Falling in Love with Fall Herbs: Which to Pick & What to Do with Them

Falling in Love with Fall Herbs: Which to Pick & What to Do with Them

It’s officially (almost) over. It’s time to say goodbye to the summer garden, which is probably looking a little raggedy by now. But, don’t despair… the fun isn’t over yet! Now it’s time to select new, cool-weather-loving herbs to spice up your kitchen table. Which ones should you choose? What can you do with them? Is it just Pumpkin-Spice-lattes from here on out?

Why the Transition?

Your herbs have a life expectancy, and for many, they’ve reached the end of their rope. Why? Extreme heat and bolting will cause your favorite summer herbs to become bitter and even change their texture! July and August is the perfect time to give up the fight and call it quits on your annual and biennial plants, replacing the old with the new.

Which to Pick

Just as some herbs are summer-lovers, others are cool-weather-thrivers. Remember some of your favorite springtime herbs? Many of them are making an autumn comeback! Looking for a few suggestions?

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Chervil
  • Lovage
  • Arugula
  • Dill

What to Do with Them (& How to Love Them)

The good news: You aren’t condemned to a life full of pumpkin spice (if that’s not your thing). You can still enjoy summer-fresh flavors in the fall!


How to Love

Parsley needs 4-6 hours of direct sun each day, so plant your herb in an area that receives partial sun. Placing established plants in the ground will give you a much faster turn-around for usable amounts of foliage. Another bonus? Parsley grown in the fall produces more abundantly than springtime plants!

How to Use

Flat Parsley

If Flat and Curled Parsley were in a flavor fight, Flat Parsley would win because it has the most robust flavor. Its perky, bright, slightly bitter taste compliments many fall favorites: including this Parmesan & Parsley Roasted Butternut Squash. And, no, just because autumn is approaching doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to pesto. Just make it out of Parsley!

Curled Parsley

Although it’s milder, Curled Parsley shouldn’t be overlooked. Its fresh flavor and charming foliage can make for an attractive garnish or take center stage in this Tabbouleh Recipe! Its soft, aromatic taste perfectly complements the punchier mint, which transforms into a lip-smacking treat with the addition of cucumber and lemon juice. (Please tell us you brought some lamb chops!)

Loading component ...
Loading component ...


How to Love

Cilantro loves cool weather and shorter days! If temperatures have cooled off in your area, place your plant in the full sun. For container gardens, make sure you plant your Cilantro in well-draining soil, adding extra perlite to the mix. These herbs do not require frequent fertilizing, but if their leaves start to yellow (and you’re confident you’re not overwatering), give them a nutrient boost.

How to Use

Thanks to Cilantro’s cool-weather-loving abilities, your “Taco Tuesday” tradition will still be going strong in the autumn. Looking for a new idea to “spice” things up? Give these tantalizing Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Tacos a try!

Loading component ...


How to Love

If you live in an extra-cool area (maintaining temperatures of 65 degrees), your plant will enjoy partial sun. However, if your daytime temperatures regularly rise above that, your herb should be in shaded conditions. Chervil enjoys staying evenly moist, so water when the first ½ inch of soil is dry. If you’re considering a container garden, Chervil is a perfect candidate for a self-watering pot (unlike many Mediterannean herbs).

How to Use

Chervil doesn’t get the attention it deserves! This delightful herb has delicate hints of licorice and anise; and is often compared to fennel, parsley, and tarragon. Never tried it? Now’s your chance! Welcome in soup season with this lovely Creamy Potato & Chervil Soup, teeming with bright, creamy freshness. This underutilized herb is also one of the four components in “Fines Herbes,” a classic French herb mixture (also including Parsley, Tarragon, and Chives) that is delicious on eggs, fish, chicken… and probably anything else you can think of!

Loading component ...


How to Love

Lovage enjoys sandy, well-draining soil that is kept constantly moist! If the soil dries out, the leaves will taste bitter. For in-ground gardens, layer mulch, peat moss, or another type of ground cover to maintain moisture. For container gardens, select a large pot to accommodate this plant’s bigger-than-expected root system. They are wonderful candidates for self-watering containers! 

How to Use

Do you love Lovage? Or is it new to you? Its flavor is somewhere between celery, parsley, anise, and mint… really, you just need to experience it for yourself! Venture on the sweet side with this addictive Lovage Icecream or enter “team saucy” with a Lovage Vinaigrette to make boring salads spectacular again!

Loading component ...


