Whenever I get sad that we don't have a place for a garden at the apartment that we're renting, I cheer myself up by looking at my happy little herb plants all in a row! I love having fresh herbs as house plants because they're fragrant, sometimes sprout pretty flowers, and great to use when cooking.
Growing herbs indoors is one of the easiest things to do, as long as you have a room that gets a lot of light. I've had great luck with rosemary, oregano, sage, and basil. Cilantro and thyme? Not so much. This year I'm going to try mint, chives, and lavender.
Here's how I do it:
1. At the beginning of each summer, I buy fresh herb plants from the farmers market. Be sure to inspect the leaves and stems for bugs—the last thing you need is to infest your other house plants with pests. Also make sure the pots have holes in the bottom so the water can drain out.
2. Put plants in a room where they can get plenty of light. Most herbs need about 6 hours of direct light per day; although some like rosemary and parsley can make do with partial shade. Every few days, turn herbs so they get even light.
3. Water herbs with room temperature water when the surface soil starts to dry out. You can also mist the herbs occasionally.
4. If the herbs get really big—re-pot in a larger pot with good quality soil. We've often had to do this with Basily, I mean our basil plant, which tends to get huge.
5. Harvest herbs and use with cooking! Ideally, your cutting should be 3-5 inches in length; cut just below the node.
And just a tip I had to learn the hard way: Don't name your herb plants. When it comes time to harvest and eat little Basily, Rose, and Or-e-GAN-o (long o's), you may have a hard time parting with them.
Do you grow herbs indoors?