We all get a bit spoiled during the summer months when we go outdoors and grab handfuls of fresh herbs when we are cooking. Some of the summer abundance might be dried or frozen for winter use, but nothing beats the taste of freshly harvested herbs growing indoors for winter use. As an added bonus it’s nice to have their fragrance indoors as they grow.
Growing herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano and thyme indoors is not difficult if you have the proper conditions which includes a south or west facing window where they will get 6-8 hours of light. Just make sure they are not directly against the glass to help prevent cold damage. You can also place them under grow lights, giving them 12-16 hours of light.
As with all indoor plants it’s best if your containers have a drainage hole, always use potting soil and put only one plant per container which helps make care a bit easier. We recommend that your nearly purchased herb plants be replanted in pots that are 4-6” in diameter. Allow the soil to dry out between each watering. Water thoroughly so that water runs out the drainage hole but don’t allow the plants to sit in water. A thorough watering is much better for all indoor plants rather than a little bit of water more often. Rosemary plants will benefit from having a daily misting plus setting the pots on a bed of small rocks that are kept wet. Just make sure the bottom of the pot is not sitting on water. These two simple measures will help keep the humidity higher around the rosemary plants which mimics their native Mediterranean conditions. Fertilizing with a water-soluble plant food every couple of weeks will help keep them growing all winter long.
Cut and use herbs in the same way you would if they were growing outdoors. Grab your sharp clean scissors or pruners and cut off small portions of the plant as needed. Herbs are very forgiving as to where you make the cut and will regrow quickly.