How to Love

Arugula requires 6 or more hours of direct sunlight, so plant it in a sunny location! While it prefers well-draining soil, it’s resilient and can usually tolerate less-than-perfect conditions. Maintain even moisture throughout the soil, especially if warm temperatures persist.

How to Use

Who doesn’t love the peppery leaves of Arugula, coupled with their crispy leaf texture? And no, in case you’re wondering, you don’t always have to make a salad. (Although, we suggest you do… they’re absolutely delicious!) Change up your Arugula routine by making this Three-Cheese Arugula Naan Pizza! Some extra perks? You can use premade Naan as the crust, making this a no-brainer mid-week meal that will have everyone smiling!  

Loading component ...
Loading component ...


How to Love

Plant your Dill in well-draining soil and place it in an area that receives full sun. Since this herb can become top-heavy as it matures, plant it in an area that receives (at least) some protection from harsh winds.

How to Use

Calling all you pickle makers out there! Whether you make your own Dill Pickles or not, you can still take part in this scrumptious Creamy Dill Pickle Salad, which is bursting with sprigs of fresh Dill from your garden.  Looking for something a little less “pickle-y”? These Braised Lemon Chicken Thighs with Dill and Turmeric might be right up your alley! 

With a few tips and recipes under your belt, we trust you are falling in love with fall herbs. Now head over to the shop and grab your favorites before it’s too late!

Loading component ...
Loading component ...
Get Your Shears Ready: Why, When, and How to Prune Your Lavender

Get Your Shears Ready: Why, When, and How to Prune Your Lavender

It’s a fact: Life is lovelier with Lavender. It enhances our food with aromatic flavor, gives the air a sweet summertime scent, and feeds our favorite pollinators! But now’s the time for you to give back to your Lavender plant with a bit of TLC. Why, when, and how should you prune your Lavender?

The “Why”

Lavender is affectionately known as a “sub-shrub” or “semi-shrub.” Why? It can’t decide whether it’s a flexible herb or a woody bush.  You’ve probably already noticed your plant’s anatomy: old growth becomes hard and barky, while new growth is soft and supple. If you fail to prune your plant’s new growth, more and more of your plant will become woody.

You might be wondering: What’s the big deal about that? Woody portions of your Lavender plant are much more brittle, susceptible to frost, prone to rot and disease. Plus, they produce fewer leaves and flowers, making for an aesthetically “bald” Lavender plant. Not so great, right?

The “When”

For the most devoted Lavender parents, it’s recommended that you prune your plant in the Early Spring and Late Summer.

A Spring pruning consists mainly of “clean-up” from damage your plant experienced over the winter months. It’s worth noting: this early pruning can result in delayed flowering.

The Late Summer pruning is the most thorough! Wait until your Lavender plant has finished its flowering cycle. If you live in an area that experiences early frosts, put your pruning on the priority list for August. Waiting can result in frost damage. If you’re in a warmer climate, you can prune as late as early September.

The “How to”

The extent of your pruning project will depend on your variety of Lavender and its age. Extensive pruning is reserved for established plants that are at least 2 years old. Youngsters benefit from regular “pinching.”

The Basics of Lavender Pruning

Pinching Young Lavender Plants

When your little Lavender develops new tips, pinch them off. Why? This will encourage your plant to create more branches, making it bushier over time. Early pinching also gives you some control over your Lavender’s shape and size; waiting to shape your plant until it’s woody is a big mistake! 

Pruning Established Plants

So, this is going to sound like a lot. Are you ready? You will prune off ⅓ of your Lavender. Bad at math? Thankfully, these herbs are pretty forgiving. If you’re off by a little bit, you can still expect your plant to bounce back. However, pruning ½ your plant or more usually puts you in the danger zone! 

  1. Get your clean pruning shears ready!
  2. Take a few steps back, eyeballing your plant.
  3. Cut a ⅓ of a stem.
  4. If you’re a nervous first-timer, you can use your first cut stem as a “measuring stick,” cutting other stems to the same length.
  5. Have fun with it: this is your chance to shape your Lavender plant! 

Just a reminder: You should prune your Lavender (at least) 2-3 inches above the woody stem. Why? Pruned wooden branches will not produce new growth. You’ll just be stuck with an ugly twig. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)

Pruning Old Lavender Plants

Are you trying to get your Grandma or Grandpa Lavender to look healthy and lush again? You should continue pruning your plants, even when they become “extra established” (aka old). To encourage new growth and minimize their woodiness, stretch your normal pruning limits. Prune branches 2 inches above the woody sections. Doing so will give your plant its best chance to make new, healthy growth. And, remember, we’re here for you when you’re ready for your next generation of Lavender.

