Caring for Windowsill Herbs

We all have seen the pots of herbs in the grocery store and seen plenty of pictures of herbs sitting pretty on a windowsill, but do herbs really thrive inside? After all they are a plant that grows best outside in the garden or inside a greenhouse. The answer is: for the most part. Some herbs are better suited for indoor windowsills than others, and a windowsill garden is a great way to have fresh herbs close at hand! Let’s face it, fresh herbs are wonderful and nothing beats using fresh basil when preparing a meal. Plus, the smell of basil can’t be beat!Mmm… basil.

Let’s face it, fresh herbs are wonderful and nothing beats using fresh basil when preparing a meal.

I would either start my own herbs by seed or purchase them from your local nursery. There is no guarantee that the herbs at the grocery store have been taken care of properly and nothing is more frustrating than having a plant die off shortly after you have brought it home.

Herbs that do best growing on your windowsill

  • Basil is an annual, so to keep your basil producing leaves, pinch off any flower heads that start to develop. Water basil evenly but it doesn’t need a lot.
  • Chives are an easy to divide perennial, so you can bring a clump inside to pot for your windowsill without much hassle. Chives have average water needs but don’t drown them or let them dry out.
  • Thyme is a perennial herb that needs lots of light and should never be overwatered. Thyme leaves also have a tendency to rot if they get too wet, so be careful when you water.
  • Parsley is a biennial but is usually grown as an annual. A more compact variety of parsley is better suited for windowsill growing. It doesn’t need a lot of water and can manage with less light than other herbs.
  • Sweet Marjoram is an annual and the best variety of marjoram for windowsills. It needs plenty of light, but don’t overwater.
  • Sage is a perennial and a very hardy one at that. It needs lots of light and only water as needed.
  • Oregano is also a perennial. It needs plenty of light but does not need a lot of water.
  • Rosemary is a perennial and while an herb, it is also grown as a houseplant, usually in some type of topiary form. Rosemary benefits from cuttings and it does need plenty of light and should not be overwatered.

If you choose to grow just one or two herbs on your windowsill or have a whole garden of herbs, use them, that’s their purpose. Being able to add wonderful flavors and smells to my food is well worth any effort (not much needed) to have them growing on my windowsill.

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