How to grow herbs indoors

Herbs are one of the most rewarding plants to grow. But you don’t need a big garden to reap the tasty benefits. All you need is a sunny window or two and a little bit of time. Get started with these inside tips from Bunnings’ Greenlife Buyer Sharyn Petrzela.

Best herbs to grow indoors

With a little TLC, most herbs can be grown inside. Start with popular herbs like coriander, chives, mint and thyme. Some herbs, including rosemary, basil and oregano, can get a bit bigger if you don’t keep pruning/harvesting so you may need to plant them in your garden or put them in bigger pots outside if they get too big.

How to plant your indoor herbs

Most herbs come as seedlings in small 100mm or 125mm pots. Plant the seedlings in their own pot using a premium potting mix and place a saucer underneath or use a self-watering pot. Alternatively, leave the seedling in its original container and sit it inside a cachepot (a decorative planter).

There’s a wide range of attractive indoor pots to choose from. A larger pot will give the herbs more room to grow, so you can enjoy a larger and longer harvest. The ideal pot size is between 150mm and 200mm, however, if indoor space is limited, keep your herbs in the small pot and replace them more often. You’ll still find this to be better value and more rewarding than buying fresh-cut herbs from the supermarket, and they’ll last longer.

Where to grow your herbs indoors

Herbs need lots of sunlight, so find a position in a light space by a window for optimal growth.

Plants naturally grow towards the sunlight, so turn them around occasionally to ensure even growth.

Wherever you place your herbs indoors, be sure to take them outside from time to time for some direct sunlight.

Add just the right amount of water

Take care not to over-water your herbs. Water the potting mix (not the plant’s leaves), adding just enough water to keep it moist.

Most herbs don’t like sitting in water, so pay attention to drainage. Remove the saucer or cachepot to allow free drainage after watering and return it once water has stopped running from the bottom.

Feed your herbs

Feeding your indoor herbs is important for best results. A premium potting mix will have enough slow-release fertiliser to last a couple of months. To boost growth and vitality, supplement this with a fortnightly dose of liquid fertiliser.

Harvest leaves regularly

Trim herb leaves regularly to encourage thicker, more compact growth – the same as you would if you were growing them outside. If your herbs look stretched and leggy, cut them back reasonably hard, feed them and take them outside until they recover.

Start growing

Growing herbs is easy and there is so much choice. Select herbs that you regularly use for your cooking, herbs for herbal teas or medicinal plants like Aloe Vera. For more ideas and inspiration, check out our full range of herbs.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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