As an apartment dweller, it can be difficult to find the space required to grow and nurture a proper garden. While community gardens are a great option, they don't always offer the convenience of having plants right in your backyard. However, renters can still grow some herbs and spices in their own space.
If you're looking for the best herbs to grow right from your own home, these 10 herbs are low maintenance and yield great results. Spice up your cooking and save a little money by growing these in your own apartment.
Buy these perennial herbs as plants from a garden center
Some herbs are seasonal and have a short life span, while perennials have a long life span and can live for several years. The best herbs to grow are perennials because you reap the benefits for a longer period of time.
The six herbs below can take some time to grow from seeds, so it's best to buy them as plants from a garden center to get started and you'll enjoy their flavor and aroma all year.
Rosemary is a universal herb that adds flavor to almost any dish you prepare. With its rich, pine-tree-like smell, rosemary plants will make your whole apartment smell mountain fresh.
For rosemary to thrive, it needs to be potted in a plant, kept in direct sunlight for six to eight hours a day, watered semi-frequently and trimmed regularly. Rosemary can grow year-round in almost any climate but needs direct light each day.
Oregano plants are easy to maintain. All they need is water when the soil is dry and to sit on a windowsill or patio ledge that receives six to eight hours of sunlight per day. To keep this herb from growing like crazy, remember to trim it down when it gets taller than four inches.
Anytime you're making sauces, soups or stews, you can easily access your home-grown oregano and use it to add flavor to your meals.
Perhaps one of the easiest and best herbs to grow in an apartment, thyme doesn't actually require a lot of time to maintain. Pot this herb in a container, place it on your balcony or windowsill, let it bask in the sunlight for hours each day, prune it and water it occasionally. Thyme will still thrive even when the soil is dry.
Thyme is a spice that can be added to almost any meal as the flavor blends well with any cuisine.
Chives are a great plant for apartment dwellers to grow because they can survive indoors or outdoors. Like other perennials, chives need six to eight hours of sunlight to prosper. Place your chive plant on a windowsill, keep the soil nice and damp and watch it grow.
Chives can get up to a foot tall, so trim the plant down frequently, use the clippings in your cooking, and you'll have flavorful food always.
5. Bay laurel
Bay laurel is an herb that thrives in potted plants or containers. Give bay laurel space to grow, sunlight and air circulation, and you'll have a healthy supply for any occasion.
Fresh bay leaves can be used to add flavor to sauces or soups, or you can dry bay leaves and use them as a seasoning rub.
Mint comes in a few varieties like spearmint or peppermint and is easy to grow using the container method. Plant your mint in a container or pot, place it in an area where it'll get some sunlight, water it frequently and watch it grow.
Not only will it taste delicious, but it'll also make your whole apartment smell fresh and clean.
Use cuttings to grow these herbs
As you're becoming a green thumb and growing your apartment herb garden, you can add two more to the mix by using cuttings to grow new herbs.
Simply put, cut a sprig of basil or mint from an existing plant and place it in fresh water.
Unlike perennials, basil isn't a plant that will grow year-round. Basil loves heat and sunlight and will flourish for weeks at a time.
While it won't last all year, once you have a mature basil plant, you can cut off sprigs, place them in water and use the cuttings to garner more basil.
Basil adds fresh flavor and taste to salads and sandwiches and is also a staple ingredient for pesto sauces.
8. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is another soft-stemmed herb that can grow in an apartment from cuttings. A great summer herb, lemon balm can be used to add a fresh, tangy taste to any recipe or beverage.
All you need to do is take a cutting from another lemon balm and add the sprigs to fresh water.
Plant seeds to grow these herbs in your apartment
Another way to grow herbs in your apartment is to plant them as seeds and watch them grow. Cilantro and chervil are some of the best herbs to grow straight from the seed.
Cilantro seeds can be planted in a pot and will become the delicious herb that adds that tangy flavor to food. Cilantro is an outlier compared to the perennial herbs listed above.
Cilantro does not like full sunlight but instead flourishes in cool areas. When planting cilantro seeds for your apartment herb garden, place the plant in an area where it'll get morning or evening light but will stay cool throughout the hottest hours of the day.
Chervil is an herb similar to parsley that's dainty, so once it's planted in a pot, it's best to leave it in the same pot.
Chervil is not an annual herb that can be grown in any season. During the winter, it likes full sunlight and during the summer, it prefers shade.
Get some chervil seeds, plant them, watch them sprout and enjoy the added taste of chervil when used for cooking.
General tips for growing an apartment herb garden
Now that you have a list of the best herbs to grow in your apartment, here are a few sage words to help your herbs thrive.
Give them adequate sunlight
Most herbs require direct sunlight for at least six to eight hours a day. Before starting an herb garden, check out your apartment space and make sure you have a windowsill, patio or balcony where you can place your potted plants to give them sunlight to grow.
Plant herbs in pots with good drainage
All herbs and plants require watering. While you don't want a dirt mess in your apartment every time you water your herbs, you do want to ensure each potted plant has a good drainage system.
Consider cutting up a sponge and placing it over the hole in the pot. That way, water can drain but the sponge will absorb the dirt. You can also buy a saucer to place under your pot to catch the excess water and dirt. Whatever your tactic, make sure your pots have adequate drainage to ensure optimal growth.
Purchase rich soil
Nutrient-rich soil will help your herbs flourish. When potting different herbs and plants for your apartment, choose a soil that's specifically meant for potted plants and containers.
Potting, planting and growing herbs in your apartment is easy and worthwhile. Purchasing fresh and dried herbs from a grocery store or market can be expensive.
Save money and grow your cooking herbs at home
Instead of spending money on pre-packaged herbs, take some time to buy a few fresh plants or seed packets, pot them in your apartment and watch them grow. Not only will you save money, but you'll enjoy the perks of growing something green and fresh in your own home and using these herbs to season and spice up your food.
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