How to grow herbs indoors

One of the things I like most about the summer is fresh herbs. My family cooks with a lot of fresh herbs and these plants thrive in my garden. But the oncoming winter does not mean fresh herbs cannot be enjoyed. Several varieties thrive inside with the correct knowledge.

Basil does well inside but needs lots of sun and warmth. Start your basil inside from seeds. South facing windows or grow lights produce the best growing conditions for basil during the winter months.

Bay is a tender perennial that grows well in containers all year long. Place the potted bay plant in an east or west facing window. Make sure the plant does not get too crowded as bay needs good air circulation to remain healthy.

Chervil can grow well indoors but to obtain a harvest, the seeds need to be started in late summer. Chervil does well in low light conditions but the plant needs 65 to 70 degrees F temperatures to thrive. So, if you keep your house cool in the winter chervil may not be the best choice for you.

Tarragon and chives can simply be dug up from your garden at the end of the growing season and put into a pot. Leave the pot outside until the leaves have died back. In the early winter, move the pot into a very cool indoor spot, such as the basement for a few days and then finally you can bring the herb pot into a bright south facing window or under grow lights.

Oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme are best grown indoors when started from a tip cutting. Cut a piece from your outdoor plant, place it in moist potting mix, and place the pot in a south facing window.

Parsley has a long tap root and does not transplant well. This herb can be started indoors from seeds. Parsley likes full sun, but if you have already filled your south facing windows with other herbs and plants, parsley will grow slowly in an east or west facing window.

Anne Lenox Barlow has had experience in the agricultural field as a horticulture educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Clinton County. She can be reached by e-mail at a.lennox.barlow@gmail.com.

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