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11 Herbs to Grow in Water on Your Windowsill

This is a close look at the sink area of a kitchen that has herbs on its windowsill.

Gardening is not only reserved for those with backyards. Gardening can be done in many creative ways, and here we’ve prepared a list of herbs that require nothing more than sunlight and a dainty cup.

Once you’ve experienced the joy of going to your window sill to pick the garnish for your lovingly prepared roasted chicken or evening cocktail, you’ll never go back. Not to mention, these precious herbs bring life to a dull room, and most of them are natural air fresheners!

Related: Types of Herbs | Vegetables and Herbs for Symbiotic Farming | Herbs for Indoor Kitchen Herb Garden | Herbs that Keep Flies Away 

No Soil?

No soil! Plants are incredibly resilient organisms, and many of them can get the nutrients they need from water and sunlight. Whether you’re looking to extend the life of your favorite herbs during the winter months, or you never know how to possibly use all of the cilantro they sell in bunches at the grocery store (you know what I’m talking about), all you need is running water and a cup.

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Cilantro, parsley, dill and mint growing in glass jars.

How to Transfer Your Herbs

  1. Clip your herbs so that they’re about 6 inches in length — clip them at an angle! The herbs absorb water through the cut part of its stem, so cutting at an angle provides a bigger surface for water absorption
  2. Pinch away any leaves that would be submerged underwater, or any leaves that are looking a little old or yellow
  3. Find your water vessels. Clear glass will allow more light in and algae will grow sooner, but the water can always be replaced. Opaque glass lets in less sunlight and water won’t need to be changed as often.
  4. Fill your water vessels with water. Avoid distilled water as it is stripped of essential nutrients the plants will need to grow
  5. Place them on a windowsill and watch your little friends grow happily

The Alphabetical List of Herbs

1. Basil 

A cluster of fresh basil on a wooden table.

There’s nothing more satisfying than picking a few leaves of fresh basil to garnish an omelet or pasta dish.

Once the roots grow to be longer than a couple of inches, it is better to plant it in soil.

If you want your basil to keep growing, pluck away the flowers as they develop (these are edible and make for an intensely delicious garnish) as this indicates the end of the plant’s life cycle.

2. Chives 

A bunch of chives being chopped on a board.

Chives like plenty of water and plenty of sunlight, so it is better to have them in a clear glass jar. The water will need to be changed often, but these guys can grow centimeters in just a day!

3. Cilantro 

A bunch of cilantro on a wooden table.

You can’t have tacos without a little fresh cilantro. And like I mentioned before, it’s impossible to use up all of the cilantro they bunch together in grocery stores! Placing your leftover cilantro in an opaque jar will ensure this beautiful herb won’t go to waste.

Harvest your cilantro before it blooms, as this indicates the end of its life cycle, and the lovely flavor quickly dissipates.

4. Green Onion 

Green onion stalks on a wooden table.

Green onion gives a splash of freshness to almost any dish. Simply save the bulb and place it in a short water glass, ensuring that the snipped end isn’t totally submerged. The bulb already has roots, and this is where the herb will absorb water.

Green onion likes lots of light, so place it in clear glass. But make sure to change the water often, as it can get stinky pretty quick.

These guys grow so quickly, it might even be worth it to measure how much it grows in a day!

5. Lemon Balm 

Lemon Balm tea being poured onto a glass cup.

Lemon balm is wonderful for so many reasons. It smells incredible, it can help with indigestion, it can reduce feelings of stress, and is even able to help with deeper sleep.

This herb is quite prone to mildew, so ensure to replace its water often. It’s an herb worth having in every household.

6. Mint

A wooden bowl filled with mint leaves.

Quite a bit of satisfaction comes from making the decision to have a mojito and having all of the ingredients needed to make it happen. It’s also a tasty little addition to a cup of hot cocoa. Maybe even keep it by your front door for a little breath freshener as you’re heading out!

Mint is another herb that likes a lot of sunlight but is prone to algae production. Keeping it in a clear glass will help with keeping an eye on that.

7. Oregano 

Oregano leaves and a bottle of oregano essential oil.

Not only is oregano the go-to garnish for almost any savory dish you can think of, it has medicinal properties as well! Any time you feel a cold coming on, just chew a bit of oregano to help ward it away. This is an old wive’s tale, but it sure works!

Oregano grows really fast, so make sure to clip away any leaves that don’t look like they’re doing too well.

8. Rosemary 

A cluster of rosemary on a wooden table.

Rosemary is an excellent herb to keep on your windowsill, as it is a natural air freshener and doesn’t need to have its water changed all too often. Just make sure leaves growing below the water are clipped away, and enjoy this tasty herb all year.

Pro Breakfast Tip: one of the best omelets I’ve ever made was just blue cheese, fresh rosemary, and little rolled up sausages. Give it a try at home!

9. Sage 

A cluster of sage on a table.

Sage is a lovely flavor often encountered in savory Thanksgiving dishes, but it can extend far beyond that. Frying sage makes for an incredibly unique and crispy garnish, and tones down that intense flavor.

This is a great one to plant back in the garden in the springtime, as it will just explode once it is in the soil again.

Sage is also used as an atmospheric addition to a room. Drying it, bundling it, then burning it makes for a relaxing atmosphere.

10. Stevia 

A bunch of stevia leaves in a bowl.

We’ve all become more familiar with stevia, as being a zero-calorie sweetener. This awesome substitute for sugar likes lots and lots of sun, so keep it in a clear glass jar.

How fun would it be to just pluck a leaf and mix it in your hot cup of coffee?

11. Thyme 

A cluster of thyme on a dark surface.

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and… thyme? We all know the tune. This is a classic herb, put to especially good use with poultry dishes.

I bet you didn’t know that thyme actually produces delicious edible flowers! Now you can have the opportunity to taste those right from the comfort of your kitchen.

Thyme starts to root after a couple of weeks, it can either stay submerged in glass or be planted into a small pot.

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