Everything tastes better when made from fresh ingredients. But, what if you are not lucky enough to have a garden?
Well, you can set up an indoor herb garden, for starters, just like I did. It is a great entry-level DIY project that requires minimal space and investment. Are you intrigued? I will show you a bunch of ideas that might inspire you to start your first indoor herb garden.
Don’t worry about it being too demanding! Jessica Cherner from House Beautiful, the oldest continually-published shelter magazine in the United States, explains potted herbs are easy to maintain and thus suitable even for people who aren’t the most attentive plant parents.
- 1 A Wall Of Herbs
- 2 Hanging Pots
- 3 Herb Garden In Mason Jars
- 4 Farmhouse Chic
- 5 A Shelf By Your Kitchen Window
- 6 A Shade Of Grey
- 7 Eco-Friendly Indoor Herb Garden
- 8 Hanging Tin Cans
- 9 Hanging Planter Box
- 10 Ready-Made Wooden Boxes
- 11 Traditional-Looking Hanging Baskets
- 12 Japanese “Moss Ball” Planters
- 13 Repurpose Your Old Baking Pan
- 14 Upcycled Herb Gardens
- 15 Kid-Friendly DIY Lotion Bottle Herb Planters
- 16 FAQs
- 17 Before You Go
- 18 About The Author
A Wall Of Herbs
Having limited space shouldn’t prevent you from having a large herbal garden. Simply make it vertical!
With a bit of know-how, you can build wooden planters to cover up an entire wall, maximizing the use of the available surface. Just make sure the planters are deep enough. I saw this kind of wall in an Italian restaurant, and it really warmed up the space and made it feel homey.
Will Calcote from the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture agrees that vertical gardening is a great way to take advantage of empty vertical space in your home. He states vertical gardens are good for both aesthetics and energy savings.
If building planters for an entire wall is too much trouble, take a much simpler route and hang a few pots. I adore the botanically-inspired look of indoor hanging plants, especially in one’s kitchen. Besides, I like the idea that my pet dog won’t be able to reach the hanging plants and ruin them.
If you are wondering which herbs are the best choice for a vertical herb garden, take the advice from gardening experts at the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society and plant the following:
- French tarragon
Herb Garden In Mason Jars
Get creative planting your own indoor herb garden by using things you have around the house. We all have a few empty jars in our pantry we can use to start our beginner-friendly herb garden. Figure out a clever way to hang the jars, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful-looking and practical mini-garden at the reach of your hand.
WVU Extension Agent Jodi Richmond has a few recommendations for newbies. He suggests finding a sunny location and securing loose, well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH. Richmond also warns herb gardeners to avoid using high levels of fertilizers as that could hinder the production of oil which gives herbs their scent and flavor.
I like the idea of using mason jars for an indoor herb garden. Probably because I always have at least a few of them lying around. So, here’s one more great idea. Stack the jars up in a rustic-looking wooden box and use them as a centerpiece on your dining table. Brilliant idea, isn’t it? It is free, too!
You can make the adorable chalkboard plant markers to know what herbs are in each jar. Horticulture program specialist Nancy Clifton from the Chicago Botanic Garden has a simple and elegant solution: cover old paint stirrers, stakes, and wooden spoons with chalkboard paint and then write your herb names with basic white grease pencils.
A Shelf By Your Kitchen Window
If you want your herbs extra close when cooking, grow them on a shelf in your kitchen, preferably next to a sunny window. They will appreciate the sunlight.
As explained in a Martha Stewart magazine, herbs require at least six hours of sun. The article in question also advises growing herbs in a pot that is 4 to 6 inches deep after adding some rocks on its bottom (if there is no drainage hole).
This is more or less how I grow my own herbs, except that I keep pots on a sunny window sill. So, I can vouch for the success of this method.
A Shade Of Grey
I had a lot of small terracotta pots left after re-planting my garden plants. So, I figured out how to use them indoors for planting herbs, even though their color did not fit into my interior design color palette. I simply painted them grey, and now they match my neutral tones perfectly! You can do that, too.
It is an ideal opportunity to grow fresh herbs from seed. After all, as explained in an article published by Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, starting from herb seeds allows for greater access to more diverse herb cultivars. The only downside is that some plants take several weeks to germinate.
Eco-Friendly Indoor Herb Garden
As you probably already know, I am very passionate about preserving our beautiful planet. Hence, I would like to inspire you to help the environment by reusing old tin cans as herb planters. HGTV has a great article on this subject, which includes a DIY project for a beautiful kitchen countertop garden full of healthy Mediterranean herbs.
