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How to Bring Your Herbs Indoors for Winter

A hori hori rests on a table, ready to dig up herbs for your indoor herb garden

Now's the perfect time to create your own indoor herb garden

We're talking about Herb today...not like "Herb" the guy you met on Match...today we're talkin' your forever baes: basil, rosemary, and parsley. This is the year you won’t have to watch the herbs you’ve tended all summer turn brown with the cold! Creating an indoor herb garden is a fun weekend project that’s perfect to do while it’s still warm out. Plus, you’ll love being able to trim exactly what you need for each meal instead of wasting that big bundle from the grocery store. Let’s walk through bringing your herbs indoors so you can indulge your green thumb and enjoy the vibrant flavor of fresh herbs all winter long.


Find a spot for your indoor herb garden
First things first—walk around your home and figure out where to put your herb garden. Because they’ll be getting less light inside, it’s best to set them near a bright, sunny window. If possible you’ll want them close to the kitchen for easy access while you’re cooking.


Decide which herbs you’ll bring in
Just about any type of herb can be grown indoors successfully. So choose the herbs you use the most! Our favorite culinary herbs are chives, parsley, thyme and sage. Be sure to check your herbs for any insect issues—plants that are healthy outside will do better indoors. (Note: sometimes it’s easier to start fresh from seed with herbs like basil, parsley and cilantro.)


Gather your planting supplies

Three terracotta funnel pots with plants resting on a white table

First, pick your pots
Once you know which of your herbs you want to bring inside, it’s time to pick new pots! Chose some that drain well and won't leave your herb’s roots soggy. Terracotta pots are great for this, but other planters will work too if they have a drainage hole and you are careful not to over water. Make sure the pots you select are bigger than the amount of plant you plan to dig up to ensure the roots have room to spread and grow. Some of our current favorite terracotta planters with drainage are the Tabletop Funnel Pot Trio and this Set of Five Terracotta Pots with brass stands.

Then, get good dirt
You’ll want to make sure you have fresh, high-quality potting soil that will feed your indoor herbs all winter long.

Finally, grab your tools
Make sure you have a good shovel, spade or hori hori to make digging up your herbs easier.


Let’s pot some plants!
Use a shovel or a digging tool to dig up part of the herb plant and its root system. Dig up a chunk of the herb that’s slightly smaller than the pot you plan to use. Leaving some space gives the roots room to spread into the new soil! If you’re bringing in woody stemmed herbs like oregano and thyme, try to dig up a part of the plant with newer, more pliable stems as they will take better to being transplanted.

To plant your herb in its new pot, place some new potting soil at the bottom of the pot, set the transplanted herb on top, and add new soil in around it leaving about an inch of space between the soil and the lip of the pot to make watering easier. Repeat for all of your herb babies!


Get your herbs acclimated
Leave your freshly potted herbs outside for a bit to give them a chance to adjust to being potted. It’s best to place them in a shady spot to help them get used to lower light conditions. After a few days to a week, bring them inside and set them in their new spot!


Keep your herbs happy indoors

Hand watering a plant with a black watering can

Lots of sun

To keep your potted herbs happy and growing all cold season long, be sure they’re getting enough sunlight! You might consider a small grow light for them if you live in an area with very short days in the winter months. But, remember that your windows may amplify the light coming through like a magnifying glass and you can easily burn a plant that doesn't love strong sun. Like, the time I moved a pathos that I had just given a full shower so it could drip dry. I moved it directly into a west facing window not thinking about it because it was like, February. My prized pathos (one of my first plant babies) looked like seaweed the next morning. 

Just-right hydration
Consistent watering helps keep plants happy. Make the task even more fun with a pretty watering can like this one. Remember that with indoor herbs, too much water is often a bigger problem than not enough!

Use them often!
Trim back your plants to keep them from getting gangly or too woody to use. This will be easy because you’ll be using fresh herbs in all your favorite dishes! We love to use these Antique Brass Finished Garden Shears or Snips Forged Iron Utility Shears to trim off the fragrant leaves.



Which herbs are you excited to bring inside? Snap a photo of your beautiful (and delicious) indoor herb garden and tag us on Instagram @holistichabitatclt! You can find almost everything you need to keep your herbs happy and healthy in our Urban Greenhouse collection.

 

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