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Planting herbs indoors as well as outdoors has become a favorite pastime for many people today. Herbs whether grown indoors or outdoors pay great profits in terms of good scents, good flavor and good looks. The intoxicating aroma of lemon verbena, the magical allure of fresh thyme, oregano, and rosemary, the refreshing smell of freshly chopped chives sprinkled over soup or an omelet, all these makes it hard not to get zealous about herbs. And best of all, these rewards are not limited to any season of the years or even gardens ,as with only a few pots of herbs that are well placed indoors, it is possible to have a good supply of superb herbal gifts and flavors throughout the year.
Which are some of the herbs that grow well indoors?
You should note that not all herbs like indoor life. Dill, garden cress, and coriander are all short-lived annuals that when cut for harvest, do not re-grow. To produce a continuous crop, these herbs need to be re-sowed. Five pots of each plant, each at a different growth stage, are more than enough. And while at it, forget trying to grow dill, coriander and other spice herbs indoors for their seeds as they won’t set enough to warrant the effort.
Not that unless there is plenty of light, growth of a majority of indoor herbs slow down, sometimes even stopping during certain seasons of the year even with sufficient warmth. When their growth slows down, it is recommended that you reduce harvest and hold back a little on the water. It is also recommended to reduce indoor temperatures to the ranges of 60° to 65° if possible.
Herbs grow very well indoors when placed in window boxes. All that is required is to fill in the box with soil up to the rim of the pots. This encourages more lush growth than when planted in stand-alone pots. The extra soil ensures humidity remains even and prevents the herbs from becoming pot-bound., something that helps the plants to grow better. Furthermore, the roots do not become intertwined when the herbs are planted this way. That being said, here are some of the commonly planted indoor plants in NYC.
This is one of the commonest herbs planted indoors around NYC. To get good results, make a point of bringing in established plants from the garden at the end of the season. This is because parley grown indoors from the seed never reaches the productivity and size of plants dug from the garden. When already established plants are planted, the old leaves fall off and new ones come out. The thick taproot in this case drives new growth from the center. The soil around the taproot in this case must be kept intact. When planting, make sure to use a pot that is deep enough to accommodate the root.
Chives and French tarragon
These are good for planting in the cold months of the year. They should be planted in pots and then placed in unheated garages or sheds. When outdoor temperatures begin to rise, the plants will put out succulent new growth.
This is one of the commonest herbs grown indoors by many homeowners. But for the plant to do well, make sure to slowly by slowly adjust the plant to lower light indoors. It should be placed in partial shade for 2-3 weeks and then in deeper shade for another 2-3 weeks prior to bringing it indoors. When enough new growth appears, then it means your plant is ready to go into the house.
All in all, you should make sure to provide sufficient light for plants planted indoors as failure to do so only leads to their slow and sure death.
Other herbs that can do well indoors include:
• Greek oregano
• Spicy Globe basil
• Broadleaf thyme
• creeping savory
• Vietnamese coriander
• Cuban oregano
• Dwarf garden sage
• And many more!
Dealing with water, soil and fertilizers
After proper light, soil is the other most important elements when it comes to producing healthy herbs indoors. The majority of herbs planted indoors also require excellent drainage, in particular during the cold months of the year, as this is season where the transpiration rates are the lowest. To improve the drainage without sacrificing nutrients, it is recommended that you opt for a good and sterilized compost-based mixture. Supplementary feeding with liquid fertilizers is also required for proper growth. When the plants are actively growing, make sure to feed this mixture once per week.
Watering the plants is something that should never be taken for granted. Generally speaking, water less frequently and more thoroughly only when the soil gets dry. Remember that overwatering can lead to the death of your indoor plants.
Herbs are susceptible to common pests such as thrips, spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, and many others. The best way to control these pests is to inspect the herbs on a regular basis and then applying the appropriate herbicide.