My dying indoor herb garden

DecaturfamilytxMay 30, 2013

Alright, here is the deal. The wife came across a post on Pintrest for an indoor herb garden and asked that I make it for her. The garden consisted of a 1x10x8ft piece of wood. On it there were upwards of 15 mason jars. I questioned the idea because growing up (grew up on a farm) I was always told that plants will not grow if their roots are exposed to the sun. Needless to say I went ahead with it and a month later it was clear every single herb I planted was dying. So I went out and bought planters that fit in our rather large window seals, enough for 60-70 small herbs. The plants I felt may survive I went ahead and planted. This time around I went with a bit more of what I was taught; all planters had a drain pan, good drainage, soft soil, a little gravel and good spacing between. The wife and I then went out and bought a ton of new herbs (Lavender, Rosemary, Parsley, Oregano, Tyme, basil, and a few others I canâÂÂt remember) as well as a few pepper plants. She then decided to plant a nearly full planter of cilantro from seed
Well a month goes by with watering every other day and they all seem to be doing well, but â¦â¦. Then the basil started to get soft and slowly it died, followed by one of the peppers, then the lavender, then the Rosemary, and now I notice the oregano has turned brown and is brittle but the cilantro is doing great. I guess there is a big difference from growing corn to growing this stuff. At this stage IâÂÂm lost at what is going wrong. IâÂÂm not sure why the cilantro is growing like a weed while the rest of the stuff is dying.

Here are the planter details

6 planters in all, all in the kitchen
3 sit on the window seal to the East by SE
3 sit on the window seal to the NE
3 planters on the north side have 2x lavender on the outside edges, then Tyme, Oregano and parsley
2 planters on the SE side have 2x lavender on the outside edges, then Rosemary, something else, basil and then the peppers
the last one on the SE side mostly has cilantro and a bit of parsley
Noticed a small white insect on one of the plants and I used âÂÂNatria Insecticidal soapâ on all of them

What am I missing?

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

A picture would really help.

But 3 things spring to mind immediately. No holes in the bottoms of the containers? Too much water (every other day is way too much.) And what light do they get?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 4:47AM
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I'll take a picture later today and post it. As far as holes, yep... and lots of them.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:46AM
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My question is why inside? If you have any room outside you will have a lot better results. It looks like you need to put in your zone as well as your email link so you can better be helped here on gardenweb.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:25AM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

Your first reaction was correct. I've seen many prettty and impractical indoor herb garden photos on Pinterest...I remember the one you looked like sure fired plant death to me. Most herbs have roots that need to breathe and to drain. If they can't drain, they can't breathe. Perhaps if you replant in a lighter mix, and let them go very dry between watering you might manage to make this work, but I would be inclined to replant with something less fussy...maybe a variety of mints?


    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 2:42PM
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bjdurham(z7a GA)

Indoor plants that aren't rootbound only need water about once a week and only enough to where a little water appears in the saucer. I have houseplants that are over 20 years old that have never been watered more than once a week, and some Fridays I forget to water so they wait until the next Friday or until I notice they are drooping.

I haven't grown herbs indoors, but they can stand quite a bit of neglect outside. I've overwintered huge pepper plants inside, and I just water them once a week too. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:11PM
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jll0306(9/ Sunset 18/High Desert)

I'm so sorry, Decatur. I skimmed your message and missed that you had done a complete redesign before you replanted. Now that I have seen that, I agree with the advice to cut way back on watering.

That's a great success rate, Biduram. I love hardy, happy to be left alone plants (which is why my green onion starts of years back are now gigantic swords.) How often have you had to repot your plants in the past twenty years?

This post was edited by jll0306 on Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 12:05

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:31AM
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bjdurham(z7a GA)

jll0306, I think I last repotted 11years ago when I moved. I don't ferilize for awhile after I repot, and then when the plants start looking a little washed out, I'll add a little liquid fertilizer to the watering can every 2nd or 3rd watering.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 4:56PM
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