what herbs grow indoors without sunlight

What herbs can grow indoors without sunlight

Growing herbs are a wonderful way to add fresh flavors into your cooking and some pretty greenery into your kitchen.  However, not all kitchens have bright sunny windows.  If you don’t have a lot of sun in your kitchen you might ask:  What herbs can grow indoors without sunlight.

what herbs grow indoors without sunlight

Which herbs do well without sunlight?

Here is a list of my favorite herb that will grow well indoors without much sunlight.

When I describe natural light levels I am referring to the brightness of a normal room during the day.  If you can read a book in the amount of light in the room then these herbs will grow.

CAUTION!  I am going to tell you about some medical uses for some herbs.  Please do your own research regarding any medical uses.  Although many herbs are completely safe, over or misuse can cause issues.


what herbs grow indoors without sunlight

Thyme will grow well in natural light levels.  This herb pairs well with pork and tomato sauces.  I like fresh thyme on my pizza.

There is a long list of medical uses for thyme.  It has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.


indoor herbs

This herb does much better in the shade.  Too much sun will cause your cilantro bolt.  The great news is that if it does bolt you can harvest the seeds.  Those seeds are coriander, a very useful herb itself!

Cilantro is one of the most widely used herbs in the world.  It can be found in dishes from countries around the world.  Coriander is most often used in pickling and in some beer brewing recipes.


You can grow chives in a sunny window or with natural light in your kitchen.  Chives have a wonderful light onion flavor that goes well on so many things.

My favorite thing about chives is how easy they are to grow.  You can easily replant the ball end of the chives in either soil or water.  Within just a few days you will have more chives to add to your next recipe.


growing indoors without sunlight

There are many varieties or “flavors” of mint.  There are the traditional peppermint and spearmint but there are also flavors like chocolate, orange, licorice, and lavender mint among many others.

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors without sunlight.  Mint is basically a weed. It can take over an outside garden or lawn quickly.  When growing indoors this is a great advantage.  You can grow mint in almost any place regardless of the amount of sunlight.

Mint does tend to get “leggy” as the mint reaches towards the light source.  If you keep it trimmed regularly them it does grow bushy.

Lemon Balm

growing herbs indoors without sunlight

Much like mint, lemon balm will grow almost anywhere in most light conditions.  It does very well indoors without sunlight as long as you have natural light in the room.

If you plant lemon balm in your outdoor garden it can quickly take over!  It does great in a pot where it is contained.  Lemon balm will be a lovely and very fragrant full-plant if you keep it trimmed.

You can use the cuttings in teas, salads and on fish.

Lemon balm has calming properties that make it wonderful to your evening addition tea.



This is another easy herb that does not like shade.  My parsley will quickly bolt if I move it into direct sunlight.

Keep your parsley plant moist but not wet and keep it out of direct sunlight and you will have all the parsley you will ever need.


growing herbs indoors without sunlight

Basil is one of the most grown herbs in both indoor and outdoor gardens.  Basil does need more sunlight than other herbs on my list but it does not want direct sunlight.

These herbs do best with 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight a day.  I have tried basil in full sun, no sun, and with grow lights of both red/blue and full spectrum.  In the end, there is no question that my best plants have always been the plants that are in an east-facing window.  The basil gets 4-6 hours of the morning sun but is shaded as soon as the sun starts to get high in the sky.  The rest of the day the plant is happy to be in the natural daylight in my room.


growing herbs indoors without sunlight

One of my favorite herbs.  I don’t think I ever make chicken or fish without it.

Tarragon is easy to grow and prefers not being in the sun.  The plant will stay full and bushy.  You can actually trim off the leave you want to use in a way that will keep your tarragon plant looking like a perfect ball.  This makes it kind of an herb bonsai


I think one of the best ways to start your kitchen herb garden is to grow new plants from fresh supermarket herbs. Please read

How to grow herbs from supermarket herbs

I hope that you are inspired.  You can grow herbs indoors without sunlight, try it!


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