This mini-garden can serve as an original housewarming present for your friends and neighbors, especially if you include some flowering herbs, too. I made one for my mom, and she loved it!
Hanging Tin Cans
Wanting to give you at least one more idea of how to use metal tins to plant herbs, I ran into this picture and thought: everyone can do this! It is a super-easy, beginner-friendly DIY project that requires only an old wooden board and a few cans and nails.
In fact, this is so easy that you can let your kids do it. I saw a similar activity prepared as a part of the collaboration between HRH, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society. You might find it inspiring, too.
Hanging Planter Box
Check out this solution! It does not even take up your wall, making this herb garden ideal for ultra-small apartments.
Gardening experts from the Grow Green company agree using planter boxes is one of the best indoor herb garden ideas for those who lack space. I just want to warn you from personal experience to make sure the chain you use to hang it is strong enough to hold it!
They also think the hydroponic system indoor garden is a great way to grow fresh herbs throughout the year. If you are a newbie, these professionals recommend enriching your soil with compost or mulch before you even start planting your herbs. It will help your indoor herbs take root and flourish during their growing season.
Ready-Made Wooden Boxes
I have seen these kinds of ready-made boxes in many stores. So, I am sure anyone can find them with a little bit of effort. It is well worth it since they can help you start a vertical garden in a nick of time.
As far as caring for your potted herbs goes, you can take advice from Robin Sweetser, an experienced gardener, a small greenhouse business owner, and a long-time contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She suggests the following:
- Don’t overwater herbs. Soil should be moist, not soggy!
- Mix equal parts of cactus mix and potting soil for tropical or semi-tropical herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
- Apply a liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month.
Traditional-Looking Hanging Baskets
Using baskets as planters for growing herbs is a highly decorative idea. Although I agree a small hanging basket looks really cute, I advise choosing bigger ones and combining a few different herbs in each of them. The soil will not dry as quickly, which means less maintenance. You can thank me later!
H. Camille Smith from HGTV warns you should place a plastic tray inside the basket and seal it both inside and out to avoid water damage. I would add that you should secure proper drainage by drilling drainage holes.
Japanese “Moss Ball” Planters
Look at these adorable hanging planters! I have only recently discovered Japanese moss hanging baskets, and I am in love! Their popularity tells me I am not alone. How can you resist them, though? They are natural and quite unique.
Biophilic artist Jeanne Luna explains that Japanese “kokedama” is a creative botanical technique of growing plants in a ball of soil covered in moss. It is suitable for many houseplants, including herbs, such as mint, basil, and rosemary.
Repurpose Your Old Baking Pan
If you have an old baking pan you do not use anymore – and don’t we all – put it to good use by turning it into a small herb garden. As this picture shows, all you need to do is glue some plastic to one half of the front side of the pan, fill that space with some gravel stones and pot soil, and plant your favorite kitchen herbs.
Why gravel? According to the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), gravel or grit serves to improve drainage.
Upcycled Herb Gardens
Many herbs do not require too much space to thrive, and that means you can plant them in almost any type of container you can get a hold of – even your old lotion bottles. Simply cut their top off and repurpose them as pretty pots for your parsley or basil.
In my opinion, this is one of the best solutions for newbies starting their herb garden from seeds as it will help them avoid the risk of overpotting the plants. According to the experts from the already-mentioned RHS, getting the right-sized pot is crucial for success.
Kid-Friendly DIY Lotion Bottle Herb Planters
If you are trying to teach your kid about the importance of recycling and growing your own produce, you can kill two birds with one stone by making these basic lotion bottle planters. It will take only a couple of minutes, but it will be a lifetime lesson.
You can use the opportunity to tell your child why recycling is crucial for our planet, something I’m personally passionate about. If you need a helping hand, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists the following benefits:
- Reducing the amount of waste
- Conserving natural resources
- Preventing pollution
- Saving energy
Which herbs grow best indoors?
Herbs that grow best indoors are basil, catnip, chives, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, spearmint, thyme, bay laurel, lemongrass, marjoram, cilantro, dill, and chervil. David Beaulieu, a landscaping expert and plant photographer from Spruce Magazine, warns some of these herbs can be toxic for pets.
What can I grow in an indoor herb garden?
You can grow most herbs in an indoor herb garden. Robin Sweetser from The Old Farmer’s Almanac lists the top seven indoor herbs as follows: oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, and cilantro.
Before You Go
I hope I inspired you to start planting some fragrant herbs! After all, indoor herb gardens are a great way to beautify your home and make your meals tastier. Use herbs regularly, and soon everyone will complement your cooking skills.
Help me spread the word by sharing this indoor gardening article. Leave a comment to let me know how you like it, too!