Ready to start your own herb garden? If you are, here are 8 wonderful herbs to grow at home no matter whether you live in a house with a backyard or a small apartment. You can grow these herbs indoors and outside, depending on the season.
Nothing can beat the flavor of a dish made with homegrown herbs! If you don’t believe me, then I challenge you to try one. And without a doubt, there are a ton of herbs you can grow at home.
No matter if you’ll use them for cooking, tea or medicinal purposes, you can grow herbs at home in pots or in your garden.
And the good news is that you don’t need to be a gardening expert. Growing herbs is easy and requires some soil, water, sunlight, the seed and patience! But before you put on your gardening gloves, let’s look at the list of the best herbs that you can grow at home.
First on our list of herbs to grow at home is one that you have certainly heard of. The beloved basil. It is a member of the mint family and is often associated with Mediterranean cuisine and especially dishes like pesto, pizza and pasta.
Tips To Grow Basil: If you live in a country where it gets quite cold in winter, then you’d better plant your basil seeds in a pot. In summer you’d want to place it outdoors, so it can benefit from the ample sunshine and hot weather. Then, just before the first frost, you will need to bring it inside. As a result, you will have fresh basil for much longer! Put it on your kitchen window sill – somewhere where it gets sunshine for most of the time.
Health Benefits: Besides for its distinguished flavor, basil also has quite a few health benefits. It’s full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and cancer-fighting properties. It is also considered a natural adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress and then reduces its harmful effects. And last but not least, basil can act as a natural aphrodisiac by increasing blood flow and energy levels.
How To Enjoy: You may eat basil leaves fresh, cooked in dishes, or as tea. You can use the homegrown basil in sauces, with sautéed vegetables, to flavor meat or fish, and even in drinks.
Parsley is a widely popular herb used in American, European and Middle Eastern cuisine that elevates the flavor of your dishes and makes them taste super fresh!
How To Grow: If you have a garden, then sprinkle the seeds in rich soil at a place that gets at least 6 hours a day of direct sunlight. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and gently cover with some water (do not add too much). The most suitable period for planting is April-May and you can start harvesting in July or when the plants are big enough. Similarly, you can plant it in late fall as well. In this case, cover the soil with a transparent plastic sheet, so as to keep the seeds warm. As a result, you will enjoy fresh parsley in early spring!
You can also grow parsley in pots which can be positioned outdoors during the warm part of the year and then taken indoors for the rest of it. This way, you can make use of the herb all year round. That is because parsley is a biennial plant.
Health Properties: Parsley is not only delicious, but it is also famous for its positive effects on the human body. This rich in vitamins herb can improve heart and kidney health. It regulates blood sugar levels, has antibacterial properties, and boosts immunity. So, it would be a good idea to incorporate it into as many dishes as possible. But if you need a more concentrated herbal extract, then you can brew it as tea or make some fresh juice from it.
How To Enjoy: Fresh, thinly chopped parsley goes well in soups, salads, fish, and meat dishes. It can also be one of the ingredients of your healthy green smoothie. Combine it with spinach and avocado or a fruit of your choice.One of my favorite parsley-heavy recipes to make is a tabbouleh salad like this one. It’s fresh and so delicious – the perfect side dish to fish, grilled meat or plant-based patties.
This herb is used in a lot of Mexican, European, Middle Eastern as well as Asian recipes. In fact, cilantro is the leafy part that comes from the coriander plant. It must be borne in mind that its taste is quite specific and doesn’t appeal to everyone. But if you’re a fan of parsley, you definitely should start growing some yourself as it’s easy and so rewarding to do.
How To Grow: If you want to grow cilantro in your herb garden, then plant it during spring or fall when the weather is cool. Sow seeds leaving a little bit of space in between and cover with a thin layer of soil. Water gently in order for the seeds and soil to settle. Choose a place that receives plenty of direct sunlight (at least 5 hours a day) and has rich well-drained soil. You could also plant cilantro in a pot, but make sure it has holes on the bottom. This is important, as the cilantro plant can doesn’t tolerate too much moisture and starts to mold.
Healing Properties: Apart from its culinary worth, cilantro can be a real medicine, too. It relieves pain and inflammation and has anti-cancer and anti-fungal properties.
