The scent of fresh basil or oregano isn’t just for warm summer days — you can have it all winter long with a windowsill herb garden. But how can you grow herbs by a frosty window? The team at Millcreek Gardens has some tips for you on how to keep fresh herbs alive and well on the windowsill of your Salt Lake City home through even the coldest days.

herbs on the windowsill

Herbs: Seeds or Clippings?

One of the easiest ways to bring your herbs indoors is by pinching off a branch or two and plopping it in a container of water to root. This doesn’t work with all herbs though. For instance, if you want to bring your chives indoors, you should pull up a few by the roots — they’re more like bulbs.

Alternatively, if you don’t have chives, you grow some from a garlic bulb. Have you ever kept garlic so long that green shoots begin to emerge? Put your garlic bulb in a shallow dish of water and you will soon have nice, big, green shoots. These herbs will be more garlicky and less oniony than chives, but they’re still a fabulous addition to your savory dishes.

You can also root basil, mint, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary and many other herbs.

But what if you have some herbs in mind that you don’t yet have in your outdoor garden? You could try to get neighbors to donate, but what’s even easier is buying seeds or seedlings at Salt Lake City’s favorite shop for indoor plants — Millcreek Gardens.

Growing Plants Indoors in Winter

We won’t lie — it’s harder to grow plants indoors in winter, but many avid gardeners love the challenge. It’s a fun winter hobby!

When you grow herbs from seed in the winter, you should have a clear plastic lid over your garden to keep in the heat and moisture (plastic wrap can sometimes do in a pinch). Your herbs will also need a lot of light — about six hours a day.

If this seems unachievable in your home, you have our permission to cheat and get a grow light. Once your seedlings sprout and become big and strong, you can transplant them into your herb garden container. We recommend you put it on your kitchen windowsill because the kitchen is where you cook, so it’s convenient, but if your kitchen window doesn’t get much sunlight, it would be better to keep your herbs in a sunnier room.

Fresh Herbs, All Winter Long

It’s so satisfying to be able to grab a branch of rosemary or a few basil leaves for the dish that’s simmering on your stove. Add fresh herbs to stews, soups, salads and marinades.

You can also grow some lavender in your winter herb garden. Use the blooms to scent oils and lotions or in potpourri or sachets. Add them to a beverage or a batch of macaroons.

As you can see, a winter herb garden brings months of delight to long, cold dreary days. Stop by our Salt Lake City garden nursery today for more inspiration!