5 Herbs and Veggies that Love Growing Indoors

The green thumb guide for every gardener

Sep 27, 2013

Photo by Flickr user jorge zapico

Among its many proven health benefits, gardening fights stress and gets your blood pumping. But what if you live in a small, indoor space? Not to worry! We're here to make sure that anyone can reap the benefits – and the fruits – of gardening, with the right plant choices and placement. Enjoy!

1. ALOE VERA

WHAT: A succulent plant with long, pointed leaves.
WHERE: Aloe Vera enjoys room temperature conditions (around 21 degrees Celsius), and a lot of sunlight.
HOW: Aloe Vera prefers dry soil, so water every 2-3 days.
WHY: This wonder plant can be used to soothe burns, sunburns, scratches and itchy skin. Just crack open a leaf and apply as needed.

Photo by Flickr user Frozen Hell.

2. TOMATOES

WHAT: The edible, often red fruit of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, originated in Mexico and spread around the world after the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Miniature varieties like Tiny Tim and Small Fry grow on small plants which are ideal for indoor gardens.
WHERE: Tomatoes need a lot of heat and light, so place them on a south-facing window and consider a fluorescent light during particularly gloomy winters.
HOW: Moderation is key here. Soil should be moist at all times, but not soaked.
WHY: Tomatoes taste great, are filled with vitamins A, C and K, as well as beta-carotene - which protects skin against sun damage. Need we go on?

Photo by Flickr user mawel

3. CILANTRO (CORIANDER)

WHAT: A delicate herb with lacy green leaves and a pungent flavor.
WHERE: Cilantro wilts in the heat but needs a lot of light; your best bet is to catch the morning sun from an east-facing window.
HOW: Keep the soil moist but not soaked for best results.
WHY: This strong herb will spice up ethnic cuisines the world over – from Mexican to Indian to Thai.

Photo by Flickr user Henrique Vicente

4. BASIL

WHAT: A leafy herb from the mint family, with a licorice-clove flavor. Varieties include opal basil, lemon basil, anise basil and clove basil.
WHERE: Basil grows best in a south-facing window – it likes lots of sun and warmth.
HOW: Make sure to pick a pot with sufficient drainage as soil should be moist but not soaked.
WHY: Because it's basil! A cooking must that goes well with cheese, tomatoes, soups, pasta, pizzas… and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Photo by Flickr user madlyinlovewithlife

5. SPINACH

WHAT: A leafy superfood which grows happily inside.
WHERE: This plant likes it just so – not too hot, not too cold. Pick a sunny spot that generally sticks around room temperature.
HOW: Spinach needs lots of room at the roots, so choose a deep pot.
WHY: High in protein, vitamins A and K, folic acid and also fiber-rich, spinach makes the heart strong, protects against age-related memory loss, and helps with development of unborn babies (great for pregnant women!).

Photo by Flickr user tillwe

ADD A COMMENT