There is nothing quite like the aroma and taste of herbs to brighten and enhance a meal. Unfortunately, while your local grocery store has plenty of dried herbs in the spice aisle, the fresh herbs in the produce section are often expensive. Find some of the easiest herbs to grow in your garden to produce your own – a green thumb is not required.
Prepared food is not the same without a touch of herbs. Imagine a Mexican dish without cumin, chili pepper, or cilantro, an Italian recipe without oregano, thyme, and basil, or a Mediterranean meal without fennel and bay leaf.
There are so many different types of herbs with varying degrees of flavor that growing them at home may seem overwhelming.
While not all herbs are easy-growers, many are low maintenance and simple to grow in containers or a raised bed. Plant them in some potting soil, set them in a sunny spot, provide them with a little TLC, and enjoy aromatic, green leaves and seeds at the end of the growing season.
- How to Grow the Easiest Herbs
- What Herbs are Easy to Grow Indoors?
- Easiest Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
- Growing Sage in the Herb Garden
- Types of Mint to Grow at Home
- How to Grow Chives
- Growing Cilantro for Dual Purposes
- Growing Lemongrass Indoors as Houseplants
- Planting Basil in the Kitchen Garden
- Growing and Harvesting Oregano
- Caring for Easy Garden Herbs
- Fun Ways to Grow Your Own Herbs
- How to Dry Garden Herbs and Make Homemade Italian Seasoning
How to Grow the Easiest Herbs
If you’ve always had the desire to grow your own herbs for homemade pesto or to garnish your meals, you’ve come to the right place. Learn the ideal herbs to grow in a home garden or pot and their growing habits and needs. Discover a recipe for using dried herbs to create an herb blend.
What Herbs are Easy to Grow Indoors?
There are up to 100 different types of herbs, from tarragon and lemon balm to chervil and fennel. Some are ideal for preparing a culinary dish, while others have medicinal purposes. So, what herbs are easy to grow in a container indoors?
Some herbs for indoor growing are basil, bay laurel, chervil, chives, mint, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and thyme. However, if you decide to grow herbs inside, it’s vital to provide your plants with the right amount of light.
Place them on the windowsill of a south-facing window where the light is brightest or position them under a full-spectrum grow light. Plant them in slightly moist soil and feed them a houseplant fertilizer once or twice a month.
Easiest Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
There are many herbs to grow at home. However, some of them are fussy about the climate. While some herbs tolerate cooler temperatures, others prefer growing on warm days. Explore some easy-growing herb plants and the outdoor conditions they want to thrive.
Consider planting sage, parsley, oregano, thyme, dill, mint, and lemon balm for outside herb gardening. These herbs are perennials that tolerate changing temperatures, and they grow back year after year without much effort.
Other good choices are the tender perennial lemongrass and the annual cilantro. On the other hand, rosemary and lavender are a couple of the more difficult herbs to grow, and it’s probably a good idea to start with one of the easy-to-grow herbs if you’re a beginning gardener.
Growing Sage in the Herb Garden
Of the easy garden herbs, sage is one many overlook when planning the herb garden. This plant has an attractive appearance with its soft, fuzzy leaves, and the herb is excellent for seasoning poultry.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a hardy perennial with grayish-green leaves and spikes of spring flowers. The foliage has a strong flavor primarily used in poultry dishes, stuffing, and other holiday recipes.
Ideal for indoor herb growing, this herb also grows well outside as long as it gets six to eight hours of sunshine daily. Sow sage seeds two weeks before the last frost, spacing them two feet apart, and watch them grow 12 to 30 inches tall.
Types of Mint to Grow at Home
What herbs are easy to grow for making tea and dessert? Mint is one of our favorite additions to the herb garden, and there are more varieties than you may realize. While peppermint is one of the more popular mint herbs, many others have their own unique taste and scent.
There are hundreds of mint plant varieties, and some of the most common are spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, orange mint, lavender mint, and licorice mint.
Whatever type you decide to grow and whether you plan to use fresh herbs or dried in your favorite recipe, these herbs enjoy full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Unfortunately, mint plants tend to cross-pollinate, and it’s essential to plant different types at opposite ends of the garden. They are also invasive, and container planting ensures that they don’t take over the space.
How to Grow Chives
If you’ve never grown chives, now is the perfect time to try. Not only are chives tasty on everything from baked potatoes to omelets, but these onion family members are also super-simple to grow.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) love full sun and rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. They tolerate some shade but prefer at least six hours of direct light each day.
These perennial herbs for zone 6 and 7 grow up to twelve inches tall and twelve inches across, and they have a mild, oniony flavor. To harvest chives, snip the stems when they are at least six inches tall and leave two inches above the soil to encourage more growth.
Growing Cilantro for Dual Purposes
Although many people have a love-hate relationship with this herb, cilantro is an essential ingredient for Mexican dishes and growing herbs in fall works well for this plant. You may not know that cilantro plants also produce coriander seeds, making this a two-in-one plant.
Cilantro resembles parsley, and mistaking one for the other at the grocery store is common. However, they are two different herbs, and cilantro has a unique taste and smell that not everyone enjoys. In fact, some people say this herb tastes like dish soap.
