25 Best Herbs to Grow Indoors: Easy Year-Round Guide

Explore the 25 best herbs to grow indoors with essential care tips for a lush, year-round garden.

best herbs to grow indoors

Starting an indoor herb garden is a fantastic way to keep fresh herbs on hand all year. These herbs are perfect for cooking, healing, or just making your place smell and look nicer. You might be into the strong flavors of Mediterranean herbs, the seasonal beauty of annual herbs, the healing touch of medicinal herbs, or the variety of culinary herbs. This guide is all about showing you the 25 best herbs to grow indoors and how to create the ideal conditions for them to thrive. We’ll go over everything you need, from getting enough light to figuring out the soil and water they need. We want to help you boost your indoor herb garden so you always have fresh flavors and natural remedies right where you need them.

Selecting the Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

Choosing the types of herbs for your indoor garden involves understanding their unique needs and benefits. From the sun-loving basil that thrives in warmth to cilantro, which prefers cooler conditions, and parsley, which enjoys a moderate environment, each herb adds distinctive flavor, scent, or health benefits to your home. Integrating a variety of herbs into your indoor garden enhances your culinary options and contributes to a more lively and aromatic living space.

1. Basil

basil plant herbs indoors

Loves warmth and plenty of sunshine. Place it in a spot where it can bask in the sun’s rays for 6-8 hours of direct sunlight, perfect for that authentic Italian pesto.

2. Spearmint

spearmint plant herbs indoors

A refreshing herb that prefers moderate sunlight and consistently moist soil. Ideal for adding a cool, minty flavor to beverages and dishes.

3. Parsley

parsley plant herbs indoors

This herb thrives under indirect sunlight. Keep its soil consistently moist for a lush, green harvest.

4. Chives

chives plant herbs indoors

Favoring a sunny spot, they add a mild onion flavor to meals. Ensure their soil drains well to avoid waterlogging.

5. Cilantro

cilantro plant herbs indoors

Craves cooler spots with bright, indirect light. Ensure good airflow to mimic its preferred outdoor conditions.

6. Lemon Balm

lemon balm plant herbs indoors

With its soothing citrus scent and calming properties, it flourishes in light and loamy soil, requiring only morning sun and afternoon shade.

7. Oregano

oregano plant herbs indoors

This Mediterranean staple loves the sun. Place it in a south-facing window to intensify its aromatic oils.

8. Rosemary

rosemary plant herbs indoors

Mimic its native habitat with lots of sunlight and let the soil dry between waterings to keep this herb happy.

9. Thyme

thyme plant herbs indoors

Prefers sunny conditions and well-drained soil, ideal for adding depth to dishes with its earthy flavor.

10. Bay Laurel

bay laurel herb plant in pot

Needs bright light but protection from cold drafts, making it suitable for indoor growth.

11. Sage

sage herb plant in pot indoors

Enjoys plenty of sunlight. Allow its soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

12. Tarragon

tarragon herb plant in pot

A fan of dry, warm conditions. Ample sunlight encourages the development of its distinctive anise-like flavor.

13. Dill

dill herb plant in pot

Requires deep pots to accommodate its long roots and plenty of sunlight to flourish.

14. Tulsi

tulsi herb plant

Also known as Holy Basil, Tulsi prefers warm conditions with ample sunlight, often used in teas to promote wellness and reduce stress.

15. Peppermint

peppermint herb plant in pot

Keep in its own pot to control growth. Prefers cooler conditions with indirect light.

16. Lavender

lavender herb plant in pot

Needs full sun and good air circulation. Its fragrance can help promote relaxation and sleep.

17. Chervil

chervil herb plant

Thrives in cooler, shaded areas. Its delicate flavor is perfect for gourmet dishes.

18. Turmeric

turmeric herb plant

Requires warm, humid conditions with indirect sunlight. Known for its vibrant color and various health benefits.

19. Chamomile

chamomile herb plant

Thrives in sunny locations with well-drained soil. Renowned for its calming properties, ideal for brewing a relaxing bedtime tea.

20. Marjoram

marjoram herb plant

Prefers sun with some afternoon shade in hotter climates. Adds a sweet, citrusy flavor to dishes.

21. Catnip

catnip herb plant

Not just for cats; enjoys the sun and partial shade. Can be used in teas to help reduce anxiety, cramping, and more.

22. Stevia

stevia herb plant

Craves sunlight to sweeten your teas and desserts naturally.

23. Lemongrass

lemongrass herb plant

Requires full sun and moist soil to impart a fresh, lemony tang to your cooking.

24. Aloe

aloe vera herb plant

Needs plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. Known for its medicinal properties, including soothing burns and skin irritations.

25. Winter Savory

winter savory herb plant

Enjoys full sun and well-drained soil, perfect for adding a peppery zest to beans and meats.

