How To Start Herbs From Seed Indoors

Growing your herbs from seed is a wonderful way to add extra flavor to your culinary endeavors. With just a small setup – some soil, a few seeds, and adequate sunlight – you can have fresh herbs within days or weeks, depending on your chosen plants.

Not only will you be able to enjoy the freshest flavors in every meal with homegrown herbs, but watching them come to life from simple little seeds is also immensely satisfying. It’s an investment of time and effort that yields delicious rewards.

The key to succeeding at growing herb seeds is often found in understanding their basic needs. Most herbs do best in climates that receive plenty of sunlight, so supplement it with adequate artificial lighting if yours doesn’t get enough light.

Different seed varieties may also require additional attention when planting, such as adjusting soil pH levels or opting for specific germination techniques like stratification or scarification.

Regardless of the types of remedies you take, being informed of what your plants need is essential for success when growing herbs from seed. Farther information is discussed below, so let’s dig in.

How to Start Herbs From Seed Indoors?

How to Start Herbs From Seed Indoors?

Things You Will Need

Prepare your seed starting supplies, excluding the grow lights, for Day 1. Once the seeds have germinated (it usually takes around seven days for most herbs), the lights will be necessary.

  • Seed Starting Mix
  • Water (Spray Bottle or Kitchen Sprayer)
  • Small Pots
  • Plastic Dome
  • Seeds
  • Grow Lights

A list of indoor seed-starting supplies with accompanying pictures is available for those interested in growing herbs from seed. Water and light are the only requirements for an indoor herb kit, including soil, pots, and herb seeds.


Starting plants from seeds is a cost-effective way to create a garden full of flowers and greenery. The first step in the process is to combine the seed starting mix with water so it is just damp. This will help ensure the soil has adequate moisture for the seeds to germinate successfully. Doing this in a small tub or bowl is best to ensure it is moist all through.

Next, you’ll need to fill small pots with moistened soil about 3/4 of the way to the top. After you’ve done that, take a moment to tap the pots lightly on one side and then on the other side to remove any air pockets.

After that, place 2-3 seeds in each pot and cover them with soil according to the instructions on the seed packet. Once they’re covered, put them somewhere where they will get plenty of sunlight and watch for signs of growth.

How Far Apart Should Herb Seed Be Planted?

How Far Apart Should Herb Seed Be Planted?

The herb garden is a great way to spice up your home with delicious greens; learning how far apart to plant your herb seeds makes all the difference. It comes to oregano, for example, you should plan ahead by planting the seeds at least 18-22 inches apart. This will give each of the plants enough space to grow properly and reach their full potential. It won’t take too long before they sprout, so once they do start growing, it will be important to keep enough distance between them.

Dose Soil Type Makes Any Difference?

Yes, soil type makes a difference. Several soil types are specifically suited for growing herbs from seed, each offering unique advantages and drawbacks.

The most commonly used soil type is a Seed Starting Mix, made primarily of sterile material like sphagnum moss or vermiculite. This mixed type works best when herb seeds are started indoors as it prevents disease and reduces the risk of damping off, a common issue with seeds.

Additionally, some seed-starting mixes contain fertilizers to give your herbs an extra boost during the germination period. However, this medium should only be used for starting seeds, as prolonged exposure to such high levels of nutrients can damage young roots once they have begun growing.

Potting Mix is another popular choice for herb gardens and works well inside containers or once you transplant your herbs outside into pots or planters. This soil type contains more organic material, such as compost or perlite, than Seed Starting Mix and gives your plants better access to nutrients throughout their life cycle. It also may contain fertilizer, but at lower concentrations, so there’s less risk of overfeeding your plants while offering them good nutrition.

What is the Most Effective Type of Soil for Growing Herb Seeds Indoors?

Effective Type of Soil for Growing Herb Seeds Indoors

Growing herbs from seed indoors can be tricky, as using regular soil or dirt won’t help the seeds sprout. Instead, opting only to use a seed starting mix is key to successfully growing herbs inside. Starting mix has a very fine consistency, allowing the small herb seeds to penetrate without issue and start forming roots.

This mix also lacks the extra fertilizers often added to mixes designed for full-grown plants already in pots. For this reason, it’s easy to see why it is recommended for those planning to grow herbs from seed indoors.

It is unnecessary to fertilize seedlings until they have two true leaves because most of their essential nutrients are found inside the shell. This works well for almost all herb seeds, so it will take some guesswork when deciding which soil type should go into your garden potting mix.

That said, if you have some larger herb seeds that are more robust, then it’s perfectly acceptable to substitute the seed starting mix with an easily-crafted potting mix instead.

Should I pre Soak My Herb Seeds?

