Over the past year, I’ve become very taken with adding spices and herbs into my cooking. There’s nothing quite like the scent of mint, or the unique taste of oregano. A pinch of fresh herbs can easily transform plain, everyday food to culinary magnificence!
Unfortunately, I’ve had to settle with bottled spices from the grocery store, as fresh packaged herbs are expensive and quickly become wasted when cooking for one. Because of this, I’ve considered cultivating some small herbs at home. The only problem was that I had absolutely no idea which types of herbs to grow indoors.
After doing some extensive research, I have assembled a list of the top 5 best herbs to grow indoors based on the following factors:
- Versatility in cooking
- Ease of growth
- Required care
Unanimously agreed upon to be the number one herb to grow. If you were to grow only one plant, let it be chives. They bloom purple-pink flowers that are also edible and add great color to dishes.
- Cooking: has a mild onion flavour that can be used to enhance practically any food that needs an extra oompf of flavour.
- Ease of growth: quite prolific and aren't overly picky about light spectrum.
- Required care: Water about twice a week, or when the soil feels dry. When the tips turn yellow, snip it off to stimulate new growth.
This herb can be found flourishing in the wild and in cooler temperatures. I think that says a great deal about how resilient this plant is.
- Cooking: Can be used in teas, salads, soups, or to flavour water. Also a prominent herb in Vietnamese cuisine.
- Ease of growth: Can survive with little light and grows very well on its own. Starting mint from seed is a bit more difficult, so I would suggest starting with buying a mint plant from your local planet nursery or supermarket. Alternatively, you can try buying fresh (and I mean recently cut) mint cuttings and propagate them in fresh water until they sprout roots.
- Required care: Does not require much care at all.
A little herb that packs a powerful punch.
- Cooking: Holds an intense flavour. It’s great with all types of meat and perfect in soups or stews.
- Ease of growth: Thrives in the average room temperature and enjoys lots of sun. However, it will still grow well enough with less light exposure.
- Required care: It prefers its soil to be on the drier side, so make sure not to over water it.
When in bloom, they sprout edible purple or pink flowers. Also, "oregano" means "Joy of the Mountain" in Ancient Greek.
- Cooking: Great when used in sauces and many Italian dishes (think pizza). I personally really enjoy using oregano to flavour my chicken and soups. In fact, it tastes great on practically anything.
- Ease of growth: It requires at least 6 hours of sunlight every day, so this plant needs a bit more exposure by the window to really grow.
- Required care: It needs to be watered about once a week, or when the soil feels dry.
This herb is also used in aromatherapy to enhance the senses and boost memory.
- Cooking: A great addition to meats, especially lamb. (Rosemary lamb is my favourite!)
- Ease of growth: Enjoys at least 6 hours of sun every day, otherwise it will grow slowly. Do not clip too much of it off, as Rosemary is a slow growing herb in general.
- Required care: It likes to stay on the dry side, so water it thoroughly only when the soil has mostly dried.
So there you have it, the top 5 best herbs to grow indoors!
Keep in mind that this was only a short summary piece to get you started. Take the time to research your herbs in depth to understand best growth practices, and exactly what type of care your plants require.
Also, make sure to avoid these herb growing mistakes that many people make.
If growing plants seems too daunting to you, or you're a notorious plant killer, there is an array of automated growing systems, like the Grobo One Hydroponic Grow Box that will feed and water your plants for you!