Growing herbs inside the house question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by miclew, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    I have only grown herbs outside in a raised bed. I want to grow some in pots in the house. The herbs outside require a lot of my attention to keep the critters away (including my own critters!)

    Anyway, can everything be grown in a pot? I want to get those cat window things (the thing you attach to a window to make a wider ledge for a cat to sleep on) to put the pots on so that they get plenty of light.

    Any advice is appreciated. I use a lot of herbs in cooking.

    michele
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I've answered this question so many times before (on other forums besides this one) so if I sound like a broken record, forgive me!

    The short answer is - yes you can grow herbs indoors.

    The long answer is - but they don't do so well as outdoors.

    Plenty of reasons for this. For one thing, the Great Creator didn't invent houses, so he didn't invent plants to grow inside them, especially in a kitchen. This is where most people want their indoor herbs, and it's about the most unsuitable place imaginable. There are all sorts of problems like fluctuating temperatures, emissions from stoves, grease to coat the leaves (just like it coats the top of your cupboards!), the itty-bitty size of the pots you'll need to put on your windowsill, the inability of certain of the sun's rays needed by the plants to penetrate through glass in your windows, the problem giving the plants adequate drainage. Unless you want dirty water running over your kitchen, you'll need to catch drippings with a saucer, and that means the plant sits in water - and most of the culinary herbs just won't tolerate constantly wet feet. There's also the problem of adequate air circulation, and the fact that most bugs prefer plants which grow indoors - because the plants are not in optimum health, they are easier to attack.

    Now, my basils and rosemary are far too large for me to give a hug to, even with arms wide outstretched. I simply cannot imagine something that size sitting on your average windowsill in a pot of suitable size to accommodate it. Even a mature parsley plant can take up a fair amount of room in your garden! If you're happy with puny, undersized, weakly plants, go for it. But remember that the smaller the pot, the more stunted and potbound your plants will be.

    I usually recommend that indoor herb gardens be regarded as very temporary things. Some people are happy to have a plant with half a dozen sorry-looking leaves on it - for myself, I'd rather let the plants be free to grow to optimum condition and size in the garden. Of course, if you don't have a garden, or if your local climate is severe, then you don't have a choice. In which case, my heart bleeds for you - and your plants!
     

  3. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    Gee Culpepper, don't hold back! :)

    I guess I will keep my raised beds. My rosemary is a LARGE bush at the cormer of the house and the critters leave it alone anyway.

    michele
     
  4. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    LOL. Well, you DID ask!!
     
  5. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have never had much success growing herbs indoors because of the indoor critters...my cats! They'll eat every herb right down to the soil in the pot.

    Darn cats!
     
  6. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    What herbs generally do well indoors? I'm rather curious!