Growing Your Own Indoor Herbs this Winter

Growing Your Own Indoor Herbs this Winter

Growing your own fresh herbs indoors can be done by almost anyone. With so many benefits from improved wellbeing, adding flavour to your cooking, and having less waste, why not give it a try?

Why Grow Your Own Herbs?

As someone that likes to both cook food from scratch and to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging, buying fresh herbs is a common source of frustration. As is often throwing out the unused wilted and browned remains out of my fridge weeks later. Most supermarkets sell fresh herbs wrapped in plastic, or in a planting pot (wrapped in more plastic!). And while some grocers now sell herbs with minimal packaging and no plastic, the reality is these are not always an option for most of us.

So I wanted to find out if there was another way. And it turns out the answer is actually quite fun and provides some other sundry benefits. It's growing your own herbs indoors. What's more, you can do this year-round, including winter.

Why bother you ask? That's fair, it is easier to just grab them from that supermarket aisle end-cap. So here are a few reasons to inspire you to take the step:

It's Good For You! Incorporating a variety of fresh herbs into your diet is not only a delight for your taste buds but also a boost to your overall health and well-being. The well-being part comes from that good feeling you get growing and tending to plants, something many living in cities don't have an opportunity to do.

Freshness and Sustainability: Growing your own herbs ensures you have a fresh, sustainable supply of these plants, reducing the need for packaged herbs and contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Nutritional Boost: Fresh herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, parsley is high in Vitamin K, C, and A, while basil provides Vitamin K and manganese. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including bone health, immune response, and antioxidant protection.

Antioxidant Properties: Many herbs, like oregano and thyme, contain high levels of antioxidants, which help combat free radicals in the body. This can reduce oxidative stress and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers.

Flavor Without Calories: Fresh herbs add a burst of flavor to dishes without contributing significant calories. This is particularly beneficial for those monitoring their caloric intake or seeking to reduce the use of salt and sugar in their diet.

Digestive Health: Herbs like mint and fennel are known for their digestive benefits. They can help soothe the stomach, reduce bloating, and promote healthy digestion.

What Do I Need to Grow Herbs Indoors?

Growing herbs indoors doesn't have to be difficult, too involved, or expensive. What's more, you can do this year-round, including in winter. To start, here are the essentials:

Light: Herbs thrive in light. If natural light is insufficient, consider full-spectrum grow lights, placing plants within 12 inches of the bulbs.

Watering: Keep soil moist but not waterlogged. Herbs like chives and parsley require more moisture, while Mediterranean herbs prefer drier soil.

Containers: Ensure they have drainage holes. Various sizes work, but remember, smaller pots require more frequent repotting.

Potting Soil: Choose fast-draining soil. For Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano, mix a cactus blend with regular potting soil. Herbs such as basil and mint prefer regular potting soil. Fertilize bi-monthly with a liquid houseplant fertilizer.

Common Herbs to Grow Indoors?


This sun-loving herb requires a south-facing window and consistent moisture. Basil's versatility in cooking ranges from pizzas and pasta sauces to salads and pesto. It's not a long-term houseplant, so replant seeds every few weeks to maintain supply.


Thrives in moderate to strong light and moist soil. It's ideal for teas, salads, and desserts. Mint varieties are extensive, offering a range of flavors.


A Mediterranean herb that grows low and spreads. Start with a cutting, place it in a south-facing window, and water when soil is dry. Oregano is essential in various cuisines, from Italian to Middle Eastern.


Thrives in moderate to strong light and moist soil. It's ideal for teas, salads, and desserts. Mint varieties are extensive, offering a range of flavors.


Start with a cutting and place in a south-facing window. Prune regularly. Rosemary prefers less water and a good drainage system. It's ideal for flavoring meats and soups.


Requires strong sun and tolerates dry indoor air. Sage's silver foliage and aroma make it a delightful indoor plant.


Loves direct sunlight and well-drained soil. Thyme is versatile in cooking and a good starter plant for indoor herb gardens.


They grow well in full sun and can be moved indoors at the end of the growing season. Chives add a mild onion flavor to eggs, soups, and salads, and grow best in bright light.