Pruning Reminders for Specific Species

Not all Lavender is the same: some are hardier than others, and some have different growth habits! So here’s a look at some of the specific Lavender varieties we offer:

Lavender ‘Hidcote’ & ‘Munstead’ & ‘Rosea Jean Davis’

These three are all English Lavender varieties, with a compact, low-profile growing habit. The ‘Rosea Jean Davis’ gets a special mention: It sports pretty pink flowers! Expect blooms in the late Spring or early Summer. Once the flowers are exhausted, dead-heading will encourage your plant to bloom again! Wait until late August for extensive pruning.

Loading component ...
Loading component ...
Loading component ...

Lavender ‘Grosso’ & ‘Provence’

What do you get when you combine English Lavender with Spike Lavender? You guessed it: these two varieties! They have longer branches, flower stems, and flower spikes that grow from the plant’s center. Lavender ‘Grosso’ and ‘Provence’ have a long blooming period, through early-late Summer. Once it’s over, get ready for your August pruning! Since these plants have such long stems, you can chop as much as ½ of your plant!

Loading component ...
Loading component ...

Lavender ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’

While most Lavender is renowned for its beautiful blooms, this one is known for its attractive, silver-grey foliage! Its flower spikes are shorter and smaller than other varieties. Still, they are a unique deep blue-violet color, giving this plant an unexpected pop. As a hybrid, it was bred to withstand higher heat and humidity, making it a hardy variety. Follow the pruning instructions in the “How to” section to maintain your plant’s size!

Loading component ...

Lavender ‘Phenomenal’

This is the lovechild of English and Portuguese Lavender: giving it excellent cold tolerance and a remarkably long blooming time! Blossoms begin around June and last until Fall. If you live in an extra chilly climate, you should do your “major” pruning in the early spring before flowering begins. Why? Your plant will enter winter in ‘one piece,’ without any vulnerable wounds. Extra perks? Since this variety is a late bloomer, Spring pruning won’t interfere with your flowering season. You will also get to enjoy those blossoms as long as possible!

Loading component ...

Lavender ‘French’ & Lavender ‘Silver Anouk’

Expect early spring blooms, with a compact shape, crowned with fully open blossoms. French Lavenders and Spanish Lavenders are the least hearty of the bunch, so treat them tenderly! Deadhead after its first flowering: taking care not to trim too close to the plant’s base. Hopefully, it will reward you with a second round of blooms.

Loading component ...
Loading component ...
Your Essential Guide to Harvesting Medicinal Flowers

Your Essential Guide to Harvesting Medicinal Flowers

Growing and harvesting medicinal flowers is one of life’s simple pleasures that can bring enormous joy and satisfaction. Herbs for medicinal use will grow almost anywhere. No matter what shape, size, or aspect your outdoor space has, it’s possible to successfully cultivate plants that may be used for medical purposes.

Read on to discover our top tips to ensure you obtain the very best quality harvesting results, as well as additional information for correctly harvesting a number of common medicinal herbs.

Before using any herb for medicinal purposes, we recommend consulting a suitable professional. 

General Guidelines for Successful Harvesting

  • Make sure that the herbs you’re harvesting have been grown in a suitable environment. Ideally, herbs should be grown organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The soil, water, and air your plants use should be as fresh and natural as possible.
  • Check that you have the correct species of herb. Some herbs have a common name that includes a number of different species. If in doubt, buy medicinal herb plants from a reputable source so that you know you’re cultivating the correct plant.
  • Allow herbs to become well-established and strong before harvesting.
  • Check that the plant is at the correct stage of its lifecycle for harvesting to take place. For example, if you intend to harvest flowers, the plant will need to have matured to the flowering stage of its lifecycle.
  • If you are harvesting a perennial herb, harvest sustainably so that the plant has enough leaves or flowers to survive through to the next harvest season.
  • When harvesting annuals, consider allowing some to self-seed. This will frequently result in a new crop next year, without the need for replanting.
  • Although herbs can be picked at any time of the day, if you intend to dry, process, or store them, we recommend picking them early in the morning, once the dew has dried but before they face the full heat of the sun.


