In this article, we will learn how to grow herbs and flowers in pots in 4 steps, Just a few pots of fresh herbs and edible flowers growing in your home will provide the essential ingredients for an array of dishes and drinks.
What is a herb? While herbs grow just like any other plant, what sets them apart is the intense flavour of their edible leaves and their traditional health-giving properties. The varieties included in this book, such as thyme, mint, and basil, are universally valued by cooks for their unique taste and aroma in sweet and savoury recipes.
Many fresh herbs contain essential minerals and vitamins, such as A and C, and can benefit your health in other ways, too. For example, mint leaves taken as a tisane, or hot tea can aid digestion, while research has shown that the smell of rosemary and sage can help improve cognitive skills and memory retention.
Herbs are rewarding plants to grow indoors since most can be raised in containers by a sunny window, offering an abundance of fresh leaves close at hand as you cook.
The power of flowers Many edible flowers are surprisingly tasty and can be used to both flavour and decorate fresh salads, desserts, cakes, and even bread. They can also add a few vitamins to your cuisine; some, such as lavender, are sources of antioxidants, which promote good health and keep diseases at bay.
It’s worth growing a few different varieties through the year: the exquisite blooms will inject colour into your indoor edible designs, lifting your spirits, and you can change the display every few months to reflect the seasons, starting in spring with tulips and English daisies, and then moving on to summer flowers.
The plants will keep on giving, too, as in many cases the more blooms you pick the more they produce; plants such as calendula, viola, primrose, and geranium will perform over a long period, although tulips will bloom just once before fading.
Although herbs and flowers are among the easiest edibles to grow indoors, they require plenty of drainages and are best grown in plastic pots with holes in the base, which can be easily inserted inside decorative containers.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED
- herbs—choose a variety
- edible flowers, such as violas
- plastic pots to fit inside decorative containers of your choice
- commercial potting mix
- horticultural sand
- decorative pots
- small watering can
HERE THE FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO FOLLOW
You can buy many herbs in plastic pots and just slip them into decorative containers with a layer of gravel in the base to prevent waterlogging. However, sage and rosemary, in particular, will soon outgrow small containers and need repotting. To do this, line the base of a plastic pot with potting mix
Mix a little horticultural sand in with the potting mix to make it more free draining. Water the plant, then slip it out of its original container, placing your fingers between the stems to avoid damaging them. Set the plant on the potting mix, and check that the root ball is sitting just below the rim of the new pot.
Gently fill in around the herb with the more potting mix; do not bury the stems or they may rot. Firm the potting mix gently with your fingers, then water the plant well.
Add a layer of gravel to the bottom of your decorative pot. This will raise the herb slightly off the bottom, allowing excess water to drain into this area. Put the repotted herb into its final container.
Best zones for herbs & flowers
All flowers and herbs will perform best in bright light conditions, and grow well in zones 1, 2 or 3. Certain plants will also grow in partially sunlit zones, but you will need to install grow lights for any darker areas in your home.
South-facing windows (Zone 1)
All herbs and edible flowers will do well here, but keep them well watered, as these sills become very hot in summer and on sunny spring and fall days.
Dark corners (Zone 2)
All herbs and edible flowers can be grown in dark corners if you set them under a grow light. However, without this supplementary lighting, most would fail.
East- and west-facing windows (Zone 3)
All herbs and edible flowers will be happy set directly in front of an east- or west-facing window, although basil and lavender may not do as well here as in zone 1.
Center of a room (Zone 4)
All herbs and edible flowers will be happy in the middle of a bright room. Grow orchids, violas, oregano, parsley, or mint if it is out of the direct sun for part of the day.
Beneath a skylight (Zone 5)
All herbs and edible flowers perform well under a skylight, especially if there is supplementary light from a vertical window. Water plants regularly in rooms that get hot.
Cool (unheated) south-facing room (Zone 6)
All herbs and edible flowers will grow in cool, bright conditions, except basil, which needs a little more heat but may thrive here during the summer months.
Walls Sunny walls will suit (Zone 7)
all herbs and edible flowers. However, opt for mint, oregano, parsley, orchids, and violas for any walls that are shaded for part of the day.
Outside windowsill (Zone 8)
apart from orchids all the other herbs and flowers that are edible can grown hereBasil needs to be protected from frost, so do not plant this until temperatures rise in late spring.
how to care for herbs and flowers
Few herbs or flowers will be happy in containers measuring less than 31⁄2in (9cm) in diameter and 5in (12cm) deep, although some, including thyme and violas, will cope in tiny pots for a short while—but do not take any leaves from small herbs. Any plants in small pots will need repotting after a couple of months.
Only water your herbs and flowers when the top of the potting mix feels dry, and don’t add too much. If the top of the compost is glistening with water, drain away from the excess. Water the plant again only when the potting mix feels dry. Feed every two to four weeks from late spring to autumn with a liquid fertilizer designed for leafy crops.