Grow Herbs Indoors: 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside All Winter

There are plenty of herbs that can be grown indoors successfully through winter on a sunny windowsill. Here are my Top 5 Herbs to Grow Indoors All Winter.
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Fresh herbs invigorate every meal and just make everything taste good. During the growing season, I love stepping into my garden and harvesting herbs by the handful for cooking whenever I need them.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have fresh homegrown herbs on hand even during the winter months?

Fall is a great time to think about starting an indoor windowsill herb garden to grow herbs indoors. Now that the garden is winding down, I am potting up some plants so I will have a fresh supply of fresh herbs all winter. I simply dig up a few clumps, pot them into 6-inch containers with fresh potting mix, and place them in a south-facing window that receives plenty of light during the day.

I’ve experimented over the years with various ways to grow herbs indoors during the winter. Some do fine while others need more light and warmth than a kitchen windowsill provides. However, there are plenty of herbs that can be grown indoors successfully through winter on a sunny windowsill. Here are my Top 5 Herbs to Grow Indoors All Winter:

Grow Herbs Indoors: 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside:

Grow Herbs Indoors: Chives are just one of the herbs that can grow indoors during the winter. See the other herbs that can grow successfully with low light and cooler temperatures.Chives:

If you grow only one herb indoors over winter, let it be chives. The mild onion flavor compliments many dishes of numerous cuisines from breakfast to dinner. Sun: 4-6 hours. Temperature: Average room temperature. Will withstand temperature fluctuation of 55-75°F (13-24°C). Soil: All-purpose potting mix. Water: Twice a week when soil surface feels dry. Tips of foliage will turn yellow if the plant is too dry. Harvest: Once the plant is 6 inches (15 cm) tall, cut leaves as needed leaving at least 2 inches (5 cm) of growth above the soil. The plant will continue to grow. Seeds: Botanical Interest

See: How to Divide and Pot up Chives

Grow Herbs Indoors: Oregano is just one of the herbs that can grow indoors during the winter. See the other herbs that can grow successfully with low light and cooler temperatures.Oregano:

Oregano is a staple in our household and is used most frequently in Italian dishes and as a pizza topping.  Sun: 6-8 hours. Temperature: Average room temperature. Will withstand temperature fluctuation of 55-75°F (13-24°C). Soil: Well-drained, sandy soil mix. Mix equal parts all-purpose potting mix and sharp sand. Or use cactus-potting mix. Water: Water when soil surface feels dry about once a week. Oregano is susceptible to root rot so do not overwater. Harvest: Once the plant is 6 inches (15 cm) tall, cut stems as needed leaving at least two sets of leaves.  Frequent trimmings produce a bushy, compact plant with healthier foliage making Oregano one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors over winter. Seeds: Botanical Interest

Grow Herbs Indoors: Rosemary is just one of the herbs that can grow indoors during the winter. See the other herbs that can grow successfully with low light and cooler temperatures.Rosemary:

I’ve grown the same rosemary plant in a pot for the last three years. I bring inside each winter.  Sun: At least 6 hours. Temperature: Average room temperature. Will withstand temperature fluctuation of 45-70°F (7-21°C) in winter. Soil: Well-drained, sandy soil mix. Mix equal parts all-purpose potting mix and sharp sand. Or use cactus-potting mix. Water: Allow top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings then water thoroughly. Rosemary likes to stay on the dry side. Harvest: Once the plant is 6 inches (15 cm) tall, cut stems as needed. New growth will continue forming on the stem. Rosemary grows slowly so don’t harvest more than 1/3 of the plant at one time. Seeds: Botanical Interest

See: How to Propagate Rosemary from Cuttings

Grow Herbs Indoors: Thyme is just one of the herbs that can grow indoors during the winter. See the other herbs that can grow successfully with low light and cooler temperatures.Thyme:

The intense flavor of Thyme complements most meats, including chicken, beef, pork, and game. I use thyme in winter in crockpot stews and roast. Sun: At least 6 hours. Temperature: Average room temperature around 50-75°F (10-24°C). Soil: Well-drained, sandy soil mix. Mix equal parts all-purpose potting mix and sharp sand. Or use cactus-potting mix. Water: Allow top 1-inch (2.54 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings then water thoroughly. Once established, Thyme is drought resistant. Harvest: Once the plant is established, cut foliage as needed leaving at least 3-inch (7.5 cm) stems to continue growing. Seeds: Botanical Interest

Grow Herbs Indoors: Parsley is just one of the herbs that can grow indoors during the winter. See the other herbs that can grow successfully with low light and cooler temperatures.Parsley:

More than just a garnish, parsley adds a light, fresh flavor and burst of color to many dishes including, roasts, grilled steaks, chicken, fish and vegetables. Sun: At least 6 hours. Temperature: Average room temperature. Will withstand temperature fluctuation of 55-75°F (13-24°C). Soil: All-purpose potting mix. Water: Twice a week when soil surface feels dry. Harvest: Once the plant is established, cut stems at the base leaving at least 2-inch (5 cm) stems to continue growing. Seeds: Botanical Interest

Some Helpful Tips:

  • If you start your indoor herb garden in fall, begin with established plants so they will continue to grow indoors over winter and produce quicker. Growing from seeds requires more attention and time before the herbs can be harvested and used. I like beginning with established plants potted up from the garden, purchased from a nursery or garden center, or rooted from plant cuttings.