Tips for How to Grow Herbs Indoors

herbs in pots growing indoors on windowsill

Ensuring Good Drainage for Healthy Roots

Good drainage is crucial for the health of indoor herbs, helping prevent root rot. Ensure pots have sufficient drainage holes. Clay or terracotta pots are preferred for their porosity, promoting water drainage and air circulation, essential for robust root development. This setup mimics the natural drainage herbs would experience outdoors, fostering a conducive growth environment.

Maximizing Natural Light for Robust Growth

Sunlight is essential for photosynthesis, the process through which plants grow and develop their flavors and aromas. To ensure your herbs get enough light, place them on a sunny windowsill, ideally south or west-facing. This maximizes their exposure to natural light throughout the day. In darker spaces or during short winter days, supplement with LED or fluorescent grow lights to provide the full spectrum of light needed for herbs to thrive, maintaining their growth cycle year-round.

Choosing the Right Soil That Promotes Good Drainage

The choice of soil plays a significant role in the success of indoor herbs. A high-quality potting mix specifically formulated for indoor plants ensures the right balance of drainage and nutrient availability. Enhancing this mix with amendments such as peat moss or perlite can further improve drainage and aeration, preventing soil compaction. This is crucial for indoor gardening, where natural soil processes are limited. Avoid garden soil, which can introduce diseases or pests and may not offer the same drainage and nutrient balance as a potting mix.

Adopting Watering Practices to Prevent Overwatering

Overwatering is a common issue that can lead to root diseases. Water herbs only when the top inch of soil is dry, providing moisture as needed without saturating the soil. This mimics natural rainfall patterns, encouraging deeper root growth and healthier plants. Regularly monitor soil moisture, adjusting your watering schedule based on the specific needs of each herb. Some may require more frequent watering than others, depending on their native habitats and growth stages.

Fertilization: Adopting a ‘Less Is More’ Approach

Due to their controlled growth environment, indoor herbs typically need less fertilizer than outdoors. Over-fertilizing can lead to lush but flavorless growth. Apply a balanced, organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during active growth. This will supply essential nutrients without overwhelming the plants. Opt for a fertilizer with an equal balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to support overall health, flavor development, and disease resistance.

Pruning and Harvesting to Encourage Continued Growth

Regular pruning and harvesting maintain the shape and size of your herb plants and stimulate new growth. Harvesting the top leaves encourages the plant to become bushier and more productive. The best time to harvest herbs is in the morning when the essential oils are most concentrated, enhancing the herbs’ flavor and aroma. A good rule of thumb for sustainable harvesting is never to take more than one-third of the plant at a time. This practice ensures it can continue to grow and produce effectively.

Overcoming Challenges in Growing Indoor Herbs 

pruning herb plant in pot indoors

Adapting to Winter Conditions

The Winter months present challenges like reduced daylight and cooler temperatures, affecting herb growth. Counteract these by introducing supplemental lighting with LED or fluorescent lights, positioned about 6-12 inches above the plants for 12-16 hours daily. This simulates the natural daylight cycle, encouraging continuous growth. Maintaining a consistent indoor temperature between 65-75°F helps mimic the ideal growing conditions. Protect your herbs from cold drafts and the drying effects of heating systems to prevent stress and dehydration.

Effective Pest Management Strategies

Pests can be managed with careful attention to the indoor environment. Promoting good air circulation with a fan or by spacing plants properly helps reduce excess moisture and deter pests. Keeping the area clean by regularly removing debris and wiping surfaces can prevent pest infestations. If pests arise, apply mild treatments, like neem oil or warm, soapy water, directly to affected areas. These methods effectively control pests without harsh chemicals, keeping your indoor herb garden healthy and productive. 


Growing your own herbs indoors is the best way to ensure a constant supply of fresh herbs right at your fingertips, enhancing both the look and smell of your home. By making sure they get enough light, have good drainage, and get the care they need, you can have a thriving herb garden inside. It doesn’t matter if you’re a green thumb or just starting out; following these tips and choosing from the 25 best herbs to grow indoors will help make sure your indoor garden is a success and bring you a lot of joy.

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  1. I’m curious, so do you have several different locations for your indoor herbs? I wanted to grow some in my kitchen in a hanging creative way, that didn’t really work out. I was hoping to see what you do, actually.

    1. Hey Kimberlee, my kitchen has a big window, and my dining/living area is full of them, so I use the windowsills for my plants. Check your kitchen’s light direction and hours of sunlight. This helps determine the right plants for your space. Mine gets indirect light, so I stick to lower-light herbs, like thyme, mint, chives, and lemon balm.

  2. This is perfect timing as I’m getting organized to start my seeds! I love growing outside but may need to plant some herbs for indoors this year. Thank you for the encouragement.