Fall is officially here and that means that gardening is coming to a halt for the year. I’ve been spending a lot of time preserving my fresh veggies and herbs for the winter.
While I’m really glad I can dehydrate herbs to store them, I would much prefer to use fresh herbs. I use herbs in medicinal teas for basically anything that ails me. From headaches to sleeplessness, I turn to herbs before store bought medicines so it’s important I have them on hand.
Luckily there are some herbs that do really well indoors in pots. I don’t have very sunny windows and even I can get most of these to flourish in winter! Lets get to the list of plants I grow indoors in winter and their uses, and I’ll add some growing instructions below that!
11 Medicinal plants you can grow indoors
Accelerates the healing of burns. Treats mouth ulcers. Reduces constipation. High in amino acids. Alkalizes the body and boosts the immune system
Natural anti-inflammatory. Has anti-bacterial properties and is very high in antioxidants. It can be used to soothe the stomach, calm a cough or take the sting out of a bug bite.
More information: 7 Ways To Use Basil As Medicine.
Calms nerves. Soothes stomach. Can help alleviate menstrual cramps. Helps with migraines and improves digestion.
More information: Growing & Using Catnip For Tea.
Promotes healthy digestion. May reduce arthritis pain. Helps control cholesterol levels. Detoxifies the body. High in vitamin C. May help with insomnia.
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Reduces stress and anxiety. Improves appetite. Promotes restful sleep. High in anti-oxidants. Supports the liver and promotes balanced blood sugar.
Soothes an upset stomach and reduces nausea. Repels mosquitoes. Increases alertness. Helps lessen headaches. Relieves congestion.
Boosts immune system. Helps detox the body. Improves heart health. Contains calcium, iron and manganese which are essential to good bone health. Aids digestion.
Has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Often used as a diuretic. Fights bad breath and is high in several vitamins.
More information: 13 Reasons Why Parsley Is The Healthiest Food In Your Kitchen.
Anti-inflammatory. Often used for arthritis and gout. Stimulates brain function. High in vitamin K. Aids in digestion and can be used for skin issues.
Boosts immune system and memory. Helps relieve migraines. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Helps to improve mood and lessen stress.
Antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Boosts circulation and immunity. May help improve vision and relieve stress.
Make sure your plants get enough sun. A south facing window is probably the best bet. With the exception of aloe, all your potted plants should be placed in direct sun. Aloe prefers indirect sun so place it slightly away from the window.
Aloe, rosemary and lemongrass are not cold hardy at all. I grow these three in pots year round, putting them outside in summer and bringing them inside in winter. They enjoy being outdoors for summer to enjoy the sun and heat. They need to be brought indoors for winter in colder climates though since a good freeze will kill them. Since I bring them in every year I just leave them in pots. I’d rather not mess with planting and re-potting if I don’t have to!
Lemon balm, parsley, thyme, oregano and mint have all over wintered in the ground for me. (I’m in zone 6, we get about 3 months of snow) You can move them to the garden in spring, then root a cutting by putting it in water to grow a new plant indoors for winter. Harvest from the plant in the ground during summer and from the plant in the house during winter.
Basil, catnip and sage grow wonderfully when put in the garden in spring but will not last through winter. You can root a cutting by placing it in water mid summer and have a new plant ready to be potted by fall.
I like rooting new plants from cuttings as opposed to planting seeds. There’s much less work and you can see within a week or two if it’s rooting. If you don’t have a garden to move plants to in spring, aggressively pruning them can help them to not outgrow their pots. Happy gardening!