  • If you have houseplants, it is a good idea to quarantine any plants brought in from your garden for a while to be sure there are no hitchhikers such as pests or disease. Leave these in a separate room for several weeks to be sure there are no surprises.
  • Propagating herbs from cuttings is a quick way to establish a plant. Cut a 5-inch stem, strip off the bottom few inches of leaves, place stem in water to root, plant into pots once roots develop, and water frequently until established. Then water as needed.
  • Fertilizer can be used to give the herbs a boost to help them grow indoors. Feed your herbs with liquid seaweed or to dress with compost in late winter as daylight begins to increase.

Even novice DIYers can craft some great natural handmade beauty products with kits from Grow and Make. Each kit contains ingredients, instructions, and containers to make your own homemade products.Herb Garden Starter Kits:

It’s easy to begin growing your own herbs with these Herb Gardening Starter Kits from Grow and Make.

The kits include a small solar greenhouse, organic peat pellets, organic seeds, and complete instructions and informative cards on each herb and its use. The herb garden kits make great gifts too.

 

 

I hope I have provided you with some tools to succeed in your attempt to grow herbs indoors over winter. The most important tip is to select herbs that can withstand low light of the winter sun and temperature fluctuations that they may experience on a kitchen windowsill.

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47 thoughts on “Grow Herbs Indoors: 5 Herbs that Thrive Inside All Winter

  1. PintSizeFarm

    What a wonderful idea 🙂 I’ll look into the Eco Eats challenge – thanks for bringing my attention to it. Those herbs you list are some of the best to have on hand too 🙂

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Gentle Joy, The transition from summer to fall is happening quickly here. I am glad I got some plants in pots in time before frost.

      Reply
  2. Rhonda Crank

    Hello, I really enjoyed this post. I have been tinkering with starting an herb garden for our medicinal concerns. I think some fall, indoor plants are just what I need to start with. Thanks for the well written and helpful info.
    Rhonda

    Reply
  3. Adelaide

    Being from the Southern Hemisphere… We are enjoying the outside gardening time here.
    But I must remember this come winter… I’ve never been very successful with inside plants. Thank you for the information!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer

    I blog hopped my way over to your site – glad I did – I will have to link up too! I have some posts that would probably fit the bill. Thanks for posting about the winter thriving herbs. I’m currently trying to find out what I will try inside in the snow belt here for herbs at my office 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Karen

    Great article! I had all these growing in my summer garden, but lost my many-years-old thyme this year. I’ve brought oregano in overwinter before, then learned that our winter is mild enough to leave it out. It’s always fun to learn! Thanks for sharing your informative and inspiring article at Wake Up Wednesday! Pinning, Tweeting, & sharing on FB.

    Reply
  6. Dave @ OurHappyAcres

    Great list! I so agree with rosemary being easy to grow indoors. I have a plant my wife potted up and it has been going strong for 10 years now. I have taking cuttings and made more plants to give away. I love rosemary in the kitchen too.

    Reply
  7. Melissa

    Great list! I will be transplanting some of our herbs from the urban farm to the house and would love to have some inside for the winter! Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  8. Margaret

    I have to bring my rosemary inside over the winter for it to survive – hopefully I will do better this year than last when I forgot to water it a few times and it almost didn’t make it.

    Reply
  9. dvelten

    I have a potted rosemary I keep indoors in winter. Haven’t had much luck with the others. We’re surrounded by white pines and don’t really have enough sun in the winter. Some of these are hardy enough to survive into early winter outdoors.

    Reply
  10. Marla

    Great information. I have been considered growing some herbs through the winter so I appreciate this post. Visiting from Health Happy Green & Natural Blog Hop! Pinned & twitted.

    Reply
  11. Lee @ Lady Lee's Home

    Great post! I wish my home was a bit bigger so I could do that too. I also have the same herbs in my garden for years now. I am so happy to see them come back to life every Spring. Since I don’t have much room indoors, and my young kids torture every living thing they can reach, I try to dry or freeze a lot of herbs during the Summer so I have enough for Winter. Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  12. Deborah Smikle-Davis

    Thank you for sharing Top 5 Herbs to Grow Indoors All Winter on the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party” Blog Hop! I have wanted to select some herbs to grow indoors and this article is so helpful. I can’t wait to get started.

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      2crochethooks, We are so hooked on rosemary as well especially for roasts, stews, and Italian meals. I am on the fourth year with my rosemary plant. Usually by spring it looks pretty shabby. But once it returns outside it begins growing and filling out once again.

