Herbs as Houseplants

Many herbs serve as fine houseplants. Their visual beauty, aromatic properties, and continued service in the kitchen make herbs terrific winter companions.

As with many plants, herbs require at least 6 hours of continuous sunlight a day. Should these requirements be difficult or impossible to meet grow lights are a great solution. Please visit an earlier post titled Starting Seeds Under Lights. All of the details found there will guide you through the process of growing under lights. In brief you want the lights about 2-4 inches above your plants and leave them on 14-16 hours. Timers are indispensable.

Do not over-water!!! Check your soil for dampness before watering by poking your finger down into the pot an inch or two. It will not hurt most plants should they become slightly wilted. This condition creates space in the soil for oxygen, an element essential to healthy plants. This air is displaced when you water. So water thoroughly but only when needed.

Every living thing needs nutrients but please don’t use synthetic chemicals. After all, you might just want to eat some of these herbs!!! Fish fertilizer, although a bit smelly, is a definite treat for your plants. I like to mix a ¼ recommended dilution in recycled gallon containers that provides both feeding and watering simultaneously. There are also herbal fertilizers that you can prepare. Comfrey leaves can be soaked in water for a month to create a potash-high solution. Leaves of the same, wilted for several days can be used as a slow release fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and trace elements. Nettle, soaked for a few weeks, yields minerals, elements, iron, and nitrogen. Tansy contains minerals and potassium, and brewed black or green tea leaves contain nitrogen, phosphoric acid, manganese, and potash. Yarrow provides copper and is a fine all-purpose fertilizer.

There are earlier posts that will guide you through insect control, soil, and maintaining container gardens. Although written for outdoor gardens, the rules apply to indoor container gardens as well. All of these posts are primers for becoming a superb gardener, inside or out. And just like your outdoor garden bio diversity is key to a healthy indoor one as well. The post titles include:

INTRODUCTION TO CONTAINER GARDENING

HOMEBREWED ANTIDOTES AND ANECDOTES

SOIL – THE GODDESS OF THE GARDEN

STARTING SEEDS UNDER LIGHTS

SHOPPING FOR COMPANION PLANTS

The following list provides some good subjects for indoor herb gardens.

Basil

Bay

Chives

Dill

Burnet

Tarragon Marigold

Marjoram

Mint

Oregano

Parsley

Rosemary

Sage

Savory

Lemon Balm

Lemon Verbena

Thyme

Lavender

Pineapple Sage

Calendula

Chervil

Cilantro and Anise sown together

Lemon Grass

Nasturtium

True Tarragon

 




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