Fresh herbs are a year-round necessity at my house. I use them to cook just about every dinner of the week. Sure, you can always find fresh herbs at the grocery store, but have you checked out those prices? I feel like half the time I buy grocery store herbs, they’re already past due, and a lot of the package goes to waste. So sometimes I’ll buy a whole plant at the store instead of the little packet. If you’re thinking of doing the same, you can bring the fresh aroma and kitchen utility of fresh herbs into your home with these five herb garden planter ideas.
Vertical Herb Garden
If you’re short on counter space, a vertical herb garden may be perfect for you. You can mount planters on a wall, place them on some kind of shelving, or use hanging mounts to make a visually striking and convenient way to grow herbs indoors. It’ll be important to place this display near a large window to get plenty of sunlight, or figure out an artificial light source. More on that later.
Hydroponic Herb Garden Kits
With many options and brands to fit every budget, consider a hydroponic herb garden kit. I’ve written about mine before, and I love it.They might remind you of pod-style coffee machines, since many of them come with pods that plug into an appliance-type planter that has both water and light sources built in.
A bit of an investment at first, these kits will give you herb garden planters that use less water, often use no soil, and are less susceptible to pests and disease. Many kits are self-watering and require very little oversight so are a great choice for someone who is new to herb gardens or might not have the time needed to keep up with a traditional soil planter. If you use a lot of herbs and want to grow other veggies like lettuce indoors during the winter, this is my favorite choice.
Recycled Container Herb Planters
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Grab that old pickle jar out of your recycling bin and repurpose it into an herb planter. Mason jars and plastic bottles make great inexpensive herb garden planters, too, and are a great way to get kids involved in a craft activity.
Note: If you go the plastic bottle route, be sure to do your homework on what type of plastic you’re using to make sure no chemicals from the plastic contaminate your soil. Most plastic bottles are safe to start herb gardens, but it’s a good idea to transfer them to glass, stone, or plastic containers specially designed for plants.
Indoor Grow Lights
As a kid I once tried to grow a Chia Pet under my bed. Aside from a moldy odor I eventually had to explain to my mother, I learned a valuable lesson in photosynthesis and the importance of sunlight in growing plants.
Depending on your indoor herb garden planter location, you may want to consider an indoor grow light or two, especially in the fall and winter seasons when daylight hours get shorter. There are many options to choose from, but I highly recommend an LED option as it will save on your energy costs.
Grow Herbs from Grocery Store Leftovers
If you have any leftover fresh herbs from your last grocery trip, you can start new plants out of the cuttings. Take a few stems of your leftover herb and remove the leaves from the lower third. Place them in a glass jar of room temperature water and let sit. Change the water every few days and within a week or so roots will form. Once rooted, you can continue to grow in water and just trim the herbs you need per recipe, or you can transplant into a soil container.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t work for all herbs. Basil, oregano and mint all grow easily in just water. For the thicker-stemmed herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme, you’ll want to make sure you’re cutting only new growth; putting old wooden stems in a cup of water won’t work. Softer herbs like parsley and cilantro won’t sprout at all, you’ll need to grow those in dirt the old fashioned way.
What is your favorite herb to grow indoors? I’d love to hear about your herb garden planter, and any tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way.