You’ll seriously impress any visitors whether it be your best friend or mom if you have your very own herbs growing on your kitchen windowsill. Aside from being a fun little activity, growing your own herbs is cost efficient, time saving, and convenient. These plants will take your college cooking skills to the next level and pimp out even your simplest Easy Mac recipe. It might take some patience, but it’s definitely worth the work.

1. Parsley


Photo by Elyse Belarge

Although parsley is pretty easy to grow, it also takes some time. Parsley likes to sit in moist, but not overly soggy, soil. It’s a great plant to start with because it’s so low maintenance. You’ll need to water the plant every two weeks or so, just be sure to empty the pot of water afterward so the soil doesn’t get too moist. It’s a great addition to any dish including this creamy vegetarian pasta.

2. Rosemary


Photo by Hannah Lin

Rosemary is a great herb to try growing during the summer because of how much light it requires. You can grow it indoors or out, but if it’s inside, you should keep it near a windowsill that recieves a lot of light. It grows at an average temperature but like parsley, it takes some time, so if you want to speed up the process, you should buy a nursery grown plant.

If you’re ready to take on a bigger project, plant the seed by yourself. Rosemary can usually withstand mild winters so depending on where you live, you can keep this herb around year long. The only thing more sophisticated than cooking with rosemary is having your very own plant.

3. Basil


Photo by Corinne Odom

Basil is another herb that loves the sun. It requires about 6-8 hours of sunlight to really flourish, but it can get its sunlight from the window. Basil is a little more complex than other herbs. You’ll want to add a small amount of fertilizer every month and water the plant once a week. When watering, try not to drench the leaves but instead pour the water right at the base of the plant. If you spot any flowers growing, it’s best to get rid of them to keep the basil’s amazing flavor. When it’s time to harvest, try this refreshing pineapple-basil agua fresca recipe.

4. Mint


Photo by Libby Perold

Mint is a great herb to have handy, and you’ll love having it right at your windowsill. Mint likes the sunlight just like the other herbs but it also needs some afternoon shade. Because mint reaches for the sunlight, it’s a good idea to rotate the plant every few days to keep it growing evenly. It’s best to plant mint in a wide container and in a room that is about 60 degrees. Summer is a great time to plant mint because you might not keep your room that cool during the winter. Not to mention, mint makes any drink summery and refreshing.

5. Lemongrass


Photo courtesy of Kisså on Flickr Creative Commons

Lemongrass is a usually used in Asian cuisine and is pretty easy to grow. You start it off in a vase of water and once the roots are a couple inches long the lemongrass is ready to be put in soil. It needs at least six hours of sunlight and can grow indoors at room temperature. Unlike rosemary, it’s tough to overwater lemongrass, so water often and make sure it doesn’t dry out. Lemongrass also needs nitrogen to grow, so make sure you’re using nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

6. Chives


Photo by Kate Zizmor

Chives are lower maintenance than most of the other herbs. They can withstand the lower sunlight of the winter and they don’t need as much of it. Chives grow better with some humidity around, which can be provided either by other plants nearby or a small water feature. You’ll know you have to water chives if the soil is dry on top, so just give it a feel. Face the plant towards a south facing window, and in about two weeks, it should start to grow. Chives pimp out any recipe including these everything bagel donuts.

7. Thyme


Photo by Kai Huang

Thyme is your ideal kitchen herb due to its ability to survive with indirect sunlight. Like some of the other herbs, thyme requires about six hours of sunlight, a southern/western facing window position, and must be kept at around 60 degrees. You’ll need a hole at the bottom of the (preferably) clay pot to drain out the water in between waterings. Just running your fingers down the thyme will get the leaves off when you’re ready to use it. And when you are ready, try this baked cauliflower and parmesan appetizer.