What are the best windowsill herbs?

lpinkmountainMay 12, 2012

I just put up a shelf unit in my kitchen that is ending up with the top shelf at window height. Perfect for growing some herbs in a pot. What ones do you think would be best? It won't be super sunny, but light.

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I know of no herbs that will grow worth a darn unless grown in a spot whre they get 6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day. I can't even grow herbs in mu south window because the sun is so high in the summer.
Put your herb pots out on the patio.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Bay and rosemary will only winter over inside here - they go in bigger pots. Think of the herbs more like a forced flower and not as tropical houseplant - ie short-term. I am happy to get any fresh greens/herbs in the winter - and I really only expect them to last for a few months. Partly because I'm eating them partly because I'm giving them less than ideal growing conditions. Also keep in mind the leaves will be thinner and have less flavor than something grown outside or in a greenhouse - it's up to you whether that is acceptable to you. I have grown basil, mint, cilantro, chives and parsley indoors.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I must admit I've never had much success growing herbs inside, but I always atributed it to my general brown thumb!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:15PM
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I grew some leaf celery from seed last summer. Kept it in a pot all summer & brought it indoors over the winter. Greatly to my surprise, it survived wonderfully over our long winter. Kept it in a west facing window where it rec'd some direct sunlight although we have large pine trees that shade the west windows.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:38PM
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I think Linda C is onto something about getting enough light this time of the year with the sun so high in the hemisphere. I only grow herbs inside from late fall (before the first killing frost) through February/March when they start growing in the garden again. You may need a grow light to compensate for the lack of sunlight this time of the year when they are normally grown outdoors.

I use a grow light for my wheatgrass, which I grow indoors in 5-inch pots all year long. I generally have 6-8 pots at different stages of growth so I have a new one to harvest every day or two.

From the herbs in my garden, I usually divide out a clump of chives, parsley and thyme. Last year there were a couple small volunteer basil plants I brought in and had fresh basil until March and then bought some new plants to put outside. I bring in my rosemary plant, or I'll root a branch or two for growing indoors, depending on how big the plant is since space is at a premium. I only have one window where I can grow herbs (as well as micro-greens) in the winter.

Without sufficient light the chives will be thin and spindly and parsley will be more leggy than bushy. You will want to keep the basil harvested and fairly short or it will get leggy too. You may find growing herbs using an AeroGarden will be the only way you can give them enough light this time of the year. Otherwise, I'd suggest putting them outdoors like Linda C suggested, and bringing them inside this fall.


Here is a link that might be useful: AeroGarden

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I think you should be able to grow dill and cilantro in a window. I grow them outside, but they grow best here in the winter and seem to prefer less sun. Thyme seems to grow continuously, once it is started, and it doesn't matter what time of year, but it does get very bushy.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:35PM
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I have a whole herb garden outside, but since the window was in the kitchen I wanted to grow something edible. Maybe I'll do begonias, I read somewhere that the flowers are edible. Don't look very appetizing though!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:45PM
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I cut a lot of basil last fall when I expected a freeze. I put it in a glass of water in the window and used it for a week or two then noticed that it had rooted. I put it in a pot with potting soil and it grew all winter.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I've had basil do well for me in the winter but once it's warm, I grow everything outside.
Otherwise, I use my sunny (in spring/summer) areas for rooting cuttings mostly- that way I can monitor them easily.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Althought you can't expect herbs to grow as well as outdoors, you can be doing good enough with most herbs on the window sill year round.

The biggest problem is not with not enough sun, insects are difficult to deal with.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 11:47PM
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I've never had much luck growing herbs indoors. I buy or grow my own in the summer and freeze the excess in Ziploc bags.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 1:44AM
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