By Holly Royce
In my little top floor apartment we have one window sill dedicated to four pot plants. I thought it would be easy, but over the past six months I have seen 10 different plants go to their deaths. It was amazingly frustrating.
When my 10th plant shed it’s final leaf and went to that big herb garden in the sky, I decided to do some hard research and make 100% sure the next ones would make it through the month and thrive. I’m happy to say these four did, and I wanted to share my research with you.
Lemongrass is not planted in soil, meaning that technically you don’t need to grow it, making it amazingly easy to keep in the house. When you buy a stalk it’s important to look for plenty of stem and make sure the base is intact. Trim the top and place the stalk in a couple of inches of water – the stalk will produce roots and dozens of new shoots.
Chives are great for those of us who slap our foreheads when looking at our indoor garden and say, ‘I’m sorry I forgot about you for 4 days.’ I can’t be the only one!
The reason is because chives require little sunlight and are inexhaustible in their production. They are easiest to start from an already established plant – just pull up a bunch, making sure roots are intact, and place it all in a small pot half-full of potting soil, then cover the roots up to the crowns with more potting soil. Cut 1/3 of growth off the top to encourage and stimulate new growth.
We’re talking a plant (both spearmint and peppermint) that literally grows like a weed. No need to fear, this plant is very hearty and very invasive… meaning that they can quickly choke out other herbs. They need to be kept a little apart from the others. When growing indoors, peppermint is the better option – much more equipped for frequent harvesting. Start your peppermint plant with seeds—not root or leaf cuttings—in a small pot full of potting soil. Peppermint will thrive in shade, but make sure it’s in a spot where it gets at least a little bit of sunlight each day.
Parsley is a great test of patience, in that the seeds can be difficult to germinate and it may take up to two weeks to see results. Though once you see sprouts you should get excited, it doesn’t require much light or maintenance once you get it started. Keep in mind, though, that this plant is a fairly slow grower, so initial clippings will not harvest a lot.
Some Extra Tips —
When buying herbs for indoor growth, it’s best to purchase plants that haven’t already been growing outside. The shock of bringing them indoors can cause trauma and affect growth and production. Remember that winter is a natural resting phase for plants, so it’s unrealistic to expect abundant growth. Try minimal watering and let them do their thing. Clipping them regularly will promote further growth so clip away—remember, you’re growing them to use!
Enjoy your first steps towards sustainable living!
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