Cilantro includes the stems and leaves of the coriander plant, and when it bolts, it produces flowers and seeds, called coriander seeds. Both parts of the plant are edible with their own flavor and use. Cilantro is popular in Asian, South American, and Mexican recipes, and coriander is common in Middle Eastern cooking.
Growing Lemongrass Indoors as Houseplants
If you’re looking for a tropical herb with a citrus flavor, lemongrass is a great choice. It resembles ornamental grass with its whimsical appearance, and it has many culinary and medicinal purposes, as well as repelling mosquitoes naturally.
This culinary herb has tender shoots and leaves with a delicate lemony flavor that stands up to prolonged cooking. It’s perfect for slow-cooked curries and stews, wonderful infused in teas and soups, and ideal for adding to desserts.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) grows in full sun conditions and prefers rich, loamy soil and consistent watering. It grows quickly in a planting bed or pot, reaching three to five feet tall, and a large pot is necessary for optimal growth.
Planting Basil in the Kitchen Garden
Basil is the ideal herb for beginning gardeners, and it’s one of the simplest plants to grow indoors on a sunny windowsill. We frequently pair this herb with Italian, tomato, and pasta dishes, and the leaves have a highly aromatic scent.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) has a fresh taste with subtle notes of anise and mint, and it’s the main ingredient in pesto. There are many types of basil, from sweet basil to Thai basil, and they are the best herbs to grow in the kitchen. The leaves preserve well in olive oil or by freezing.
Provide this herb with the same warmth and sunlight as the outdoors, and it flourishes in an indoor environment. It only takes seven to ten days to germinate from seed, and it’s ready to begin harvesting in three to four weeks.
Growing and Harvesting Oregano
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is an herb in Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian dishes, and it is commonly grown outside in the herb garden. However, it’s gaining popularity as an indoor herb, and it’s a great choice if you have a sunny kitchen window.
Oregano is a perennial plant when you grow it outdoors, coming back every spring with new growth. However, it’s a suitable herb for planting inside under the right conditions.
It prefers light, well-drained soil and little to no fertilizer and grows well when you let it dry out between watering. Frequent harvesting encourages healthy growth, and both the oregano leaves and flowers are edible.
The leaves have a bold, earthy taste with a subtle balance between spicy and sweet, and they taste best before the flowers bloom. In addition, this herb contains chemicals that may help with digestion, reduce cough, and fight against some viruses and bacteria.
Caring for Easy Garden Herbs
Once you decide which easy garden herbs to grow in your kitchen or on your patio, it’s time to provide them with some care to help them thrive as they mature. While different plants have varying needs, they all need the right amount of sunshine and water to flourish.
Most herbs want full sun for a certain amount of time each day. However, sunshine requirements vary between plants. For example, herbs like basil, cilantro, and dill desire at least six hours of sun daily, while others like chives, chervil, and mint prefer periods of partial shade.
Most herbs happily grow in regular potting soil that is slightly moist and not soggy. However, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and bay laurel grow ideally in a potting soil and cactus mix that is somewhat dry in between watering.
Spider mites and aphids are two common bugs that affect outdoor herbs. While growing herbs indoors means fewer garden pests to deal with, there are still some to watch for, including whiteflies, aphids, fungus gnats, and scale. The straightforward way to eliminate these insects is to kill them with a soap-based spray.
Fun Ways to Grow Your Own Herbs
While planting herb seeds in a standard indoor pot or outdoor garden is most common, there are other ways to grow herbs at home to make the growing experience a little more fun. Here are some herb planting ideas to create a unique and exciting herb garden.
You don’t need a fancy planter or pot to grow herbs indoors. Just about any container works well for planting them as long as you make drainage holes or place rocks in the bottom.
Consider planting your basil or mint in Mason jars or planting thyme and oregano in plastic bottles. If you lack counter space, hang a shoe organizer over a door and slip a small pot into each shoe section.
To grow herbs in an outdoor garden, try using plastic tubs. Pick a sunny area of the yard for the garden setting and bury the tubs throughout the bed.
Ensure they have drainage holes and fill them with potting soil before planting individual herbs in each tub. This method has a tidy appearance and keeps each herb separate from the other to prevent spreading.
How to Dry Garden Herbs and Make Homemade Italian Seasoning
You probably use individual herbs to season your foods, but creating an herb blend is a great way to personalize spices for your favorite recipes. Here is how to use your fresh garden herbs to make a homemade Italian Seasoning.
After picking fresh herbs from the garden or pot, separate the leaves from the stems and wash the parts you plan on drying. Pat them dry and layer them between paper towels.
Microwave the herbs for one minute and check to see if they are dry. Continue drying them at 30-second intervals until done. Combine all the dried herbs in an airtight container and keep them in a cool, dark kitchen area for up to six months.
Many think it’s difficult to grow herbs at home and choose to buy their fresh sprigs of thyme or basil at the market. However, many herbs are so simple to grow that even those with a brown thumb can produce them.
Under the right conditions, these plants grow well on a patio or inside on a sunny windowsill and provide you with a season-long supply of herbs.
Now that you learned about the easiest herbs to grow in your garden for all your culinary delights, why not share our easy-herb growing guide with the gardeners in your life on Facebook and Pinterest?