Growing an indoor herb garden can be rewarding for a number of different reasons. First of all, when you grow your own indoor herb garden you have delicious fresh herbs at your fingertips whenever you need them. Additionally, when you have an herb garden indoors, you need not worry about the weather outside and getting out to take care of a garden, because your whole herb garden could easily fit on your window sill. Unfortunately, you can’t get all of the benefits of having an indoor herb garden unless you are willing to put forth the effort and that means dealing with the work and problems that come with having an indoor herb garden as well.
Growing an indoor herb garden does require a few different techniques than traditional outside herb gardening. Indoor lighting, temperature and moisture are all artificially controlled inside of your home. Outside, these different elements are all taken care of naturally. So the first problem that you may encounter when growing an indoor herb garden is that you will have to adjust your home to accommodate for the needs of your garden. This does not mean that you have to crank the thermostat way up and turn your home into a greenhouse, but it does mean that you need to me more conscious about what your plants need. Sometimes taking care of your herb garden means sacrificing some indoor space. Specifically, plants thrive when they have a southern exposure ideally with about eight hours of sunlight a day. Failure to have sufficient sun will result in problems.
Some signs that your herb garden is not receiving enough light will be the development of long stems and leaves, as well as fading leaves or simply leaves that fall off for no other reason. If you do not get enough light from a window, you can supplement your herb’s growth with artificial gardening lights or “growlights” as they are sometimes called (although the names of these lights will differ depending on the brand that you buy). These special lights differ from regular light bulbs because they shine with the full spectrum light. This light mimics natural sunlight much better than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Of course there are many different price options that correspond with the complexity of the lighting system that you choose.
Other serious concerns that arise with indoor herb gardening are issues of temperature and moisture. For some plants, (and even humans) the air inside a home is much dryer during winter months and additional moisture is required in order to feel right. Modern heating systems are not ideal for plant growth. You can solve this problem by making sure that your herbs receive a regular misting of water and that you keep up on their watering. While this additional water is beneficial it can also introduce a new problem to the indoor herb gardener; bugs. In nature, the cold of winter kills the tiny insects that feed on plants, when those plants are indoors, the insects are able to live well off of the nutrients that they get from nibbling at your herb garden. If you see tiny insects either crawling or flying around your herbs, you can get rid of them by preparing a soap bath for your herb plant. Hold the plant by its root base and carefully dip it into the soap water bath. This simple dip into the soap water will kill any bugs that are clinging to the leaves. If you would rather spray the plant to get rid of the bugs, be sure that you spray the undersides of the leaves as this is where insects like to be.