Indoor medicinal and culinary herbs

epiphaneDecember 6, 2012

Hello all. I wanted to try growing medicinal and culinary herbs in my kitchen this winter, I thought a mason jar with some gravel at the bottom and enriched soil would be fine but I am not sure which herbs would be best. I would like to grow Holy basil, wild oregano, thyme, sweet basil but i don't know what else would even begin to work. I look forward to all suggestions. Thanks

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I'm afraid your mason jar idea is not going to produce happy plants. If you are growing in containers indoors your pot MUST have drainage holes. Gravel at the bottom will not do the job because water will just sit there and cause rot. You will need a free draining potting mix, fairly cool temperatures (cooler than is comfortable for you) and lots of light light.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 4:48PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Do you have a place to grow herbs outside? Either in containers or in the ground?

If so, I would suggest that mid to late winter (depending upon the plant) that you start some seeds. Holy basil (a favorite of mine), thyme, basil, and so many more are easy to start from seed. Time the growth of these young plants for the outdoor growing season. You get the joy of starting seeds plus growing something in the winter season that will end up being more productive than the plants grown exclusively indoors.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Aindra(8, BC)

I echo above posts' advices. (Except "fairly cool temperature" because you need warmth to germinate the seeds.)

Pick your favourite herbs and just go for it (with proper pots, soil mix, decent sunlight, of course.) as long as you don't expect the best results.

1. If you plan to grow basil, do you know how to prune them properly?

2. Are you aware about aphids and insects that may swarm your indoor plants? (In my experience, my basil plants often were victims of aphids.) It's better to be prepared to deal with them when they arrive.

3. Not all plants that works for them works for you too. Or vice versa. People tend to say you can't grow indoor rosemary year-round but mine did and is still going at it. It's two years old now. Best thing is just try it to see what happens.

4. Since you like the sweet basil... Basil's optimum temperature for germination is 70 degrees Farenheit (21 C) but the seeds will germinate well with temperatures between 65-85 degrees (18-30 C) in about 7-15 days. (from here).

5. Sometimes you'll get dud seeds. I bought a parsley and strawberry packets and not single seed sprouted and I used whole thing!

This post was edited by Aindra on Fri, Dec 7, 12 at 17:20

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:18PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Aindra - the 'fairly cool' was intended to refer to the growing conditions, not the germination. The OP did not specify sowing seeds. I suppose I assumed they would be planting plants. Compared with the average centrally heated house most plants do need a cooler temperature.

Regarding pruning basil - that only really applies if your basil has grown really large, probably outdoors. I have to grow all my basil under glass and it has never needed pruning.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:13AM
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