Possibly one of the more well-known herbs, many people enjoy chamomile flowers made into tea. Although both leaves and flowers are safe to eat, it’s the flowers that make the best tea.

To harvest chamomile, wait until the plant has plenty of flowers. Pick the flower heads early in the morning, ideally before the flowers have fully opened. Chamomile flowers can be used when freshly picked, or dried and stored for future use. 

Chamomile is a perennial plant, so once established it should continue to provide flowers year after year. It’s a tricky plant to grow from seed, so we recommend that you buy chamomile plants to make life easier. 

Loading component ...


If you are intending to use marigolds for medicinal or culinary use, make sure to use calendula officinalis, rather than related species – all marigolds are not the same! 

The best time to pick calendula blooms depends on what you intend to use them for. If you want to use fresh flowers for a salad or tea, pick the fresh, new blooms. Flowers that are beginning to wilt or that have become over-blown are best left to fade completely, and the plants used for seed harvesting.

Calendula leaves can be added to salads – they have a distinctive taste that can add a kick to any salad plate.

This is an annual plant, so a fresh planting will be needed each year unless you leave a proportion of plants to self-seed.

Loading component ...


Echinacea is a hardy herb that requires minimal care to grow successfully. As a perennial plant, once established it will grow year on year. Echinacea can be difficult to grow from seed. Luckily, you can buy medicinal herb plants like echinacea, which come pre-established.

The roots, leaves, and flowers of the echinacea plant can all be used for medicinal purposes. The type of harvesting will depend on which parts you wish to use. We recommend planting a few echinacea plants so that if you choose to use the roots of one or two, there will still be plenty left for later harvest.

Loading component ...


These hardy annuals provide a stunning splash of color for borders, hanging baskets, and container planting, as well as having a number of culinary uses. The leaves, seeds, and flowers are all edible.

Although flowers can be harvested separately, it’s usually easier to harvest the entire plant. Nasturtium seeds are a particularly tasty delicacy – leave the flowers to seed and then harvest once the seeds have formed. Patience is a virtue when it comes to nasturtium seeds – the bigger they are when picked, the tastier they are. Bigger seeds are also more likely to germinate, should you wish to harvest seeds to plant next year.

Loading component ...

Garlic Chives

Garlic chives are a perennial that can be harvested at almost any time of the year. Garlic chive leaves are the part of the plant that’s used. These can be cut to within about an inch of the ground for culinary or medicinal use. In time, the leaves will regrow, providing a fresh crop.

Chives are best used fresh. Their long growing season means there’s less need to dry and store them in comparison with other herbs.

Loading component ...


Yarrow flowers are commonly harvested for a range of purposes. Simply cut off the flowerheads when the flowers are fresh. Avoid over-blown or faded blooms. Yarrow is a perennial plant, so will grow from year to year provided its harvested sustainably.

Like many other perennial herbs, Yarrow doesn’t grow well from seed. We recommend buying established Yarrow plants to optimize the chances of a successful harvest.

Loading component ...

Harvested correctly, medicinal herbs can provide a generous yield that can be used for a range of purposes. Well-established, healthy plants are going to give the best harvest, which is why we recommend buying medicinal herb plants.

Buying a healthy, established plant increases your chances of a successful harvest and removes the worry and uncertainty which can come from attempting to grow herbs from seed.

How to Help Your Herbs Beat the Heat

How to Help Your Herbs Beat the Heat

The “dog days of summer” are upon us! Grab the pool noodles, sangria popsicles, and floppy hats. Even on the hottest days, it’s not too difficult for us to find relief (if all else fails, retreat to the A/C!), but what about your outdoor garden? The sun is beating down on your herbs harder than ever! How can you help them beat the heat?

All Herbs Love the Heat, Right?

Wrong. Not all herbs are natural summer lovers. In fact, several types enjoy cooler temperatures, such as:

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Chervil
  • Sorrel

So, which herbs enjoy the heat?

  • Lemongrass
  • Basil (Everyone’s favorite!)
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Borage
  • Bay
  • Mint
  • Oregano

It’s important to note that even summer-loving herbs will need extra TLC to get them through the hottest months. Without the proper care, your herbs could be left sunburnt, taste-deficient, and withering. How can you make a success of it?

A Pre-Summer Precaution

Your goal: Keep the roots cool. So, avoid planting your precious herbs in dark or metal containers. Why? Dark colors absorb the sun’s rays, heating up the soil. And, if you’ve ever leaned against a hot car while in your “Daisy Duke’s,” you can guess what damage a metal pot can do!

