wet). Water every day or 2 in warm conditions, and less frequently in winter.
- How to Use It – No need to chop this one—just run your fingers along the stem to strip off the leaves, and it’s ready to sprinkle into any entree, soup, stew, or in your favorite marinade. It’s also delicious mixed into bread doughs for an aromatic twist.
Herb Care Tips and Tricks
Each type of culinary herb has its own requirements, so be sure to check out the Greendigs careguide that is specific to your plant. That said, there are a few general rules of thumb that apply
to most herbs:
- Herbs appreciate humidity, so try grouping your containers on a pebble tray to encourage evaporation. (Keep the bottom of the containers elevated above the water to avoid root rot.)
- Herbs are highly susceptible to overwatering. Add a soil moisture indicator to your toolkit to make sure you water only when needed.
Fertilize every few weeks with plant spikes for a quick, mess-free way to feed.
Prune herbs regularly to encourage new growth. Cut back the stems by a few inches, and remove any dead leaves or flowers.
Storage is also an important thing to keep in mind when starting your at-home herb garden. Knowing how to store fresh herbs properly will help increase the longevity so you can get the most of your perfectly tended specimens
Grow Your Green Thumb with Greendigs
Ready to launch into the fresh and flavorful world of indoor herbs? All you need is a few
containers, a sunny window or grow light, plant food, and a healthy starter plant or 2.
Choose herb plants, tools, and supplies from Greendigs, and your indoor herb garden will
deliver plenty of delicious flavors in no time.
With a full selection of easy-to-grow herbs for sale online, Greendigs has everything you need to
get your herb garden going. And with our comprehensive care guides, you’ll never have to
wonder how to keep your herb plants happy.
Garden better with Greendigs.
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Basil. https://shopgreendigs.com/plant-care/your-guide-to-basil.html
University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Bay laurel.
University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Chervil.
Miracle-Gro. How to Plant, Grow, Care and Harvest Chives.
Miracle-Gro. Growing lemongrass indoors.
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Mint https://shopgreendigs.com/plant-care/your-guide-to-mint.html
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Oregano.
University of Minnesota Extension. Growing parsley in home gardens.
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Rosemary.
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Sage. https://shopgreendigs.com/plant-care/your-guide-to-sage.html
Greendigs. Your Guide to: Thyme.