10 Herbs You Can Easily Grow At Home
What’s better than having a continuous supply of fresh and natural herbs for your kitchen? How? Well, how about growing herbs at home – on your kitchen window, balcony and even in a vertical hanging garden!
If you can’t get pots – no worries! You can recycle old tins, tyres, milk boxes and plastic jars as planters, too. Just make sure there are enough drainage holes, adequate sunlight and water for your plants. Don’t use very small containers as the herbs may struggle to thrive in restricted space.
Here’s another good reason for you to grow your own herbs – they are loaded with healing benefits, including anti-inflammation and immunity-boosting properties. You can read more about the healing properties of common herbs here.
Here is the list of the herbs you can grow easily at home:
Grow From: Seeds/Stem Cuttings
Also known as holy basil, this herb is commonly found in every Indian kitchen garden. If you’re growing tulsi from seed, keep the pot in a warm place to enable the seed to germinate. Keep the soil moist but don’t let it get soggy.
Grow From: Stem Cutting/Propagation
Mint can be easily grown from cuttings or leftover stalks of market-bought mint. Place the cutting in a glass/jar of water and let the roots grow. Once the roots become visible, propagate the stems in soil. Place the pot in a place where it can receive morning sunlight. Harvest mint before it flowers and to extend the harvesting period, keep snipping off the flowering buds.
3. Curry Leaves
Grow From: Seeds/Stem Cuttings
Curry leaves are widely used in Indian food. To grow a healthy curry leaf plant in a pot, keep the pot in a sunny area and make sure that the soil is well-drained. Besides imparting flavour and aroma to dals and curries, curry leaves also help control diabetes and support healthy cholesterol levels.
Grow From: Seeds
Fenugreek is easily grown from store-bought methi seeds and can be used as microgreens. Choose a wide and shallow pot with a mix of soil and compost. Place the pot in a sunny spot but avoid too much direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist.
Grow From: Seeds
Coriander is one of the simplest herbs to grow at home with easily available coriander seeds. The pot must be at least 25cm deep and wide. Remember to keep removing the flower heads from the plant. Coriander plants flower quickly in hot weather giving way too many seeds thus reducing harvesting period. To avoid this situation, plant seeds every other week to get a regular harvest.
6. Garlic Greens
Grow From: Garlic Cloves
The aromatic garlic greens are used for tadkas, salads and chutneys. Plant 5-6 garlic cloves in a wide and deep pot filled with soil and compost. Place the pot in a sunny spot and water lightly. Garlic greens will grow in 7-10 days. Snip and use.
7. Green Onion Leaves
Grow From: Whole Onions
You can get an all-year-round supply of onion leaves! Wondering how? Well, it’s quite easy. All you need is some whole onions from your pantry. Place the onions in soil and keep the soil moist by watering it regularly. In a few days, green leaves will spout that can be snipped and used in omelettes and dips.
8. Aloe Vera
Grow From: Aloe Vera Leaf
Aloe vera is a succulent and like cacti, it also grows well in dry conditions. Choose a planter with enough drainage holes. Use sandy soil (more sand and less soil) to grow aloe vera as the plant can not stand water and sandy soil has low moisture retention. Before watering the plant make sure that the soil is completely dry.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to grow aloe vera from the leaf.
Aloe vera helps relieve constipation, treats burns and soothes dry skin among other benefits.
Grow From: Stem Cuttings
The best way to grow rosemary is with a cutting from an older plant. Rosemary thrives in sunny locations. Also, water the plants only if the soil feels dry. Snip the tops of your rosemary plant to encourage bushy growth. Use liberally in stir-frys, bakes, roast potatoes and chicken dishes!
Grow From: Stalks
Lemongrass is widely used in teas, soups and various seafood dishes. When you get fresh lemongrass from the store, cut off the tops for your use and keep the stalk ends. Place the stalks in a jar or tall glass of water and place in a sunny spot. In a few days, the roots will start coming out of the stalk. You can plant them in a pot and enjoy a constant supply of fresh lemongrass. Remember to water the plant regularly.
In times of uncertainty about food supplies, growing your own herbs is practical (and fun). Want to know more about growing your own food? Check out this practical blog about growing food from scraps.