Growing herbs in your condominium balcony is a great way to add fresh flavor to your cooking, enjoy the beauty of plants, and even reduce your carbon footprint. Herbs are relatively easy to grow, even in small spaces, and they can be a source of relaxation and enjoyment.
Whether you are a cooking enthusiast, a certified plantito/plantita, or still trying to discover that green thumb of yours, you can enjoy fresh, homegrown herbs by growing them on your condominium balcony. With a little planning and effort, you can easily grow a variety of herbs in pots or containers. And even if you don’t have a lot of experience gardening, there are plenty of herbs that are easy to care for!
Let’s take a stroll in this article and discuss the basics of growing herbs indoors, including choosing the best herbs to grow indoors, how to plant and care for them, and how to harvest them. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, read on for all the information you need to get started on your indoor herb garden!
Few Important Factors to Consider before Planting
One major thing you need to consider before picking plants for your indoor herb garden is the country’s climate. According to DOST-PAGASA, ‘the Climate of the Philippines is tropical and maritime. It is characterized by relatively high temperature, high humidity and abundant rainfall. It is similar in many respects to the climate of the countries of Central America. Temperature, humidity, and rainfall, which are discussed hereunder, are the most important elements of the country’s weather and climate. Ideally, you would want plant herbs that grows in such climate.
Seeds or cuttings?
Alright, now that you’ve chosen which plants you are going to grow, it’s time to decide on how you are going to grow them. Herbs can be propagated through seeds or cuttings. Each method bears its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, herb seeds are more affordable but herb cuttings propagate faster.
It is worth nothing that herbs get their wonderful aroma through direct sunlight. It is due to this reason that you have to consider finding a spot in your condominium unit that gets the right amount of light. For references, herb plants require at least four hours of direct sun while some need up to eight hours under full sun. Consider investing in a grow light
You can invest in a grow light if you are worrying that your place isn’t getting the right amount of sunlight.
Indoor herb gardens do not consume a lot of space, making them great for small spaces indoors like your condo unit. Aside from that, your indoor garden needs nurturing and care from you, too. So, before you start grow them, think about how you can fully commit to it in the long run.
From clay pots, plastic containers, to hanging planters, there’s a variety of potted herbs containers to choose from. You can even repurpose old ceramics for an added flair! Just ensure that your container of choice has drainage holes to let excess water flow out, keeping the soil evenly moist.
What are the best herbs to grow indoors?
Excited to grow herbs indoors? Take a look at our list of best indoor herbs to include in your mini garden!
Dubbed as the ‘Queen of Herbs’, basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors as it thrives well in the Philippine heat. This low-maintenance herb is the best choice for budding gardeners as it grows in any soil, only requires watering twice a week, and do not need fertilizers to grow abundantly. It can fit into any box or container, so you will surely find a place for it inside your condo.
Basil is known as a major culinary component of dishes like pesto and one of the most used herb in ayurvedic medicine. Remember to harvest the leaves regularly; the most you harvest, the more leaves will grow. Basil plants require eight hours of sun exposure.
The subtle sweet taste with a cooling sensation of mint makes it a popular addition to various dishes and refreshing drinks. It is a flavor profile that elevates your recipe in a snap!
It is also once of the easiest herbs to include in your indoor kitchen herb garden: propagated via cutting, needs sun exposure for at least three to four hours, and requires no pruning. Just like basil, it can fit in any type of container and can even be hung. If you chose to hang it, make sure to trim the leaves regularly to avoid overcrowding.
Among the popular mint variants are peppermint, chocolate mint and spearmint.
On to the collection of our fresh herbs is parsley, another popular cooking and garnish component. It is a member of the carrot family and is available in two varieties: curly parsley and flat-leaf parsley. Curly parsley is the more popular variety and is known for its ruffled leaves. Flat-leaf parsley has smoother leaves and is often used in Mediterranean cuisine.
Like most herbs in this list, parsley needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. The can only be propagated through seeds and thrives in dry soil. You can place it in the sill, facing window so it would get an ample amount of light needed for its growth. Parsely grows in a vertical position, reminds Carlo Aguilar in an article at Manila Bulletin, and should be pruned and harvested regularly.
An herb native to Southern Europe and Asia, do you know that oregano is part of the mint family? This perennial plant requires daily watering and daily sunshine. If you can grow herbs through seeds, you can try your luck with oregano as it can be propagated through cutting.
Aside from a cooking ingredient, oregano is also popular for its medicinal properties. The leaves are brewed into a tea and is used to treat coughs, colds, or flu. Considered as one of the toughest herb plants out there, it can adapt in any climate even without fertilizers!
Rosemary is an excellent herb to cultivate indoors for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, rosemary is a hardy and adaptable herb that thrives in a variety of conditions. When grown indoors, it can flourish in pots or containers on windowsills, making it accessible for individuals with limited outdoor space.
Its resilience to different light levels, including partial sunlight, makes it well-suited for indoor environments where natural light may be limited. Additionally, rosemary is relatively low-maintenance, requiring infrequent watering and minimal fertilization, making it an ideal choice for novice gardeners or those with busy lifestyles.
In the hustle and bustle of urban living, finding a slice of nature can be challenging. However, for those dwelling in condominium units, creating a green oasis indoors is easier than you might think. One of the most rewarding and accessible ways to do so is by cultivating herbs right in your condo. Indoor herb gardens offer a host of benefits, from enhancing your culinary adventures to improving air quality and mental well-being.
Transforming your condominium unit into a thriving indoor herb garden is a decision that brings forth a multitude of benefits. From the culinary delight of fresh, aromatic herbs at your fingertips to the enhancement of air quality and the serene aesthetics they offer, planting herbs offers a multitude of advantages that are both practical and aesthetic.