by Melissa Bell
4 minutes read

We all love the convenience of fresh herbs at home, and what could be more convenient that a shelf worth of indoor herb garden? Even if you live in an apartment or condo without any outdoor (or indoor) space, you can still grow your own herbs. The ideal setting for our garden is the kitchen, where you can snip fresh herbs and use them in dishes without skipping a beat. If you don’t have a spot in your kitchen, you can still grow herbs in any sunlit room and have a constant supply of them throughout the year.

Fresh tea, anyone?

How to grow herbs in water

This technique of growing the herbs doesn’t require regular watering or changing of soil. Just take some herb cuttings and then put them in glass bottles with plain water. Make sure the water is not chlorinated as the bleaching chemical will destroy plant tissues. Consider storing some rain water or leaving some tap water to air overnight.

Pick a mason jar, a glass bottle, or even a plastic one for your herbs. It’s prudent to use colored bottles (unlike our photo) as the roots don’t need to be exposed to light. On the contrary, darkness will prevent algae growth on the bottle as well as on the roots.

You should also avoid tight-fitting containers (unlike our photo, again) as the mouth of the container should promote a free transition of air to allow for proper breathing of the plants.

Moving over to our selected herbs, pick soft cutting roots and cut some 6-inch sections from the growing plants. Place them in the containers, removing the lower leaves since they can rot in the water and quickly spoil it.

Some herbs, like rosemary, require water change once a week until the roots start growing. However, be mindful not to change the water once the roots do start emerging, which is within 2-6 weeks.

To accelerate the growth, you may soak a few willow branches in warm water overnight and then use them as a soothing hormone. Rooting hormone powder also works well here.

Unless otherwise stated, full plants can be rooted from whole leaves with the base intact or from trimmed stems and require bright direct light to thrive.

Here is our recommendation for 10 herbs that you should be growing in this way:

  1. Rosemary – while the root of the semi-woody rosemary cuttings takes its time, the new shoots in the spring grow quite faster. Keep this plant in a sunny spot. Rosemary improves memory and cognitive function, moderates blood sugar, and stimulates hair growth;
  2. Sage – during the spring, put some sage cuttings in water. Sage requires to be placed in a bright, well-aerated area, as it’s prone to mildew. Sage is a aromatic herb known to relieve anxiety, reduce the symptoms of menopause, and improve memory;
  3. Peppermint – an herb rich in menthol, which provides a cooling sensation on the tongue and skin while not changing the temperature. Peppermint is the easiest herb to grow in your kitchen. Just throw some fresh peppermint cuttings in water and let Mother Nature do its magic. A great addition to salads and savory desserts, it soothes irritable bowel syndrome and other gastric distress, relieves stress and headaches and keeps spiders and mice away;
  4. Tarragon – take some spring cuttings after fresh growth appears and put the herb on a bright and warm place. Tarragon moderates blood sugar, treats metabolic syndrome, and is a potent antibacterial agent;
  5. Basil – place some basil cuttings in water before they start to flower and then place the container in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth. Rich in antioxidants, basil moderates blood sugar levels and is a potent antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and pro-Italian;
  6. Spearmint – simply grow spearmint like you would peppermint. A milder flavor than peppermint, spearmint is beneficial for post-menopausal women and those with ovarian cysts due to its anti-androgen effects that balance sex hormones;
  7. Thyme – in mid-spring or early summer, before the thyme starts to flower, take some freshly grown, green cuttings and toss them in water. Thyme must be kept moist so give it a spritz with a water bottle to keep leaves from drying out. Once it’s grown, cut the stems to stimulate branching. Thyme can help with lower blood pressure, tooth decay, and stomach disorders while also killing bacteria and fungi;
  8. Oregano – put fresh oregano cuttings in water and make sure you pinch the growing tips as your herb grows. Oregano is used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. The herb is also applied topically to help treat a number of skin conditions, such as acne and dandruff;
  9. Lemon balm – pick several cuttings in spring or fall and put them in water in a bright place. The cuttings should develop roots in 3-4 weeks. Change water once per week to prevent rot. The leaves are great for preparing tea. Lemon balm reduces anxiety, heals cold sores, and aids digestion;
  10. Stevia – is a popular natural sweetener. To grow it, take some stevia cuttings from actively growing branches and put them in a container full of water. Keep the container in a sunny place, as the herb hates the cold.


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1 comment

Dan Bruns January 16, 2017 - 9:02 pm

Great idea I will start this very soon.

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