11 Herbs You Can Actually Grow Indoors

Basket full of fresh cut herbs.

Kaelyn Guerin

Fresh, fragrant herbs are one of our favorite ways to add flavor and variety to just about everything we cook—but the garden party doesn't have to end when the growing season does. Bring your go-to herb plants inside when the weather gets cold in fall, and with a few simple tips, you'll be able to enjoy that freshness all winter long.

Here's our guide on how to grow your favorite herbs indoors.

Meet the Expert

Alexandra Jones is a certified master gardener in Philadelphia. As an indoor and outdoor gardener, Jones is an author in topics like gardening, climate, urban farming, and sustainability.

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Basil

basil plants in pink pots on windowsill

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  • Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Gardeners anticipate the arrival of fragrant summer basil all year long, but you can enjoy it in the off season, too. Keep this tender herb in a warm place in your home where it will get as much sunlight as possible—it needs at least eight hours each day to thrive.

When your plant is four to six inches tall, pinch back the growth tips to encourage fuller, bushier growth, then use the leaves in your favorite recipes.

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Parsley

parsley plant growing in pot on windowsill

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  • Botanical name: Petroselinum crispum
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Both flat-leaf and curly parsley can be adapted for indoor growing. Choose a sunny windowsill, ideally with a south-facing or west-facing exposure, and remember to rotate the pot every few days so the plant grows evenly. Keep the soil evenly moist and harvest sprigs as needed.

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Thyme

A close up view of thyme plant on a white pot

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  • Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix cut with a handful of coarse sand
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

This hardy herb is easy to transition indoors in the fall, tend indoors through the winter, and then bring back outside when the weather warms up in spring.

Thyme needs a spot that gets several hours of sun each day. Use thyme to add a grassy, woodsy note to all kinds of recipes from cocktails to roasted chicken.

Your thyme plant doesn't like wet feet, so try planting it in a terracotta pot to reduce the risk of root rot.

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Lavender

French lavender growing in a metal pot in a garden

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  • Botanical name: Lavandula spp.
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Another tough, woody herb, aromatic lavender makes an excellent addition to your indoor herb garden.

Give the plant as much bright, direct sunlight as you can, and if the plant starts to look long and leggy, that's a sign it's not getting enough light. Allow the plant to dry out a bit between waterings.

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Chives

white flower pot with fresh chives on the kitchen desk

Claudia Nass/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Allium schoenoprasum
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

With their short shelf life, it can be difficult sometimes to find fresh chives in grocery stores and supermarkets—so why not grow your own?

Keep your chives on a bright, sunny windowsill that gets at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day, and allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings. When you're ready to add that subtly zesty flavor to your cooking, simply snip a few leaves at the base.

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Rosemary

Fresh basil, mint and rosemary are growing in a large white flower pot on windowsill indoors.

Julija Kumpinovica/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Salvia rosmarinus
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Whether you brought this hardy, aromatic herb in from your patio garden or purchased one as a cute mini Christmas tree, you can grow rosemary indoors all the way through winter.

A bright, sunny spot with six to eight hours of light per day is ideal. Allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering, and allow the pot to drain fully before retuning it to its drip tray.

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Sage

bunch of sage leaves on wooden table

Brett Stevens/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Salvia officinalis
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Soft, fuzzy sage is such a versatile culinary herb, enhancing drinks and dishes alike with its earthy, minty, and almost citrusy aroma. Choose a warm spot with six to eight hours of sunlight per day for this herb.

To keep the roots from getting waterlogged, try planting it in a terracotta pot, which allows for quicker evaporation, and only water once the top inch or so of soil has dried out.

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Tarragon

Potted Tarragon and Two Pebbles on a Wooden Plank

Sue Wilson/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Artemisia dracunculus
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

Another herb that can sometimes be hard to find in stores, tender tarragon adds a unique licorice-like flavor to recipes.

Choose a windowsill that gets six to eight hours of sunlight per day—an east, west, or even north-facing window with good light works well for this.

Tarragon sprigs are perfect to harvest for several recipes, or try infusing them into white wine vinegar for use in salad dressing.

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Cilantro

Cilantro in terra cotta pot on window sill

grandriver/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix cut with a handful of coarse sand
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

The zippy, unmistakeable flavor of fresh cilantro is a must for all kinds of dishes, from sauces and dips to soups and curries. Give this plant plenty of sunlight, ideally six to eight hours per day, from a bright, sunny window.

Cilantro should be watered deeply, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Snip your own fresh sprigs any time you need them, and be sure to chop up and use the tender stems, too—they offer just as much flavor as the leaves.

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Mint

close-up of peppermint plant growing in metal garden pot

James A. Guilliam/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Mentha spp.
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

With its aggressive growth habit, mint is an ideal candidate for growing in containers—planted in the ground, it will quickly take over your entire garden. Plus, planting it in a pot makes it easier to bring indoors for the winter.

Give mint a warm climate and as much sun as you can. Use a well-draining potting mix, and water when the top of the soil begins to dry out. Harvest mint for use in savory dishes, desserts, herbal tea, or even hot cocoa.

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Oregano

Fresh Oregano herb in a garden pot

Biitli/Getty Images

  • Botanical name: Origanum vulgare
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil type: Free-draining potting mix cut with a handful of coarse sand or perlite
  • Soil pH: 6.0-7.0

If basil is the starring herb in the summer months, oregano takes its place in the winter. Give it a warm place with lots of direct sunlight, ideally in a south-facing or west-facing window.

Your oregano needs water when the top layer of soil has dried out, and snip off sprigs frequently to encourage bushy growth. Use this versatile, hardy herb in sauces, pastas, pestos, roasts, braises, soups, and vegetable dishes.

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