Soaking herb seeds prior to planting is an easy and effective way to ensure they will germinate at the highest rate possible. This process helps soften the outer coating of hardier herbs, giving the seedlings a better chance at success when planted. Parsley and coriander are herbs that benefit greatly from pre-soaking for 12-24 hours before planting.

The extra time allows more water to penetrate the tough layer of the seed, thus making it easier for them to sprout when implanted in soil. It also ensures that the delicate seed will not be harmed during planting or exposed to too much stress while pushing through disturbed earth.

Pre-soaked seeds may take slightly longer than usual to germinate, but in some cases, they can increase the chances of a successful crop by up to 50%. Soaking herb seeds before planting is simple, inexpensive, and can make all the difference for your next harvest.

Which Temperature Is Perfect to Grow Herb Seeds?

When it comes to growing herbs, the temperature is a critical factor. Depending on the type of herb, the right growing temperature can range from cooler areas to higher temperatures. In general, herbs thrive best when daytime temperatures are around 70°-80° F (21°-27° C), but some types of herbs can handle even warmer climates depending on the species.

When starting seeds indoors in anticipation of spring, cold windows, and window sills must be monitored closely since they threaten germination rates. Although sunlight streaming through the window will be beneficial once your herb sprouts, the temperature is far more important at the germination stage.

The sensitivity of these little seeds means that if usually cold temperatures persist, spring has not yet come, and there’s no point in them sprouting – so make sure to help your little gems out by keeping their environment cozy temperature until then.

Some Fastest Growing Herbs from seed

Some Fastest Growing Herbs from seed
Some Fastest Growing Herbs from seed

Herbs are some of the easiest plants to start from seed indoors, and they’re great for adding flavor to your favorite meals. There are a variety of herbs that can be grown from seed, but some will germinate faster than others. Here’s a look at some of the fastest-growing herbs from seed:

Basil: This herb is probably the most popular choice for indoor gardening. Basil is easy to grow from seed and germinates quickly, usually within 7-14 days.

Cilantro: Cilantro is a fast-growing herb that sprouts in 5-7 days. It’s great for adding flavor to soups, salads, and sauces.

Parsley: Parsley is another popular choice for growing indoors and germinating within 10 -14 days.

Chives: Chives are a great addition to salads, soups, and other dishes. They grow quickly from seed, usually within 7-10 days.

Once you have your seeds pre-soaked, it’s time to get them planted. First, fill a container with seed starting mix and moisten the soil until it is evenly damp. Next, place the seeds on top of the soil and lightly press them down so they make contact with the damp soil beneath. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and mist lightly with water.

What Herbs Need Light to Germinate?

Herbs that need light to germinate include Thyme and Lemon Balm; when planting these seeds, be sure to place them on or near the soil’s surface. Other gardens herbs such as Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Cosmos, Dill, Marigold, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, and Zinnia, however, have different requirements – they prefer a slightly darker germination environment so a thin layer of soil no deeper than the length of the seed should be used to provide them with this level of darkness.

By following these tips when tending to your herb garden seeds, you can save yourself some hassle and be sure that your gardening efforts will bear delicious fruit or leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. How Long Does It Take To Grow Herbs From Seed?

Germination time for Anise is 10-14 days, and it takes 120 days to mature. Basil takes 5-10 days to germinate and 60-90 days to mature. Summer Savory is a first-season crop. Cilantro requires 2-3 weeks to germinate.

2. What Is The Best Soil For Growing Herbs?

The best soil for growing herbs is well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 6.5-7.0. A good mix of potting soil and compost or manure works well for most herbs; however, some plants, such as Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme, prefer leaner soil. For these plants, it’s best to use a potting mix mostly made of peat moss or coco coir.

3. Do Herb Seeds Need Full Sun?

Herbs require a moderate amount of sunlight for healthy growth. A minimum of 4 hours of sunlight daily is recommended, but many herbs can tolerate more. For example, Rosemary, lavender, and basil thrive in full sun with 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

4. Can I Sprinkle Herb Seeds?

Starting herb plants from seeds can be a cost-effective technique. Begin by using a seed-starting mix that has been moistened to fill pots, trays, or cells. Lightly sprinkle one or two seeds into each cell or pocket of soil.

5. How Often Do I Water Herb Seeds?

To ensure proper growth, it is recommended to water herbs two to three times per week. Basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley are examples of herbs that may require more frequent watering. Upon planting or purchasing your herbs, provide sufficient water to maintain moist soil for several days.


Herbs are easy to grow from seed indoors, and you can enjoy the flavor of freshly picked herbs year-round. Follow these steps to start your herb garden: soak your seeds, plant them in a damp seed-starting mix, and provide ample light and water regularly. With proper care and attention, you’ll be harvesting delicious herbs in no time.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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