A miniature indoor garden can liven up any living space, from a hectic kitchen to a lively living-room, and even a tiny balcony or terrace, animated by the wonderful scent of potted herbs. Beyond aesthetic effect, herbs cultivated indoors can also be used for cooking, for decorating more exotic dishes, and even for making one’s own spice mixes. You don’t need complex and expensive new gadgets to grow your own plants inside a home, be it a lavish mansion or a small condo. All you need to know is how to grow herbs inside and what to select, depending on your living conditions.
- Exotic Eucalyptus
In the Land Down-Under, koala bears live in eucalyptus trees and feed off their foliage. This makes them mellow, as the plant’s leaves contain a small dose of a hallucinogen substance – and it also makes their urine smell nice! That being said, the plant will also make a great addition to your décor, with its unusually colored leaves, tinted in a special kind of bluish green. Since the plant hails from the Antipodes, it requires a hot, sunny environment and also needs to be regularly watered. Some pruning might also be in order, for those who want to avoid seeing it develop into a tall tree and keep it looking more like a shrub.
- Delicate Jasmine
Jasmine is a girl’s name that evokes far-off places in the Arabic world, as well as a general sense of delicateness and frailty. That’s because this plant is actually used for brewing tea – jasmine tea is traditionally drunk in Oriental societies after a good, sizeable meal, and this is because it helps calm the stomach and aide in the digestion process. The second reason for its ‘reputation’ comes from its delicate, little white flowers, which need a humid environment and plenty of light. The plant needs to be fertilized twice a year and can develop into a lovely overhanging bush. You can even put up a small trellis or a beam for it to climb on, and then decorate the room in which you keep the plant just like your personal version of a Far Eastern oasis.
- The Victors’ Bay Leaf
Bay was immensely popular in Antiquity, as winners in battles or in the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece would receive crowns made from woven branches of bay. The leaves of this plant can also be dried and stored, in order for them to be later used as spices for anything, from stews to soups. Its savory taste also makes it highly appropriate for any hot winter dish. As if culinary delight wasn’t enough, bay is one of the best plants to keep in your apartment, since it doesn’t require that much maintenance. All you need to do is make sure the pot remains evenly moist throughout the warmer season. You can let it go a bit drier in winter – and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight!
- The Scented Geranium
Geraniums are well-known and loved for their unassuming beauty, for their fluffy, hairy leaves, as well as for the great way they can add just that needed touch of greenery to an indoor setting. Beyond this, however, this modest traditional apartment plant, which only requires regular watering, access to some natural sunlight and your usual plant food, is also great because it comes in a variety of scents, from lime and rose to the more exotic ginger and nutmeg. Sometimes geraniums tend to run long stalks, which you can simply snip off and use as cuttings… for more geraniums!
All oregano tastes great when dried and ground to be used as spice, but Cuban oregano also makes a wonderful house plant. It’s got big, juicy leaves, and it’s related to Swedish ivy (which is no more from Sweden than Cuban oregano is from Cuba). It doesn’t need constant exposure to natural sunlight, but placing the pot in a place where it gets some access to the beneficial rays of the sun will make it develop into a thriving, dense bush. It also doesn’t require that much water; prospective owners should know not to drown it by over-watering. It’s very easy to re-root cuttings, which makes this plant a great house gift for friends.