Whether you’re a home chef looking to add a burst of fresh, natural flavor to your culinary herb style of cooking, or a budding gardener ready for a new challenge, an indoor herb garden is a rewarding hobby. There are lots of ways to create an indoor herb garden: the traditional windowsill herb garden, vertical systems, or simple DIY containers like mason jars.
If you’re searching for indoor herb garden ideas and plant inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve put together a list of our favorite herb garden ideas indoor-style, plus care tips and the best beginner-friendly potted herbs to try. Whether you're a gardening novice or a seasoned pro, there's something here for you, so let’s dig in.
Best Herbs for Growing Indoors
When it comes to herbs for your indoor garden, you’ll have a wide range to choose from. Some of the most successful herbs for growing indoors include:1
- Basil – Although basil is easy to grow indoors, it usually won’t last long-term. Luckily, it’s easy to grow from seed. Just continue to sow seeds every few weeks to ensure that you’ll always have some ready for harvest.
- Rosemary – An easy, hardy plant for beginners, rosemary is perfect for adding flavor to savory dishes, breads, and baked goods.
- Thyme – Thyme is a versatile fragrant herb that can be used in various recipes. It's also relatively easy to grow indoors, as long as it has ample drainage and plenty of light.
- Chives – Chives are one of the few herbs that don’t mind a little less light, so they’re an ideal choice for indoor gardens. Start harvesting when leaves are at least 2” high.
- Oregano – Both Greek and Italian oregano grow quite well indoors. Be sure not to overwater—oregano originates from hot, dry climates, so it prefers drier soil.
- Parsley – Both Italian and curly-leaf parsley will grow indoors, but be sure your parsley plant receives at least 6 hours of sun a day. Parsley likes humidity, so refresh it with a light water mist from time to time.
How to Start An Indoor Garden
Starting an indoor garden is easier than you think. Once you start planting, you can enjoy fresh vegetables and produce year-round, all from the comforts of your home.
#1 Choose Your Containers
When it comes to what to grow your DIY herb garden in, there are lots of creative and unique options you can probably find lying around your very own home. A few choices to consider:
- Tea tins
- Mason jars
- A collection of tea cups and teapots
- Painted or decorated aluminum cans
- Upcycled bottles, jars, or containers
Whatever type of container you choose for your herb planter, here are a few pointers for success with DIY containers:
- Add drainage holes – Punch holes in the bottom of containers like bottles and cans to allow water to drain freely. Several holes per container are best.
- Add a gravel layer – If using containers like teapots or jars that don’t drain, be sure to add an inch or two of gravel at the bottom. This will allow water to drain out of the potting soil and eventually evaporate.
- Size up as needed – Some herbs may outgrow small containers like mason jars or cans quickly. You can either repot them in a larger plant pot or divide them into two plants.
#2 Choose the Right Location
Your indoor herb garden will need a spot that receives plenty of sunlight. If you don't have any sunny windows in your home, spring for stylish and efficient indoor grow lights. Adding a grow light to your garden as you plant herbs can help them grow stronger and quicker in some instances.
Follow this well-lit path to sunshine your herbs to greatness:
- A south-facing window is ideal, but east- and west-facing windows will also work
- Potted herbs need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day or 12 to 14 hours of artificial light2
- Signs that your herb plants aren’t getting enough light include weak, pale, or straggly growth
#3 Get the Right Tools and Supplies
Once you have your containers, it's time to fill them up! A herb plant typically needs well-drained soil to thrive, so be sure to use a quality potting soil mix—not dirt from your backyard (which can compact and become waterlogged).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Potting mix formulated for indoor plants
- Garden gloves (never handle soil with bare hands)
- Peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite for drainage
- A seed-starting tray to keep seedlings organized
The type of soil you choose will depend on the plants you're growing. For example, some plants prefer soil with a higher acidity level (i.e., lower pH), while others prefer a more alkaline soil (higher pH).
#4 Add Your Plants
Our favorite of all the herb garden ideas: growing fresh herbs full of fresh fragrance and vibrant color. It’s incredible the number of herbs that can be grown easily from herb seeds, including:3
You can also purchase seedlings from a nursery or garden center, or try rooting cuttings from an established plant. Your grocery store may also sell small live herbs in the produce section which will often continue to grow at home.4
Spice Up Your Kitchen with AeroGarden
You don’t need much to get your indoor herb gardening adventure underway: Start with a few small pots or upcycled containers rescued from your recycling bin, along with herb seeds or small herb plants from your garden center or even your grocery store. With plenty of light and water, you’ll be growing herbs and have a vibrant crop of fresh, aromatic herbs in no time.
Add an AeroGarden to your toolkit, and your herb garden will be even more successful. We have herb seed kits curated and ready, plus expertly crafted indoor gardens and grow lights to turn your gardening ambitions into fresh herbs and your most impressive home decor.
1, 2Piedmont Master Gardeners. Be inspired with indoor herb gardening. https://piedmontmastergardeners.org/article/be-inspired-with-indoor-herb-gardening/
3University of Illinois Extension. Tips on growing herbs inside for the winter. https://extension.illinois.edu/blogs/flowers-fruits-and-frass/2015-01-05-tips-growing-herbs-inside-winter
4University of New Hampshire. How can I keep potted herbs from the supermarket alive longer? https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2018/12/how-can-i-keep-potted-herbs-supermarket-alive-longer
Penn State Extension. Growing herbs indoors. https://extension.psu.edu/growing-herbs-indoors