Watering Your Herbs in the Summer

Adjusting your watering routine to fit warmer temperatures can be an adventure. You may think hotter temperatures = a thirstier plant. And, while that may be the case, keeping that theory too close in mind can also contribute to overwatering. Two rules for summer watering: Always check the soil’s moisture level and water deep.

If you frequently give your herbs a quick, daily spray-down (surface watering), you’re encouraging them to develop shallow roots. What’s the problem with that? When the heat of summer comes, a plant needs deep roots to keep cool and remain hydrated. How do you “water deep”?

  • Container gardens: Drench the soil until water drains from the bottom for 2 minutes.
  • In-ground gardens: Drench for 15 minutes.

While watering deeply takes more time, you don’t have to water as frequently and achieve healthier (tastier) herbs. What’s not to love?

When to Water

We love taking a midday dip in the pool, right? So our plants must love a mid-day spray-down! Nope, think again. Water droplets on your herb’s leaves act as mini magnifying glasses, amplifying the sun’s rays (making your wilty plant even “wilty-er”). Solution? Do your deep watering at the end of the day, when the sun is setting, and temperatures are cooler.

Preparing for a Heatwave

Sudden, shockingly hot temperatures can send some plants into a type of survival-mode-hibernation, where they temporarily stop absorbing moisture and nutrients through their roots. What can you do?

Watch the weather and thoroughly water your garden before the heatwave hits. This will give your herbs what they need to see them through! (Who wants to hibernate on an ‘empty stomach,’ right?) Rewater your plant friend when the soil exhibits the proper signs, remembering that this could happen more slowly than you expect.

Ways to Keep it Cool!

Container Gardens

One of the many perks of container gardens: If a location proves to be too hot or sunny, you can quickly relocate your herbs! Are some of your cool-weather herbs suffering? You can

opt to bring them indoors for the hottest part of the summer. How? Taking plants directly from the midday sun to an air-conditioned house is shocking, to say the least! So, prepare your plant by first placing it in a shady location. In a few days, when temperatures have cooled at night, bring your herb indoors.

One of the downsides: if your container is too small, your plant’s root system isn’t very well insulated from the heat. What can you do? Before the hottest days of summer arrive, make sure your plant isn’t rootbound. If it is, give it a pot upgrade!

In-Ground Gardens

The bad news: your herbs are pretty much stuck with their location. But, there are a few things you can do to help your plants thrive in the heat. Give your herbs a thick layer of mulch to provide added insulation to the soil. Remember, cool roots contribute to a happy plant!

Consider providing your herbs with some much-needed shade, especially from the afternoon sun! How can you do this? There are several ways, ranging from “bootleg” ideas to more polished looks. You can simply move your patio umbrella to the garden. You could rig up one of those (million) Amazon boxes you have. Or you can invest in some shade cloth.

If you’re opting for shade cloth, here are a few things to keep in mind: (1) You need 30% to 40% shade, (2) Dark colors absorb heat, so you’ll need to keep black shade cloths several inches from your herb’s foliage.

Keep Pruning

Warm temperatures give many herbs the “green-light” to flower and bolt. What’s the big deal about that? Bolting negatively impacts the flavor and texture of some herbs. And, let’s admit it, bolted Cilantro is just sad. Prevent your plant from bolting by regularly pruning new growth and removing any flowers ASAP.

Are you at a loss about what to do with all these extra herbs? Keep your eyes peeled for more of our articles with herb-ilicious recipes. And save some of this summer-freshness for the upcoming winter months by making “herbal ice cubes.” Simply fill the bottom of an ice cube tray with your minced herb of choice, top with some olive oil, and stick it in the freezer!

Whatever temperatures this summer brings, by using these helpful tips, we trust that you and your herbs will be able to “beat the heat!” Happy Growing!

How to Extend the Life of Annual Herbs & When to Call It Quits

How to Extend the Life of Annual Herbs & When to Call It Quits

We love our herbs, and at the height of summer, we are in prime herb-eating season… But your plant has the nerve to flower, produce seeds, and die! That’s disappointing, to say the least. How can you extend the life of your happy garden?

Annuals, Biennials, and Perennials: Oh My!

Who knew there were so many herb life expectancies? What do they all mean?

Annuals: They last for one full year, right? Wrong. The life expectancy is one season, which can range from 1-4 months.

