Depending on where you live, outdoor growing season for vegetables, flowers and herbs ends as Winter approaches. Whether your climate includes high winds, constant rain or snow, bringing delicate herbs in planters indoors is a good idea.
Some herbs like lavender can be hardier than mint, but where will you put your perishable herbs? And how do you care for them? Here’s my favorite 11 herbs to grow indoors and how to treat them.
I love Mexican food, so Cilantro is one of my favorites in the kitchen. Unfortunately you’ll need to rotate new plantings every three weeks to keep using the herb all year long. They only last a few weeks, so harvest and you’ll have the next in the series growing.
Bay Laurel (Leaf)
This is supposed to be a shrub, but in the California mountains where I used to live, they were as big as a tree. They can withstand snow and like filtered sun. Smaller plants would do well indoors until their roots really establish. Then transfer bay outdoors when the weather gets warmer in the spring.
I started most of my herbs from seed, but this herb needs a little push. Try using warm, not hot, water to soften the shell before planting. Once it begins to grow, you’ll have a great healthy plant.
Rosemary is another of my favorite go-to herbs. With just a cutting the size of your hand you can bring this plant indoors during the winter and let it root right in moist loose soil. If you live in a dry climate, use a little plastic wrap to increase the humidity. You’ll enjoy the scent and ease of adding this tasty herb to foods all through the holidays.
Thyme is a hearty plant and will grow from cuttings of larger plants from outdoors. Bringing these cuttings into your kitchen for the fall and winter will bring a lovely scent into the room. My rosemary plant does the same thing.
I grow mint indoors all year long for herbal tea and mixing into soap. My mint sits in my kitchen window that gets morning sun. I keep the tops trimmed and let the leaves dry out in a dish. Grows quickly.
I love the way sage grows straight with long leaves…and the scent is wonderful. I dry this herb and create smudging sticks often. During the holidays sage is terrific in dressings and stuffing a turkey, yum. You can bring this plant indoors and place in moist soil with lots of sunlight and it’s a happy camper.
Like Rosemary, Oregano will create roots from a piece of the herb in water. Once the roots have been established transfer carefully to your 6 inch pot and sprinkle soil on the roots loosely.
For the tastiest lemon balm let the herb establish for all four seasons before beginning to use. Plant lemon balm indoors in the autumn and it will do well through the winter. In the spring move it outdoors with lots of morning sun.
Chives are tough and will grow no matter where you plant them, but for best results sit next to a window that gets at least half a day of sunshine. To use in the kitchen, cut the plant at the base leaving most of the plant untouched.
My basil seeds seemed to take forever regardless of my constant care. Once the small roundish leaves began to sprout I literally jumped up and down. Don’t over water, but if the plant gets too much sunlight test the soil with your fingers.
Of course I use all of these herbs after drying them, in spells and some for smudging. Sage isn’t the only great herb for smudging as I will show you in my next post. Let me know how your plants are doing and how you make sure they last through the winter. Blessed Be.