You can grow herbs indoors this winter and add that just-picked taste to your meals, even when snow is drifting up against the kitchen window. You don't even need special lights—herbs fare just fine in a bright window. Here are the best herbs for growing on windowsills and the smart techniques you need to keep them happy and healthy until you can plant outside again.
Start basil from seeds and place the pots in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth.
A perennial that grows well in containers all year long. Place the pot in an east- or west-facing window, but be sure it does not get crowded—bay needs air circulation to remain healthy.
Start chervil seeds in late summer. It grows well in low light but needs temperatures between 65°F and 70°F to thrive.
Dig up a clump of chives from your garden at the end of the growing season and pot it up. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. In early winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot (such as a basement) for a few days, then finally to your brightest window.
Your best bet is to start with a tip cutting from an outdoor oregano plant. Place the pot in a south-facing window.
You can start this herb from seeds or dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the season. Parsley likes full sun, but will grow slowly in an east- or west-facing window.
Start with a cutting of rosemary, and keep it in moist soilless mix until it roots. It grows best in a south-facing window.
Take a tip cutting from an outdoor plant to start an indoor sage. It tolerates dry, indoor air well, but it needs the strong sun it will get in a south-facing window.
A dormant period in late fall or early winter is essential for tarragon to grow indoors. Pot up a mature plant from your outdoor garden and leave it outside until the leaves die back. Bring it to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, then place it in a south-facing window for as much sun as possible. Feed well with an organic liquid fertilizer.
You can start thyme indoors either by rooting a soft tip cutting or by digging up and potting an outdoor plant. Thyme likes full sun but will grow in an east- or west-facing window.
To learn more about growing your favorite herbs indoors, check out our Smart Techniques for Growing Herbs Indoors.