Marilyn’s Blog

Bringing your herbs Indoors

So now that winter is upon us; it’s time to bring all your precious herbs inside. Some of them will survive, but not all.

Choose the only the most robust plants to bring indoors. Before the first frost, dig them out of the garden and pot them up in fresh potting soil. Choose pots that allow for at least 1 to 2 inches of space around the root-ball. Water thoroughly and then check each plant for insects. If there is an infestation, treat the leaves with a soap spray.Keep the pots outdoors, out of direct sunlight for about a week. This will accustom your plants to being in containers and to the lower light conditions they’ll experience inside. Keep them watered. Prune any lanky growth. Bring them inside. To stay flavorful, herbs need at least five hours of direct sun a day. Your fluorescent lights, hung 6 inches above the plants and left on for 14 hours per day give good results.

Most indoor herbs prefer temperatures of between 65 and 70 degrees ferinheight in the daytime and between 60 degrees ferinheight at night. Herbs also need humidity. Provide it by placing the pots on trays filled with gravel and about an inch of water. Protect plants away from drafts, but give them good air circulation.

Don’t crowd pots together. Over watering will kill most indoor herbs. Between watering, let the soil surface dry out and use tepid water. Fertilize once a month with diluted fish and seaweed fertilizer.


Basil: Keep snipping it to prevent flowering. When plants become woody, compost them and start more from seed.
Chives: Pot up the plant and leave it outside until frost kills the foliage. It will re-sprout in a few weeks.
Mint: Mint prefers cool, humid conditions. To allow for its spreading root system, make sure the pot is wider than it is deep.
Oregano: This herb likes good drainage, slightly dry soil, and regular pruning.
Parsley: Challenging to transplant because it has a deep tap-root. It sometimes might be easier to start from seed.
Rosemary: Rosemary needs moist outdoor air and well-drained – but not dried-out – soil. Brown needle tips mean you’re over watering. If you have it outside, it’s important to protect it from the cold.
Sage: Sage is forgiving when you forget to water it. Keep sage in bounds by regular pruning.
Thyme: Thyme can handle some shade, but compost once stems become woody.
Thanks to my friend Marilena for sending me this write up