There comes a time in every gardener’s life when they face some tough decisions. Like when to start indoor herbs for the inevitable transition to the long winter. OK, maybe it’s not that tough of a decision. But if you start too late, you risk running out of living herbs to propagate new ones from. If you start too early…uhhh… never mind. There is not a single negative consequence that comes to mind for starting your indoor herbs too early. Except that you might have a supply of indoor herbs AND outdoor herbs to enjoy for a few weeks too! Ew! Shut up! How great is that?! That shouldn’t be a problem even for the most dramatic of folks, right? Here’s how to start a totally darling little indoor herb garden from the outdoor herb plants you already have- before the outdoor herbs go dormant for the year.
How to Grow Herbs from Adorable Little Cuttings
To get started, gardeners have another tough decision to make. Like which herbs do you choose? So many herbs, so little time. I’m keeping it simple and using only the healthy herb plants I have from this summer. Fortunately, they are the herbs that I will most often use in the kitchen anyway, with an extra bonus of lavender, which I don’t cook with but I love to smell and add to bubbly baths.
I began this project by taking a few 3″ snips off of the growing tips of my oregano, basil, and sage. I filled two jars with water to place my oregano and basil starts in. Since these herbs have gone to flower, I removed the flowers and the buds to make sure the energy in the stem goes to shooting roots instead of to flowering. I am optimistic that a couple of these stems will take root in about a week! Then I’ll plant them in a small pot of soil.
Sage is typically a little more hardy to start than oregano and basil, so I planted my sage cuttings directly into soil in a small pot. I mixed a special soil for these starts. I used one portion sand, one portion compost and one portion garden soil. I’ll watch it closely and hope it takes root successfully. I have a window of opportunity before my outdoor sage dies back for the year, so I’ll take more cuttings if I need to. Again, I’m hopeful that this round of cuttings will develop well. My rosemary is planted in a container that I will move indoors. Propagating rosemary from cuttings is easy though. Rosemary, like sage, can be planted in soil.
Sticking With Some Roots
I am not taking cuttings of lavender this year. Instead, I pulled up a small section of the plant, roots and all, and did a transplant into a small indoor pot. Lavender is an herb that you can propagate successfully from cuttings, but I just wanted to be certain that I get a viable piece of this particular plant, so I’m transplanting roots and all. I’ll hope to take cuttings from this indoor plant in the spring.
I am treating chives the same way. Chives are not an herb that grows well from cuttings, so dividing a small piece of the original plant with roots is the best way to enjoy chives year round. Once my chives were transplanted into a pot, I cut them back to several inches. Again, this is to direct energy to root development.
How to Keep Up With The Herbs
I’m growing my starts in mason jars (Ermergersh! So cute!) in my sunny southern window to keep them nice and warm. The roots will develop faster when the water is warm, so sunshine is perfect for their growth.
Start plants for an adorable indoor herb garden when your herbs are growing in the spring and in summer. An herb plant’s growth will slow down in the fall and winter, so take advantage of the lazy days of summer (next year?) to make sure you don’t have to go without the fresh flavors and fragrances that herbs add to your kitchen and home. Let us know what successes you’ve had with growing your herbs indoors!