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Herb-killer here

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Please help...I have no green thumb.  I'm ok with that.  But really, I'd love fresh herbs without paying $3 every time...

But I seriously kill every green thing I bring into the house.  My latest casualty is parsley.  I bought a little plant from Trader Joe's.  Within days, it's falling over, wilted & dead.  I have repeated this over & over (also basil & rosemary in the past couple months).  I think plants are allergic to me.


They are in a sunny spot - south facing window.  I water, but don't drown them - they have drainage holes in the bottom.


HELP!  What can I do???

post #2 of 3

Herbs don't really fair well in pots, though some folks seem to have the knack.  Here's how you can possibly  have success:


You must repot them after bringing them from the store.  Most windowsills are not large enough to accommodate a pot large enough for a healthy plant's root system.  Small pots heat up and dry out faster.  Plants get root-bound.


Thyme and rosemary need very well-drained soil.   And no herb I know of likes soggy soil.  Be careful not to overwater.


Sunny windows might not be enough, especially since modern windows are double- or triple- paned and UV filtered.


Sunny windows might be too hot.  Parsley does well in good garden soil that is moderately watered, and can tolerate some shade.  An east window might be better for parsley and chives.  Scorchingly hot sunny windows can also dry out pots, especially if you haven't repotted them.


Don't fertilize herbs with plant fertilizer.  Even the heaviest feeders amongst herbs need far less fertilzer than a lot of other plants.  Worm tea, or kelp tea, or compost tea, highly diluted can be used on occasion.


Repot and renew soil annually.  Trim roots back and/or increase pot size.


Some plants do not have long lives.  Parsley, dill, cilantro are all annuals or bienniels.


Some plants don't do well outside a garden.  Dill and cilantro can be difficult in pots, indoor or out.  Bay laurel is an incredibly large plant with a sensitive root system.  To grow bay laurel large enough to harvest and sustain it, it needs a very large pot in a large space like a solarium.  Forget the window!


Expect to replace some indoor potted herbs frequently.  Despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to maintain an herb like thyme or rosemary (which can otherwise live a long time outside) in a healthy enough condition that you can actually harvest enough without killing the plant.

post #3 of 3

Can you put a window box outside that sunny window???  I kill indoor herbs too but I have had lots of success for the past few years keeping herbs in my window boxes outside.  They really seem to thrive there.  My basil was so out of control last year I got so sick and tired of pesto, as did my mom who got my garden overflow.

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