Wall-Mounted Planters are Ideal for Herbs and Small Spaces

The Best Herbs to Grow Indoors and How to Care for Them

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Photo Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Are you like me and enjoy fresh herbs? I enjoy the scent wafting from them as they grow indoors. Many wall-mounted planters are designed to take up small amounts of space yet allow for productivity of your herbs.

You don’t have to have a large space to successfully grow herbs in containers. As a matter of fact, most herbs make perfect container plants. While many people grow them in containers on their decks, porches and even balconies, growing them indoors is just as easy.

Commonly called “windowsill herbs,” the best herbs to grow indoors don’t require a lot of space or light. I don’t mean to say you can put them in a dark corner or anything like that. Of course, they need sun to grow, the majority of living things do.

If you don’t have areas which receive 6-8 hours of sunlight, your herbs won’t perform as well, but they will still produce for you as long as they get some light. Be sure to rotate your containers to prevent only one side of the plant receiving heat and light. Rotating will ensure even growth and productivity.

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Many people use artificial plant lights to give their indoor herb garden the required amount of light. There are so many options for those who want to grow their herbs in containers indoors and those who have limited space. Even wall mounted planters can be placed in sunny areas or have a grow light focused on them.

If you grow your herbs outside in containers, you’ll have to bring them in or protect them from damaging weather. When you grow them indoors, you don’t have to worry with this. There are even herbs which grow in winter. You reap the benefit of having green plants in your home giving off oxygen and improving the indoor air quality of your home.

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Containers

Wall-mounted planters are serious space savers. Besides being practical, they offer you the opportunity to create conversational and eye-catching décor. Most people use container pots for their herbs. Pots, of course, come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Then you have the choice of using a hanging basket for many annual herbs.

The type and size of container you choose will depend on how much soil your chosen herbs will need. If they’re annual herbs, they won’t need as much. These do fine in wall mounted planters and even hanging baskets. Perennial herbs require more soil, around 5 gallons of it. Be sure you choose healthy, strong plants for the best success.

I prefer stone, wood or clay pots, but plastic, metal, and ceramic are favored by many. I’ve seen some cute herbs in containers made from reclaimed metal cans. I would just say be careful to not use containers which were used for toxic substances.

No matter which type of container you choose, it must have good drainage. Without proper drainage, your soil will remain wet and the roots will rot. If your pot has a saucer, it’s important to place a layer of gravel or rock in the bottom of the pot or in the saucer for the pot to sit on. Doing so will help ensure proper drainage and humidity levels.

If you see water in the saucer of the container, empty it. Over watering causes more herbal container gardens to die than under watering.

Most garden supply stores have experienced people to help you determine what size pot best suits your chosen herbs. The best way to decide is to read the information tag on the plant. The appropriate size pot is important. If the container is too small, the herbs will become root bound. The tap root has to have sufficient depth as many herbs are known to have long ones.

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Soil

Herbs do better in loose, loamy soil. Because they are growing in a container, the herbs won’t be able to find nutrition by extending their root systems. Providing the best soil you ensures they have necessary nutrients. Commercial potting mix is not recommended for your herbs.

Peet moss mixed with garden loam, compost, and coarse sand is the best soil for herbs. I like to add Epsom salts and eggshells to my potting soil. For every 2 gallons of soil add ½ cup Epsom salt and the crushed shells of 4-6 eggs. Throwing in a generous handful of blood and bone meal will provide a sure start for your herbs.

To prepare the eggshells, bake them at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes. When cooled they’ll crush easily. Be sure to crush them into fine pieces before adding to the soil.

The goal is to keep the soil light and airy. Some people like to add granular polystyrene to their potting mix. I don’t. I find it causes the soil to dry out too quickly.

There are some commercially available alternatives to potting soil which will work for herbs. These include coconut husk, peanut shells and composted bark.

Choosing your Herbs

Combining herbs with some succulents and flowers creates a striking, edible décor. Wall-mounted planters are excellent for this as you can alternate the plants allowing each one to have its individual needs met. If you do group them in a single container, be sure they have similar light and water needs.

Growing herbs from seed is possible. I have a friend who grew her rosemary plant from seed. I prefer to buy small, healthy plants.

Best Herbs for Indoor Container Gardens

Like we’ve said, with the right amount of light and soil, most all herbs can be grown indoors in containers. There are some which do better than others.

Parsley, mint, basil, lavender, chives, marjoram, thyme, peppermint, cresses, lemon grass (divine), oregano and coriander do excellent indoors. These are small in size. Be sure to choose herbs you enjoy. What’s the point of planting something you don’t like to eat?

Worst Herbs for Indoor Container Gardens

Some herbs don’t do as well indoors but can be grown there with the right care. Rosemary (my favorite), cilantro, and sage are the most common. These are all prone to mildew when over watered. They can also get quite large given the right conditions.

Care

Over watering and under watering are the biggest challenges for indoor herbal gardeners. I simply forget sometimes, as I do with my other indoor plants. I forget when I watered last and to water at all!

Over watering causes root rot, fungi, and gnats (my husband’s most hated bug). Under watering causes the roots to shrivel which wilts the leaves and kills the plant. Keeping track with a calendar when you’re first starting out is good.

Over time, you’ll learn to go by the feel of the soil and look at your plants. There are some new fangled moisture checkers available too.

Annual herbs don’t need to be fertilized. You’ll notice they develop an aromatic fragrance and tantalizing flavor when left to the healthy soil you started with. If you chose any perennial herbs, you can encourage them to grow by re-potting them into a larger container. You can freshen the soil when you do this.

You can also freshen the soil in the same pot by removing the plant as if you were going to re-pot it. To refresh tired soil, mix compost, Epsom salt and egg shells with the used soil and replant the herb. If you do this, be sure to not disturb the main root system.

How to Plant in a Wall-Mounted Planter:

  • Choose the right herb and container.
  • Don’t use soil potting mix.
  • Keep track of watering times and check soil regularly.
  • Rotate containers to ensure even light and heat over the whole plant.
  • Use mulch to conserve moisture.
  • Don’t over harvest – never remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a single harvest.

Herbs are resilient. Dive in and start growing the herbs you usually purchase to prepare your favorite recipes, like herbes de provence recipe. Wall-mounted planters make it easy. You won’t believe the divine difference in taste when you use fresh herbs you’ve just harvested.

What creative wall mounted planters or other containers do you use? Share your container herb garden tips with us.

Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda

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Comments
  • Eugene W.

    Excellent info, Can’t wait to put some of this info into practice. I have the spring itch too early to start plants yet along the Jersey shore To all, a good year this season.

    Reply

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