If you’ve got a windowsill, a little bit of space and time, and a taste for herbs and spices, look no further. These are the easiest herbs to grow at home, and they each have a unique taste and offer multiple benefits. Why haven’t you thought of this before?
Some of these herbs, like basil, are suckers for the sunlight and need to go on the windowsill or a sunny area, but the rest of these plants can be grown in shadier conditions. Plants produce chlorophyll from the sun, so try to let all these herbs get a bit of sun.
After reading this article you won’t need to spend your money on store-bought herbs that add to your meals. These herbs have medicinal properties like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, these herbs fight different diseases from halitosis all the way to Alzheimer’s.
What are the herbs you’ll be planting? Let’s take a look:
Basil – antibacterial, anti-stress, fights colds and infections, relieves throat and mucus
Cilantro – antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal, detox, heart-health, blood-sugar control
Parsley – anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, aids digestion, prevents bladder infection
Lemon balm – anti-anxiety, sleep and digestive aid, antibacterial, fights colds and fevers
Chives – reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, the benefits of onions without the tears
Ginger – anti-inflammatory, cold and flu prevention, digestion aid, cardiovascular support
Mint – weight loss and digestion aid, detox, cancer preventative, antibacterial, and whitens teeth
They’ve got different sunlight needs, but all need a proper planter. Make sure you’ve got something that holds water but drains properly, because it will be inside. Once you’ve got a planter you’re ready to get gardening.
Basil is a forgiving plant that grows fairly easily. This plant needs a planet with good drainage and lots of sunlight. It’s a windowsill plant, as long as your windowsill gets lots of light, otherwise scope out the sunniest place inside and grow there.
Slow-release fertilizers are important as well, and the same is true about pruning, keeping insects away, and watering (especially in hot weather). The easiest way to get basil to grow is by starting with a starter plant, but if you grow from seeds the plant should still thrive. You’ll just have to wait a little longer to cultivate.
Cilantro likes a bit of a cooler temperature than most herbs. Find an east or west-facing window and cilantro will be happy. An annual that grows best in free-draining potting soil, all you’ve really got to do is water this herb and it will grow.
A thorough watering is more important than frequent watering, so make sure that water drains out the drainage holes each time you water. The plant should only be watered when the soil is dry to the tough, which happens more in summer months. Cilantro doesn’t like being transplanted, so if you start inside–stay inside.
A great source of vitamin C and fiber, parsley likes the sun. Find a south-facing window where the herb can get 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Turn the pot every few days so the plant doesn’t lean toward the sun.
Although forgiving, parsley can wilt if overwatered – but that rarely happens in a sunny spot. What’s more likely is your pot doesn’t have proper drainage. If you notice the plant’s leaves are becoming dry, put the planter on some pebbles ensuring water drains onto them. The pebbles hold heat well and, with water, will create humidity – parsley’s friend.
Planting parsley in the kitchen gives it the benefits of steam and humidity created from cooking.
This plant isn’t too picky about sunlight, but try to place it somewhere it will get up to 5 hours of direct sunlight. If not, no big deal – your plant should do well in low-light situations. They also want free-draining potting soil and need to be watered regularly, but not daily. Up to three times a week will satisfy lemon balm. Lemon balm recovers from wilting quickly, so it’s better to air on the side of dry.
Once it is time to harvest, never remove more than 25 percent of the leaves at once. If the leaves start to brown it could mean the plant is in a spot that’s too draft and cool, too sunny, or it isn’t getting enough water.
Given the right conditions you can get your chives to grow all year long. Starting from seed can be aggravating, especially if you’re new to gardening, because the sprouts are so tiny and can take a long time to grow into a cultivable plant.
Chives like the sun and should only be watered when dry to the touch. Any sunny window will do. Fill a 6-inch clay pot with pre-moistened well-draining potting soil. Spread the seeds and cover with a ¼ inch of the pre-moistened soil. Place in a sunny spot.
You can moisten the seeds until the germinate with a mist of water, weak plant food, or weak compost tea. Chives appreciate a misting every now-and-then.
A little spicier than the rest, ginger hates frost, direct sun, and strong winds – so it’s perfect to plant indoors. This root typically grows under the shady canopies of tropical trees, but inside can work nearly anywhere – as long as it’s not hot and sunny.
Plant the rhizome (or root) a few inches deep in a mix of compost and potting soil, and keep it aways from chilly drafts, like open doors or windows. Indirect light and about 70 degrees is what ginger really wants. Mist the plant to keep humidity up.
The best time to harvest is when the leaves have died down. This takes up to 10 months, but is totally worth it when you’ve cultivated your first plant.
They say there’s almost no scenario in which this herb can’t grow. It likes potting soil and regular water, but you could plant mint in cement and it would probably still grow. Most varieties of mint grow wildly with only a bit of sun, so put this plant anywhere in the house that you want a little greenery and a refreshing taste when you walk by.
Although, you’ll need to pinch the plant back every few weeks or it will take over your entire house.