How to grow herbs indoors without sunlight

Growing your own herbs indoors is a great way to save money, and the best part is that you don’t need any sunlight at all! There are many other benefits as well such as having fresh, organic herbs whenever you want them.

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight, especially in winter, can be done with proper lighting and care – which isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can grow all kinds of different types of herb plants in just about anything. Today I’m going to show you how to easily grow 9 different types of herb plants indoors without sunlight!

Here is what you need to know in order to start growing herbs indoors:

Plants need light for photosynthesis which is the process where they convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose. If it is not possible for your indoor herb garden to be near a window with sunlight then you will want to consider artificial light.

Grow lights

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight can be achieved by using grow lights. There are many types of grow lights, including fluorescent lights, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, and LED light panels. My favorite are LED grow light panels. Growing herbs indoors without sunlight can be done by using fluorescent lighting but it is harder because they don’t cover a large growing area.

Herbs just require a little extra care when raised inside. If a grow lamp is being used, a bit of an investment will be needed at the beginning. Once things have begun to move along, however, the herbs can thrive as well as they would outside. The beauty and practical uses herbs provide make the initial effort well worth it.

growing herbs indoors with LED grow light panels

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are a great way to save money, power, and time for your indoor herb garden. They provide bright white light which plants need for photosynthesis while emitting very little heat. LED grow lights allow for a constant, long-lasting source of energy needed for the plant to live – which means you get to skip having to change out bulbs or use a lot of complicated electrical equipment. The best part is that they only cost about $20!

Growing herbs in pots

On a humid day, we like to wear clothes that breathe, and let air through to our skin. Herbs are kind of like people in that way. If the place they will be kept is humid, then herbs like for their pot to be made of breathable material. Except, for plants, breathable clothing doesn’t mean cotton. It means clay or terra cotta pot without glaze.

Herbs don’t like standing around in the water. Their roots can rot. So before starting, make sure all potted herbs have plenty of drainage holes.

And don’t forget you will have water leaking out of those drainage holes, so your pots will need drain plates.

What type of soil are you using to grow your herbs indoors?

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight requires special cacti soil or another light, porous potting mix for optimal growth. Choose a potting mix that drains well and also holds the moisture in. Look for ingredients like perlite, or vermiculite.

Using regular potting soil will make the plant too damp, which can cause root rot; not to mention that it will also pack down easily and then dry out quickly. Growing herbs indoors without sunlight requires well-draining soil, preferably with some sand (to help lighten up the mix). Buying an indoor potting mix such as this indoor miracle-Gro can make it easier to grow herbs inside.

indoor herb garden

What fertilizer is best for herbs

Giving herbs too much fertilizer can be worse than none at all. Some synthetic fertilizers can build up and leave residue in the soil.

A natural fertilizer (like fish and kelp) at half strength once or twice a month is usually sufficient. The best fertilizer for herbs in pots contains nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium to support new roots, leaf growth and strong stems.

The best part about growing your own herbs indoors is that you’ll always know what chemicals went into the growing process.

You may want to make your own organic fertilizer or redirect some of your kitchen waste such as fruit peel, coffee grounds and banana peels into making an easy herb fertilizer.

What are the best herbs to grow indoors in low light?

Herbs to grow indoors include Basil, Chives, Lemongrass, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme & Vietnamese Coriander. Growing herbs indoors is a great way to add flavor to your cooking year-round.


Basil is a delicious fresh herb that can be used on all kinds of dishes including salads, pastas and more. Growing basil indoors is a great way to always have some on hand for your cooking needs. Basil can be grown indoors under a grow light.

growing basil indoors without sunlight


Mint is an easy herb plant to start from seed and will continue to spread quickly so plan accordingly! Mint will do quite well growing indoors. Growing mint also makes for a perfect herbal remedy to help cool off your body and mind in the summertime! Mint can be grown indoors as long as there is a large window with southern exposure or a grow light nearby.


Chives are another easy herb plant to start from seed and will continue to spread quickly so plan accordingly! Chives are an excellent natural food preservative since they have antiseptic properties! They are a elative of garlic and onions, with a much milder flavor. Used in sauces, eggs, sandwiches-anywhere a light onion flavor is desired.


Lemongrass is a fragrant plant that can be used in teas, vegetable dishes, and rice. Growing lemongrass indoors can be a little tricky but once you get the hang of it is easy to maintain. Lemongrass likes indirect light and moist soil so make sure to water every day or every other day.


Oregano is a delicious herb that is great for seasoning meats, soups, and more! Growing oregano inside is not only easy but also saves money since buying fresh herbs at the store can be expensive! Oregano can grow up to 2 feet tall with good care-so space accordingly! To grow oregano indoors start from seed or buy an established plant.


Parsley is a delicious green herb that can be used in salads, sauces and much more. Growing parsley indoors can be done easily as long as you provide the right amount of light! Parsley likes indirect sunlight so make sure to keep it away from any bright lights or windows. If kept too hot parsley will go into shock resulting in yellow leaves. Growing parsley indoors can be tricky for this reason! Read how to take care of a parsley plant here.

how to grow parsley indoors


Rosemary is another delicious herb that holds up well when dried but tastes better fresh. Growing rosemary indoors requires bright light which makes southern exposure the best option. Rosemary needs good drainage so don’t forget to include some sort of tray underneath your pot with holes to prevent water from building up around the roots. Other


Growing thyme indoors can be done easily as long as you provide the right amount of light! Growing thyme indoors requires bright indirect sunlight. Thyme likes dry soil so make sure to keep it away from any excess water which will rot the roots.

Vietnamese Coriander

Used in fresh rice paper rolls, spring rolls, salads & curry. Growing Vietnamese coriander indoors is done best in a pot with southern exposure.

Growing herbs indoors provides fresh flavors throughout all seasons making it easy to maintain year-round! Growing herbs also allows you to save money since it’s super affordable to use an indoor growing setup instead of always buying fresh herbs

Growing herbs under artificial light means there’s no waiting for spring or summer, or even winter in colder climates, just easy access to fresh flavors any time.

growing vietnamese coriander indoors


What wattage is needed for growing herbs indoors?

You’ll need at least 50 watts, but 100 watts is recommended if you intend on growing them for longer than two months. For example, 100-watt bulbs are generally recommended for greenhouses during the winter.

What type of lighting do you need to grow herbs indoors?

Generally speaking, you’ll need either natural or fluorescent lighting; however, there are plenty of other options depending on what type of setup you choose to go with. There are fluorescent lights, metal halide lights, and high-pressure sodium lights (which can get quite expensive).

If you’re looking for something that’s cheaper, then simply opt for fluorescent lighting; however, these will only work best in areas where you can keep them at least six inches away from the plant.

And if your area isn’t lit well enough, be sure to make it up with natural lighting (by having your windows uncovered). Growing herbs indoors without sunlight is possible, but it does require a slightly different setup.

Growing herbs indoors how many seeds?

When growing herbs indoors, one seed per container between 7-10″ apart is a great rule of thumb to stick with. If you’re Growing basil in a small pot then only plant 2-3 seeds per pot and thin out the others after they’ve sprouted.

How many hours of lighting do herbs need indoors?

When growing herbs inside make sure they get at least 20 hours of bright light from Fluorescent lighting and supplement with Natural Sunlight from a window during the day if possible.

Check out our other growing guides.

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