      Reply
  13. erinblegen

    This is a great list! I was just looking at my oregano in the garden the other day, wondering if I should cover it before the snow flies or what to do. I think I might transplant now and bring indoors! I’ve grown vegetables my entire life, but am fairly new to herbs- so thank-you for the advice 🙂

    Take care,

    Erin

    Reply
  14. Miriam Caccese

    This was awesome! Thank you! I was wondering where I can find a guide similar to what you provided (requirements for sunlight, soil, watering, temperature, and harvesting) for other herbs. I am notorious for overwatering and not being able to keep my herbs alive. Suggestions?

    Reply
  15. Betty

    Any tips for growing cilantro? I live in So Florida and they never last long outside. I don’t know if they would do better inside? I LOVE cilantro! Any tips from veteran growers?

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Betty, I love cilantro too and never seem to have enough when I need it. It bolts very quickly especially in warm weather. My plants never seem to last longer than 4-weeks in the garden. The only way I can have cilantro on hand when I need it is to sow fresh seeds every two weeks. My friend, Daphne has had great luck keeping a cilantro bed growing by allowing her plants to go to seed and self sow.

      In the winter, I keep three small pots of Cilantro in rotation: one freshly seeded, one just beginning to emerge from the soil, and one that I am clipping and using. Growing cilantro is an exercise in patients because the seeds can take up two weeks to germinate. Once the first pot sprouts, I sow the next. Cilantro prefers growing in cooler temperatures and seems to do well in a sunny south facing window. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  16. Andrea @Little Big Harvest

    I am bookmarking this and it will be very helpful. I have become hopelessly addicted to using fresh herbs in my cooking, and I can’t stand the idea of going all winter without! Think I may have to make some room on my sunny south windowsill for some herbs in pots…the only big challenge will be keeping my cat OUT of them.

    Reply
  17. jillflory

    Great tips! I love fresh herbs – wonder if I could really keep them alive? I don’t have the greenest thumb in the world 🙂 Thanks for linking up at Friday’s Unfolded!

    Reply
  18. provisionroom

    What variety of Rosemary do you grow in Maine? I grow it here in California and it’s just everywhere as it thrives as a sort of desert plant. Wasn’t sure how well it would grow in the wetter conditions. Curious….

    Reply
  19. Richard Buse

    This is a great list. Thanks for sharing this. I relatively new to growing herbs, but I’ve found that peppermint is very easy to grow indoors and fills a room with the faint aroma of candy canes. That’s kind of nice heading into the holiday season 🙂

    Reply
    1. Rachel Post author

      Richard, Yes, peppermint is easy to grow on a sunny windowsill too. In fact, it almost deserves a post all it’s own because there are so many varieties: Chocolate Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, etc. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Reply
  20. SUSAN JOHNSON

    I am also successful at growing Basil all winter in my kitchen in a south facing window. I have also done chives the same way.

    Reply
  21. Laura from FermentaCap

    I must confess, I dry my herbs, just because it is faster to crush them when I am using them instead of having to cut them. But even so, homegrown dried herbs taste SO MUCH BETTER. I am addicted to parsley in certain dishes, and homegrown has that nice tang that commercial stuff just fails to impart.

    Reply
  22. Deniseinark

    Any of the shade loving and/or cool weather perennial herbs should do really well…chamomile and sweet woodruff come to mind. Some, like Golden Seal or St John’s Wort come might do ok but some have cold/dormancy requirements.

    Reply
  23. Teresa K

    I have a lot of these on my patio now unfortunately they are in huge pots. I’m going to need to transplant them. What size pots do you recommend? And what’s the best kind of pot — clay? Thanks for the help!

    Reply
  24. Gabe

    Keep in mind that members of the Allium family (such as onions, chives, and especially garlic) are toxic to cats. My orange cat will try to eat chives when I cut them up. So, if you move them indoors, make sure your cats have no way to get to them.

    Reply
  25. Claire Paige

    Lovely idea and great information about different kinds of plants. After I’ve made it with few small water gardens this summer, a good idea is to grow a herb garden in my kitchen. I’m definitely doing this project right this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  26. anna@greentalk

    I found rosemary to be hard to keep indoors unless it is small. I lost my 3 year old rosemary when I brought in this year probably because I let it get to large. I usually just take snippets and re-root. Pineapple sage grows nicely indoors and likes sun.

    Reply
  27. Anna

    This is a wonderful list of herbs that you can try indoors. I especially love that three of these are considered garden perennials, and parsley is a good hardy annual. Depending on where you live, they are all perennials. You can easily start all of these indoors in the spring from seed, grow them on happily, and plant outside. You can also take cuttings to keep inside, or use the cuttings as starts for outdoor cultivation. These herbs really are a cinch, and are so wonderful enjoyed fresh in cooking.

    Reply

Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!