Introduction to Growing Herbs Indoors

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This article will teach you how to grow herbs indoors
by Brett · All Zones · Food Gardens · 0 Comments · September 22, 2010 · 9,998 views

Herbs can be grown indoors year around. They can be grown indoors in pots on sunny windowsills and in sunrooms. Herbs growing outdoors in containers can be easily moved indoors for the winter. Before doing so, the plants should be acclimatized in early Fall. Gradually move them indoors a few hours at a time over the period of several days so they can adjust to the differences in temperature and light.

Herbs growing indoors should be treated differently than those out-of-doors. Here are some basic guidelines you will need to follow:

Soil Requirements: When growing herbs indoors, plant them in a light, well-drained premium potting mix. Potting mixes that contain fertilizer are not recommended as herbs are very light feeders.

Planting Herbs In Containers

Follow these instructions:

  • Place a 1 to 2" layer of gravel in bottom of pot for improved drainage.
  • Use a high-quality professional potting mix to fill container to a level that will allow your plant to sit with the top edge of its rootball approximately 1/2 to 1" below top rim of the container. Professional potting mixes will hold moisture evenly. Cheap grade potting or planting soil can be mixed with the professional potting mix when planting hardy, ornamental shrubs or trees in containers, but, when planting most annual bedding plants, herbs, vegetables, houseplants and such, it is best to use straight potting mix.
  • Remove the plant you intend to grow in the container from its pot. Gently scratch root ball to loosen feeder roots.
  • Set plant in container and make necessary adjustments to insure that the top edge of the root ball will sit 1/2 to 1" below the rim of the container. Backfill with potting mix around rootball, tamping as you go, until the the level of potting mix is even with the top edge of root ball.
  • Water thoroughly and add more potting mix if settling occurs during watering.
  • Apply a 1/2" layer of wood chips or spaghnum moss to soil surface - maybe stone chips or gravel if planting succulent-type plants.
  • Fertilize container plants at time of planting with a slow-release, season-long plant food, or every two weeks or so with a water soluble fertilizer.

Light Requirements: One of the biggest problems growing herbs indoors is providing sufficient light to keep the plants from getting spindly. Grow them in the sunniest location you have or under fluorescent lights.

Water Requirements: Since the plants will not be using as much water as they do outdoors, water only when the soil is dry; apply enough water so that some drains out the bottom of the pot. Avoid overwatering which will cause the roots to rot.

Insect Control: Check the plants frequently for aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies which are common pests on herbs grown indoors. Pick the insects off, or spray plants with a mild solution of insecticidal soap.

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