How to grow aromatic herbs indoors?

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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The world is full of natural fragrances and aromatic herbs, so there's really no need to waste money on canned or synthesised products. With a little research and on-going care, fragrant plants can be successfully grown indoors and do triple duty as they add natural decoration, purify the air and add that lovely, fragrant scent to your home. Let's not forget that there are plenty of indoor herbs that can be used to add that special spice to your meals as well. So let's explore the secrets to growing perfect aromatic plants.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of keeping your indoor garden alive and thriving, let's explore a few popular aromatic plants. Lavender is the first one that comes to mind because it has been used for years to freshen up closets. But we also love the huge variety of other plants that can be used to sprinkle over your food. Think of the benefits of fresh basil and rosemary and mint! Mint is our great because its leaves can be plucked and brewed into fresh tea as well.

Whatever herb you choose, start with seedlings. This way you will avoid bringing in any pests and diseases from the outside world. So, let's explore the process and get growing!

Indoor lights: the central issue

Plants rely on light to photosynthesise to produce healthy leaves and flowers. So the quality and strength of your indoor light will be a big part of your indoor gardening plan. The hardiest plants will survive under dim or winter light, but they will grow tall and spindly if at all. They might be alive, but they won't thrive—and it's the thriving part that will really allow the flowers to blossom and the leaves to produce the oils that give off those strong, fragrant scents we so love.

A set up like this one by Bulbo is a great option, but there are plenty of others. It's important to choose the right light bulb. High intensity discharge (HID) bulbs are best and among them, you will need high pressure sodium and metal halide bulbs. The first will emit a red-orange light that will help the plants flower. The latter will emit a blue-whitish cast that will help the leaves grow healthy and strong. But these are more for commercial growers and can be expensive to run. If you have the money, LED grow lights are a good investment. They are expensive to buy, but they are very cheap to run.

Natural light: limitations and solutions

If you don't have the budget or inclination to set up an artificial LED lighting system, this is a great alternative. The suction cup portable plant holders stick to glass walls, so they can suck up every inch of natural light. This is great for urban dwellers. These can easily be moved around the home to take advantage of the best light as the seasons change. Note the fabulous watering solution for easy access and maintenance.

Self watering options

 Household by Gnomo

Indoor plants require more water than outdoor plants. So when you go on holidays, it’s extremely important to have a great self-watering solution in place. Something like this is good for an extended trip away. But it's also a great option if you tend to neglect your plants. The transparency of the container will make it easy to do a quick visual check of the water level as you pass by.

Group plants with similar needs together

 Kitchen by Bulbo®
Bulbo®

Cynara

Bulbo®

In colder climates where heating dries out the air, a lack of humidity can be a problem. Placing plants close together like this will create a higher level of humidity and can be a good solution. But even if you live in a tropical climate, it still makes sense to group plants with similar needs together. This will help you organise plant maintenance. The most important common factors to consider are humidity, light and watering cycles. No matter what plants you are tending, give them a good soak right through to the roots when watering. But avoid letting water sit in overspill containers as this will cause root rot or other problems.

Kitchen walls and handy access points

  by Woolly Pocket
Woolly Pocket

NEW Living Wall Planter

Woolly Pocket

The majority of your aromatic herbs will be edible, so it makes sense to include them in your kitchen plan. A wall unit like this is a great way to ensure that fresh herbs are a natural part of your culinary life. Let's not forget that simply brushing your fingers through basil or lavender will fill the room with an aromatic scent.

Visual displays for easy ongoing maintenance

  by Woolly Pocket
Woolly Pocket

Barbara Bestor Residence

Woolly Pocket

These days we are all so busy, that it can be hard to properly monitor our plants—let alone enjoy the serenity of having a bit of greenery in the home. Consider a living wall display. It's a far better alternative to hiding them away on a set of shelves. A high traffic area is a good spot because it will help you turn monitoring a part of your daily routine. It will also turn your aromatic herbs into a truly integral part of your decor as well.

If you are interested in urban gardening, you will love this Ideabook A tiny urban garden, Nürnberg.

What do you think of these indoor gardening tips? Do you have any other ideas for our readers? We would love to hear in the comments below.
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