Fresh herbs are easy to grow at home and will make a real difference to your meals.
Focus on 3 key items
If you want to know how to grow herbs indoors the key is focus on 3 items:
- The type of herbs to grow
- How & where you want to grow herbs indoors
- The heat & light requirement.
Taking them in turn
Item 1 – the best herbs to grow indoors
In most cases if you want to know how to grow herbs indoors the key is to start with the type of herbs used in most recipes.
But those that are easy to grow with great flavour.
The ones we would recommend are
- Sweet or Genovese Basil
- Average Height when grown 60 to 75 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 50 to 75 days
- Leaf Coriander
- Average height when grown 45 to 60 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 60 to 75 days
- Average height when grown 30 to 45 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 90 days
- French Thyme
- Average height when grown 15 to 40 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 85 days
And then in addition add the right type of herbs for your favourite recipes.
For example for Italian meals consider
- Average height when grown 15 to 30 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 70 to 90 days
For Thai meals try
- Thai Basil
- Average Height when grown 30 to 45 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 50 to 60 days
- Tulasi or Holy Basil
- Average height when grown 30 to 60 cm
- Time from seed to harvest – 40 days
Item 2 – How to grow herbs indoors & where
The key to how to grow herbs indoors is to provide them with
- The right type & amount of nutrients (including water),
- The right amount of light for your herb type
- The best temperature.
In addition the easy way to grow them is to make sure that you grow herbs that have a similar height & growing cycle (so you can plant them together).
For details of our recommended herbs have a look at the key ingredients growing plan
The links below show 3 ways how to grow herbs indoors , or read below for a more detailed explanation.
2a – How to grow herbs indoors
Hydroponic or aquaponic system
The advantage of using an hydroponic or aquaponic system is that it’s a very easy way of providing your herbs with exactly the right nutrients & light.
And a lot easier than growing them in soil (pots) and having to water them.
Using either an hydroponic or aquaponic system is an easy way how to grow herbs indoors but they are different:
- An hydroponic system is easier to start and maintain than an aquaponic system.
- On the other hand an Aquaponic might get you slightly better results, and can look very attractive.
An Hydroponic System
This is the easiest way how to grow herbs indoors – most units are quite compact and will fit on a window sill, side table, etc.
An hydroponic system works by growing your herbs with their roots ‘dangling in water’ so that they will always have the right amount of nutrients.
This is the type of system used by many commercial growers, and there is no reason you can’t use it at home.
Hydroponic systems are available in many different sizes to suit different budgets. For example a unit like the one on the right will also contain an automated light supply – so that your herbs will think it’s always summer
An Aquaponic system
An aquaponic system is similar to the hydroponic one, however the water will contain fish.
In this system how to grow herbs indoors the roots of the herbs still ‘dangle in water’, however all you will need to do is feed the fish.
There are many small units (like the one on the right), which are great for testing aquaponics at home.
The downside is that you won’t be able to grow many herbs (due to the limited space) and you will also need to get addition lights if you want to grow herbs in winter.
3. Heat & Light requirements
It can be really tempting way how to grow herbs indoors by growing them in pots of soil on a window sill.
But as mentioned above an hydroponic or aquaponic system will help you get much better results (and it also a lot easier to manage day to day).
However, in addition the right heat & light will also get you even better results.
The beauty of the ‘ready made’ systems is that they often include specialist grow lamps – designed to provide your herbs with exactly the right type of light.
So that if you want to grow herbs indoors all year round you can simply place the unit anywhere that will suit you.
How to start
If you want to use the easy grow herbs plan then the start is to select the types that you use most often.
The key ingredients growing plan contains the most popular types, but you might want to slightly change them based on our own cooking & meal preferences.
For example if you cook many italian recipes you might want to make sure you grow Italian parsley, or if cooking stir-fry (such as Thai or Vietnamese recipes) then add Thai basil or Holy basil if you like spicy or hot meals.
The simply decide if you would like to use hydroponics or aquaponics and start.
Want to grow more ?
The units above are great for kitchens, etc. But if you need larger quantities have a look at our indoor vegetable growing plan