Growing spices indoors can be an enjoyable way to have fresh, flavorful herbs available whenever you need them. These plants not only provide useful ingredients for your cooking. They also add a little greenery, fragrance and oxygen to your indoor environment. Be ready to do a little research on the spices you choose so you are able to provide the right growing conditions for your plants.
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These are 7 of the most common and easiest spices to grow indoors!
Parsley is a spice necessity because it can be used for so many dishes. It’s easy to grow parsley from seed, but you can also transplant seedlings found at your garden store. This plant thrives in well draining soil with plenty of organic matter.
Choose your planting medium carefully, and make sure you have holes in the bottom of the container for good drainage. Germination is a bit slow for this plant. Make sure it has plenty of light to aid its growth. When harvesting parsley, cut the stalks close to the base, allowing the rest of the plant to continue to grow.
Fresh oregano is a handy spice to have on hand for creating tasty dishes for your table. Oregano is relatively easy to grow, but does require 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to thrive, preferably in a south-facing window.
If you don’t have this option, consider fluorescent plant lighting to provide additional light for your plants. Equal parts of potting soil, Perlite and peat moss make the best growing medium for this herb. Make sure only the root ball is beneath the soil. Covering the stems in potting soil can lead to rotting.
Basil is a great spice to grow indoors. Making for an easy fresh or cooked addition to almost any meal, or let it grow to an extreme size and take a bunch for pesto.
Basil does like some sunlight and it does not like to sit in water. You can harvest leaves for use without damaging the plant. Older basil plants will produce small white flowers, which will make the leaves of the plant more bitter. Trim the flower buds before they bloom to keep the plant in the vegetative state.
It’s also easy to grow basil from seed if you’d prefer that to buying a growing plant!
Flavorful chives make a great addition to a number of foods and dishes. This member of the onion family can be grown indoors from seed, or you can grow them from cuttings. You may be able to find cuttings at your local garden center. Scatter the seeds over the tops of the well-draining soil. Divisions should be planted with the bulb several inches below the soil level. Water lightly, but don’t overwater.
If you have a window on the south side of your building, chives will happily soak up the light for hours. Chives also prefer some humidity in the air, so keep some other plants nearby or place the pot on a dish of water filled with pebbles. Feed lightly, with fertilizer at half-strength.
You can also take leftover chive ends from previous times cooking and add them to water to get the roots started again so you don’t have to buy anything extra at all other than the pot and dirt!
Savory thyme adds depth to many types of dishes. This is a good plant to choose if you’re growing spices indoors! Choose small clay pots with holes in the bottom to ensure good drainage for the plant. Fill with a loose type of potting soil that allows good drainage and air circulation. Thyme prefers plenty of light, but isn’t fussy about the brightness.
You can grow thyme from seed or from seedlings from your garden center. Water regularly but allow the soil to dry between waterings. Thyme does not thrive in a soggy environment, so be sparing with moisture. Fertilize with a half-strength, all-purpose fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks.
Lemongrass adds a light, lemony flavor to drinks, teas, soups and stews. It can be grown indoors in large pots (as it grows to be a large plant) that will prevent them from tipping over when they grow to a mature size.
Growing from seed is not always successful. You can find cuttings at your local garden center or Asian food market. First, get the stalks to root in water. You can then plant the stalk into the prepared container, with the base of the bulb an inch below the soil lines. Spread the roots out in the soil to allow them to grow naturally. Keep soil damp but not soggy. Lemongrass is a heavy feeder, so use fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks. Harvesting the stalks will encourage more growth.
Mint is a versatile spice that can be used in drinks, candy, sauces and pastries. In outdoor gardens, mint will grow vigorously, with very little maintenance. You can find mint plants at your local garden center or, if you’re lucky, you can ask a gardening neighbor to spare a few plants.
Transplant into a good qualify commercial potting soil in a container with good drainage. This plant prefers indirect lighting. It likes to stay at about room temperature if possible. Humidity is important for this plant, so mist regularly or place on a tray of water filled with rocks to provide moisture.
Growing spices indoors can be a satisfying occupation because it provides a practical use for the fruits of your labor. Try growing herbs indoors, and you will find the freshness and improve flavor in your cooking make it worth the effort.
If you find yourself with aphids on any of these plants, here are 3 easy ways to get rid of aphids! And then just clip off the leaves that had the aphids on them and use the others!
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