Texas Living

7 Must-Have Indoor Herb Gardens

By Jennifer Chappell Smith 1.19.17

Bring the outdoors in this winter with a DIY herb garden. “Now’s the perfect time,” says David Sargert, a farmer for Austin nursery It’s About Thyme. He says most any herb will grow indoors, as long it gets plenty of light. Because herbs also need drainage, GardeningKnowHow.com suggests making holes in the container or creating a reservoir with rocks; waterlogged herbs will die in no time. Here’s a look at seven creative ways to make fresh herbs a part of your life year-round.

  1. Upcycle pitchers. Imagine simple wooden shelves holding white pitchers of all shapes and sizes overflowing with tendrils of savory- and sweet-smelling herbs. The Sockerärt Vase from Ikea will set you back only $14.99. Combined with the curves of a vintage-style Fiesta Dinnerware pitcher or antique pitchers that exude character, your indoor herb garden will keep food well-seasoned and serve as a focal point for the kitchen.
  2. Go with a theme. At It’s About Thyme, expert gardeners create pots related to certain uses, from food seasonings to tea flavorings — thyme, oregano, and other favorites for general cooking or mint, lemon balm, and lavender for tea. Create your own combinations based on your interests.
  3. Transform strawberry pots. These terra-cotta wonders have openings up and down their rounded vertical sides where you can plant herbs instead of strawberries. “Then you have a little herb garden that you can spin around,” says Marshall Grell, a manager at Rainbow Gardens in San Antonio. Paint the pots, or embellish them with other decorative touches for some outdoor personalizing.
  4. Planting on the ceiling. Hanging baskets help you make the most of indoor spaces. “Mint especially likes to be done that way,” Grell says. Suspend the basket near an air conditioning vent, and air will blow the herbs’ fragrance throughout the room.
  5. Go for a rural-chic look with Mason jars. Makers such as Kerr and Ball offer an easy way to plant and cultivate herbs indoors. They run approximately 10 bucks for a dozen, an economical investment.
  6. Get inventive with everyday items. BalconyGardenWeb.com consolidated some ideas for mounting a vertical herb garden using the most common of containers: 2-liter soda bottles. And a cursory Pinterest search turns up a myriad of ways to transform a shoe organizer into a hanging herb garden: Insert soil and herbs instead of high heels and flip-flops into each pocket.
  7. Just add water. Some herbs grow well in water, without soil, year-round. EpicGardening.com offers instructions and a free guide for creating a hydroponic garden for less than $100, including instructions for using rocks to create drainage and changing the pH level of tap water so herbs will thrive.

Easy enough, right? Bringing your plants indoors not only adds a little green to your decor, it can promote better breathing (removing up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds [VOCs] every 24 hours), improve your health, and even help sharpen your focus!

Just because temperatures are dropping, that doesn’t mean your garden has to suffer. Instead, get outside and plant these surprisingly versatile trees in your garden — fruit trees! Here’s how.