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How do you keep indoor herbs alive?

One of my biggest regrets is that I did not inherit my Grandma's incredible green thumb. Her apartment flourishes with indoor plants, many of them culinary (oregano, basil). She has given me cuttings several times and they all end up dead :( What, if any, is the secret to keeping indoor herbs alive? I don't have a lot of light in my apartment. Maybe that's the problem.

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

asked over 5 years ago
6 answers 19568 views
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Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 5 years ago

As a fellow indoor plant killer I sympathize. This is what I have been told, light is key, the herbs need to be where there is direct sunlight in order to live (they need at least 2 hours of sunlight daily), don't underwater or overwater, compost is important (you mix with the soil) there needs to be air circulation (I guess they mean fresh air. I have successfully killed every indoor plant I have ever owned. The advise is from people who are successful but for some reason I fail to be able to do it.

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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 5 years ago

Light. I'm blessed with a south-facing kitchen with a bay window. I'm not blessed with a green thumb. I move my potted herbs from the back deck to the kitchen around Labor Day. I water them, I fertilize them, I snip them, and beyond that they're on their own. So far, they haven't failed me yet. They tend to get tired around the time to sprout new seedlings in the early spring.

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added over 5 years ago

I can't keep herbs in a pot alive to save my life so I've done two things.
1. I bought an herb keeper at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It works beautifully and keeps my herbs fresh for up to two weeks.
2. While there are mixed reviews on this method, if it's good enough for Mark Bittman it's good enough for me -- freeze them. I bought a baby food holder that replicates an ice cube tray (only bigger dishes). I chop or peel the herbs and place them in the trays and they last for several months. Obviously not as good as fresh but far superior to dried.

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