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Grow Herbs This Winter on your Windowsill

Grow herbs indoors on the windowsill this winter to enjoy their flavor all season long.

Fresh herbs play an important role in both my home cooking and chicken keeping, so I plant a large herb garden each spring - and harvest herbs by the handful as I need them all through the summer.

I also dry any excess to use through the winter, but with temperatures hovering in the 40s at night lately, it's about time to bring some of the plants indoors so I have fresh herbs through the winter as well. 

Grow Herbs This Winter on your Windowsill

You can start plants from seeds, take cuttings and root them in water, dig up a clump from your garden or buy some at a garden center or nursery.

You can even stick any leftover fresh herbs you buy at the supermarket in a glass of water and root them.

Seeds and rooting obviously takes longer, so my preferred method is to dig up a small clump of each herb from my existing garden before the first frost....although...

Fresh tip: I often just stick a few springs of herbs into a small pitcher or glass of water and keep them on the windowsill all winter, after cutting the bottom of each stem at an angle to allow the plant to take in the maximum amount of water.

If you're too lazy to plant them - trust me, not judging here because it's usually what I end up doing! - just water works too. Just be sure to change the water every few days.

But assuming you're actually wanting to plant some herbs in pots...

How to Plant Herbs Indoors

Simply dig up a nice healthy-looking clump from your herb garden, pot it in a 6-inch container with some fresh potting mix or garden soil mixed with sand for good drainage, and place in a south-facing window.

Choose a location that stays between 55 and 75 degrees, has good air circulation and plenty of sunlight.

(Keep in mind that the area right next to a window may be too cold for some herbs in the dead of winter.)

If you do want to propagate some herbs from garden cuttings (or that you've bought in the produce section!) just pick a nice healthy looking stem about 4-6-inches long and strip off the bottom set of leaves.

Place the stem in water and then plant it in soil in a pot (as described above) once some nice roots develop.

Watering Herbs This Winter on your Windowsill

Since most herbs originated in the Mediterranean, they love lots of dry, sandy soil and sunlight and can succumb to root rot if they are over-watered, so water only as needed.

In general, potted herbs should be watered every few days, when the top soil is dry to the touch. Watering in the morning when its cooler helps the water soak into the roots instead of evaporating.

Trimming Herbs this Winter on your Windowsill

Pinch or snip your plants regularly to encourage bushy growth and to avoid the plants becoming "leggy".

Be sure to leave at least 2/3 of the plant any time you prune and pluck off the stem right above the next set of leaves. Choose the largest leaves on each plant to pick.

Over the years I’ve experimented with growing various herbs indoors during the winter. Some do fine with little attention, while others seem to need more TLC and light/heat. Some don't transplant well, others do.

Best Herbs to Grow This Winter on your Windowsill

So here are my top choices for easy herbs to grow indoors through the winter.


Enjoy your potted herbs all winter long and come spring you can plant them back in your garden or move the containers outside.

For information on the health benefits of various culinary herbs for you and your chickens, read HERE.

For more information on using spices and herbs at home, read HERE.

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