Do you want to grow your favorite herbs indoors without sunlight?
It is hard to grow your favorite herbs if you live in an area where the sunlight is less accessible. Even the tiniest plants need sunlight; otherwise, they cannot start the photosynthesis process to make their food and grow.
Artificial lights are the best alternative to sunlight. Yes, it is easy to grow herbs indoors with artificial lights, since it can match the sunlight spectrum. In some cases, it is even better than sunlight as it allows you full control over time and your plants’ growth process. You’re no longer under the mercy of mother nature, and you can decide when and where to grow whatever plants and veggies you crave.
In this post, we are going to talk about:
- How to grow herbs indoors with artificial light
- Herbs that can be grown indoors easily
Are you excited to grow your favorite herbs indoors with artificial light?
Then let’s get started!
How to Grow Herbs Indoors With Artificial Light?
It is easy to grow herbs indoors with artificial light. But, there are some essential factors you should consider:
When you are growing herbs, you will need to plant pots and seeds to get started. However, you can start with some existing plants and vegetables. But, we recommend you to start growing seeds. There are two reasons why you should not start with existing plants.
- Starting with existing plants can ruin your crops because some insects might be living there.
- It is harder for outdoor plants to adapt to indoor conditions.
So, it is best to grow seeds rather than the root plants and vegetables.
When you are growing plants, you should have individual planting pots for each type of seed. You cannot grow different seeds in one plant pot as it will suffocate roots, which will slow the growth of the plants.
Also, starting with a larger pot than what you need is good. Your plant can get more oxygen in larger pots. The more oxygen your plant will get, the faster your plants will grow.
Choosing the best artificial light is very important. You should use full-spectrum artificial lights to grow plants. You can select any type of artificial light, but we recommend LED grow lights. The LED grow lights are perfect for small-medium sized grow tents. Also, it is the best choice if you are growing just two or three plants at home.
Adjustment of Light
If you are using a grow light, you have to place the light some inches above the plants. We suggest setting the grow light one inch above the plant to get started. If you are growing more than one plant, then the lights should be six to nine inches above plants. So PAR can be distributed to every plant from the center to edge.
All the plants will get enough light needed to flourish. You can place some light lover plants in the center of grow light, and plants that need less light place them on outside edges. Also, if you are building a grow tent, then the spacing between the plants is very important.
Plants need some space to grow on. You have to maintain distance between two plants according to different crops. Some crops need large space to grow, while some can be grown in a small space.
Once you set up the ideal distance between each plant, you just need to place seeds into pots. But, you will need quality soil suited to vegetables and fruits both.
After adjusting the light, you will need quality soil to place the seeds into the pots. You can use the mixture of quality potting soil, a part of sand, and rotten soil. The potting soil with vermiculite is best as a moisture-retentive medium for vegetables and fruits. It is helpful to increase water and nutrient retention.
Managing Your Plant
Managing your plant is very important if you want to grow plants quickly. After planting seeds, you have to manage your herbs by watering and timing of LED light. There is some rule to follow watering for indoor herbs and vegetables.
You should water your plant after the soil is completely dry. Otherwise, the leaves of the plants will turn yellow, and roots will rot because of over-watering. You can purchase a moisture meter to check the water contained in the plant.
Mostly, herbs and vegetables require 18 hours of sunlight to grow except plants like mint, oregano, rosemary, and dill which require less sunlight. You have to keep an LED light turned on for 12 – 14 hours/day depending on crops. But, remember you cannot turn on the light for more than 14 hours or a whole day, otherwise your plant’s growth can be interrupted.
With the help of fertilizers, plants can grow better and fast—especially potted household herbs since they need regular feeding. You can use any fertilizer to provide your plant with the most important ingredient nitrogen. Yes, nitrogen is the most important nutrient that a plant needs to grow. That is why we recommend you fish emulsion as a fertilizer for all vegetables and herbs.
You can also make this fertilizer at your home or buy readymade. Do not forget to dilute it as per the instructions if you buy readymade. You can fertilize plants with fish emulation once in a month for better results.
Herbs That Can Be Grown Indoors Easily
If you have not grown herbs indoors ever then we recommend you start with these herbs. These herbs are the most common herbs to grow indoors and are very easy to grow with artificial light.
Basil is the best choice for you if you’re just getting started. This is one of the easily grown herbs without sunlight since it regenerates itself which makes it grow easily. Basil can be used in many dishes to enhance the taste and boost the flavor. You can use this herb as leafy green in pasta, salads, sandwiches as well as make with it a delicious pesto. For its better growth make sure to start artificial light for approximately 10 hours, and keep in mind that it needs heat potting soil and lots of bright light.
Oregano is a type of mint and a must herb for Mexican and Italian dishes. It has plenty of health benefits; in fact, the flavonoid and phenolic compounds of oregano help decrease inflammation. Oregano can also be used to treat many ailments like skin sores, asthma, aching muscles, colds, cramping, and more. For a healthy growth, you have to regularly water this herb until it dries out. Oregano approximately needs 8 to 10 hours of artificial light per day.
The rosemary is one of the easiest to grow herbs indoors with artificial light. Rosemary contains many substances that are useful to improve blood circulation, memory power, and digestion. Rosemary can be used in a variety of dishes like soups, salads, casseroles, and many more. This herb is also helpful in hair loss and joint pain. Rosemary loves hot and sunny locations, so do not overwater it. It also needs a strong light, so give it 10+ hours of artificial lights.
Chervil is one of the most important herbs to make traditional French fines herbs. This is a fantastic herb to eat with eggs. You can dredge it over the top of omelets before serving. Chervil leaves are commonly used in mildly flavored dishes. It is easy and quick to harvest so that it can be grown indoors. Chervil loves moist conditions, so water it frequently and only needs 8 hours of artificial light per day.
Spinach is the most easily grown vegetable under artificial lights. Spinach is the fastest growing leafy green vegetable. Spinach contains vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, iron, and manganese. This green veggie benefits eye health. It can reduce oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure. Because it contains vitamin K, it helps maintain bone health. Spinach is incredibly suitable to grow indoors under artificial light.
There are survival benefits of mint, and it is easy to grow with artificial light. Mint can be used to manage blood sugar levels and treat some skin conditions. Mint is helpful to relieve indigestion and improve brain functions. There are many types of mint like peppermint, apple mint, wild mint, and spearmint. The mint approximately needs 10 hours of artificial light per day and you must have a separate pot to grow it.
Parsley can be used in soups and sauces. Because parsley can bring color, it is the main ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes like tabbouleh (a salad), pesto, stuffing, chicken, and vegetable dishes. But, parsley may cause allergic skin reactions in some cases. It needs organic potting soil and strong artificial light with a minimum of 10 hours per day.