Biennials: Never heard of these? Well, you probably aren’t alone. These herbs live for about two years.

Perennials: Ah, finally something familiar. These herbs last for more than two years, even indefinitely!

Examples of Annuals

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Summer Savory
  • Watercress
  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Caraway

Don’t Just Listen to the Label

While an herb may be labeled “perennial” or “biennial,” there are no guarantees it will last that long. Why? Your climate. If you’re in a frosty-freezy part of the country, you will want to investigate what herbs are suitable for prolonged life in your hardiness zone. You may be surprised: herbs that grow as perennials in warmer climates may be annuals in your area. Don’t despair, though; you can extend their life too! (Keep reading.)

The Annual Herb’s Nemesis: Bolting

First off, what exactly is bolting? When your herb decides that it can’t deal with its harsh environment anymore, and goes on a suicide mission to pass on its genetic lineage by making seeds. (Seriously, here’s the science behind it!) Sad for us, many herbs lose their tasty flavor and texture during this process. 

Preventing your annual from bolting will prolong its natural life (and preserve those alluring flavors)! How can you do it? Control your plant’s environment:


Warm temperatures encourage herbs to bolt and can even make a biennial plant seed and die within a few months. How can you remedy the situation? If you planted your herbs in containers, move them to a cooler location, possibly even indoors during the hottest part of the season. Did you opt for an in-ground garden? Mulch helps to keep your plant’s roots cool.


Many herb varieties require 6-8 hours of direct sun a day. Is yours receiving more? That may be what’s behind your herb’s decision to bolt! Move your plants to a shadier location, if possible. Shade cloth is also another excellent option for providing some mid-afternoon shade!


Continue with your diligent pruning! Regularly pinching back new growth encourages your herb to produce a growth hormone instead of the hormone that causes bolting.


Do you regularly allow your herbs to go to the ‘brink of death’ before watering? Stress-related to a haphazard watering routine will leave your plant wondering if it can survive, triggering it to bolt. Research your specific herb’s water requirements and check the soil’s moisture level regularly.


Off-kilter nutrients will also cause your herb’s deadly growth spurt. Especially when it comes to annuals (1-4 month lifespan!), remember that many potting mixes have sufficient fertilizer for at least six months. Continuing to pile on the fertilizer will not benefit your plant. For in-ground gardens, a lack of nutrients is also dangerous. So, research your herb’s specific needs and come up with a plan!

Do Flowers Always = Bolting?

Not always. Some herbs are meant to flower! Chamomile, calendula, and borage are all flowering herbs. And while it’s not ideal, basil and chives can also bloom and still survive with their flavor intact.

Removing the Problem

If you wake up one morning to discover that your herb has suddenly bolted or flowered, what can you do? Cut the “bolt” off, all the way back to the top-most set of leaves. Make adjustments in your plant’s environment so that it hopefully won’t happen again. What about cilantro? Once it’s bolted, it’s gone. Get your little cilantro tombstone ready, and say goodbye.

Every Herb’s Challenge: Climate

Whether you’re trying to extend your herb’s life by shielding annuals from a sultry summer or protecting perennials from sub-zero temperatures, the climate is a challenge! Often, there’s only one solution: bring your herbs indoors. But, indoor living poses its own unique set of challenges.

For example, your herb’s light requirements don’t change. Finding an indoor location that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight can prove to be daunting (or impossible, if you haven’t been blessed with a sunroom). The solution? Grow lights, which you can learn more about here. The good news? With the right grow-light setup, your container garden can continue growing anywhere, even in the dingy basement. The bad news? If you want a full herb-growing operation, the proper grow lights will cost you a pretty penny!

Another challenge: watering needs, which are different indoors. Humidity levels and ventilation change drastically as soon as you enter your threshold, altering the amount of moisture your herbs need. You’ll need to monitor the moisture levels in the soil carefully, and lean on the drier side.

The verdict? Bringing a small pot or two of herbs indoors to over-summer or over-winter in the windowsill is simple enough. Anything more than that, and you could wind up with a headache. And annuals still have an unavoidable problem: Try as you might, eventually they will just die.

When to Call it Quits

In case you need to hear this: Replacing your plant does not mean you are a plant parent failure. No gardener likes to admit defeat, but you can only escape the inevitable for a few months at best. Despite your best efforts, your basil, dill, cilantro (or other annual herbs) is going to look raggedy and exhausted. That’s when it’s time to call it quits and head over to the herb shop for next year’s successor!