Herbs on your Windowsill

Ilona Erwin

There is something deliciously attractive about a neat row of culinary herbs lining the kitchen windowsill.

Whether making your own collection or buying one of the potted up containers that are often available during the holiday season. Growing fresh herbs for kitchen use is a draw with the added bonus of their decorative value. Some of the more common herbs are good looking in both foliage and flower, and regular trimming only helps to keep them growing compactly.

Cool And Useful Kitchen Herb Gadgets


One thing that your windowsill herb collection
needs will be plenty of sunlight. A western or southerly exposure is best. Additional artificial light might be a useful bonus, as well. Try to provide direct sunlight, five or six hours a day. Transplanting to large enough pots as the plants grow will be needed as time goes by.

Aromatic herbs  (Window Decal)

Aromatic herbs    Buy This Allposters.com

What to grow? Tarragon, chives, thyme, and sage are easy to begin with. chives are compact and are easy to harvest with a simple snip whenever a little onion flavor is desired. Try parsley, rosemary, mint, and dill (although dill can get quite tall. Basil is a favorite and a particularly handsome plant- used in pestos and salads, especially, it is a great candidate for the kitchen windowsill garden.

Use large, deep pots, but especially for rosemary and basil. kitchen herb basket

I have tried rosemary unsuccessfully each year. It is a plant which needs a deep pot and regular moisture- maybe you will have better success than I have had! I have noticed pots called “Tom” pots which are deeper, and that could also be the solution for growing rosemary successfully indoors.

Perhaps my problem begins with the fact that I like to to buy it as a Christmas plant, and it is potted in much too small a container and kept in less than ideal conditions before I purchase it. Whatever the reason, it has proved a very temporary, albeit enjoyable addition to my winter kitchen windowsill.

Here is a list to choose from:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Chives
  • Coriander(seeds) AKA Cilantro(leaves)
  • Sage

organic culinary herb seeds

herb seeds       



While almost any herb could be grown indoors during the winter, there are probably limits to the success of growing many of them, whether because of their deep rooting habits, larger sizes, or they may be unsuitable for other reasons. Staying with those suggested for their usefulness and ease of growing in pots will give you more satisfaction, in my opinion.

Potting Up Your Herb Plants

Tips: Container herbs benefit from compost and a sterile medium of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.

Add slow release fertilizer and water-absorbing polymers which reduce the need for watering.

Notes on plants:
Lemon thyme is a wonderful addition to your cooking.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a soothing mint tea. It is hardy, but you may like having it available during your winter months.

Basil is the main ingredient in Pesto sauces. Very tender, and you can grow it easily from seed.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.