How To Enjoy: Cilantro is very similar to parsley, but its taste is lemony with a hint of pepper. It can be included in many dishes, such as guacamole, salsa, salads, curries, meat and rice dishes, as well as vegetable recipes. For best results, add the fresh cilantro at the end of cooking. Otherwise, it will lose most of its flavor. Just like parsley, you can brew cilantro and enjoy a healthy, citrus-flavored cup of tea.
And here comes one of the most versatile and popular herbs to grow at home. Wonder which it is? Well, you already saw the title, it’s mint, of course!
Whether it’s chewing gum, a relaxing cup of tea, or toothpaste, you don’t have to be a culinary expert to be familiar with its flavor. This aromatic herb is native to the Mediterranean region and is extremely popular in Balkan as well as Middle-Eastern cuisines. It also adds a bright flavor to drinks, dishes, sauces, and baked treats.
Tips To Grow Mint: The aroma is nothing short of amazing and you can have it close at hand for quite a few months when you start growing it at home. Basically, you can enjoy mint until it starts flowering. So, when spring comes, plant some seeds in a container and leave it in a warm and sunny place. If you consider growing this herb in your backyard, then keep in mind that the herb is not always well-behaved and can take over the space. It’s a little bit of a weed, a true survivor. For this reason, it is one of the best herbs to grow indoors.
Healing Properties: Whether in a garden or a pot, fresh or dried, the health benefits of mint are undeniable. It aids digestion and relieves morning sickness and nausea. Mint can also treat headaches, the common cold, and asthma. It is good for oral and skin care as well.
How To Enjoy: So, add it in your next dish – mint is great in soups, salads or stews. Or just make an aromatic cup of tea by brewing the mint leaves for a few minutes.
Chives are another great suggestion for an herb everyone should grow at home. This flowering plant has edible leaves and flowers and is a close relative of onions, garlic, and leeks.
Tips To Grow Chives: Plant chives in early spring so that you can harvest in summer. If you plant them in your garden, then be careful – they may take over it if you leave the flowers to scatter their seeds. So, instead, plant the seeds in a pot a few weeks before the last spring frost and add water as needed.
Healing Properties: Chives are rich in nutrients that help to fight certain types of cancer, relieve inflammation and promote eye health.
How To Enjoy: Make chives a part of your diet and you will certainly have good sleep and mood. You can incorporate these tiny onion-like herbs in omelets, pasta, casseroles, and meat as well as poultry dishes.
With its strong aroma and earthy flavor, sage is next on our list of herbs you can grow at home.
Tips To Grow Sage: Fill in a container with rich, moist soil and sprinkle the sage seeds, leaving space between them. Keep the container in a warm and sunny place and before you know it, you will see the beautiful young plants. You can harvest the leaves and add them to sauces, meats, fish, and vegetables.
How To Enjoy: Sage is a great addition to pasta, stews and meat-based dishes. But, in case you forgot to spice your dish with sage, you can also treat yourself to a fragrant cup of tea! That is just another way to take advantage of this herb’s amazing health benefits.
When thinking about herbs to grow at home, we just can’t go without good old oregano. Whether in a sauce, pasta, pizza, soup, or meat recipe, this member of the mint family will certainly add an exquisite flavor to your dish.
So, add fresh oregano leaves to your dishes – you can benefit from their beautiful flavor as well as their healing properties. Alternatively, you can prepare some tea to alleviate digestive conditions, asthma, or cough.
Tips To Grow Oregano: Plant the seeds in the spring after the threat of frost has passed, or a few weeks earlier if you want to use a container to keep indoors. Oregano needs full sun and lean-to-average soil and is also tolerant of moderate drought. You can start harvesting the leaves as soon as the plant is 4-5 inches tall.
This annual plant from the celery family is a must for every kitchen window sill or herb garden. Dill is full of vitamins and antioxidants and is good for your heart too. The tea from dill seeds, on the other hand, is an ancient natural remedy for stomach and menstrual cramps.
Tips to Grow Dill: First, plant the seeds in spring and ensure enough moisture and warmth for germination. When the plant is more than 5 inches tall, you can start cutting the soft leaves that have a pleasant grass flavor.
If you continue growing the plants, they will eventually start to flower and form seeds. Collect the seeds and you may use them as a spice as well. They have a more pronounced citrus flavor and are excellent in meat dishes, especially if you grind the seeds.
How to use: Fresh dill leaves go really well in yogurt-based sauces like tzatziki, zucchini dishes, fish and seafood, as well as potatoes. One of my favorite seafood dishes that use dill is this 5-ingredient garlic shrimp in tomato sauce recipe.