One of the interesting thing about herbs is that they are definitely more fragrant when grown outdoors under more stressful conditions. The rosemary that is raised in dry, hot conditions, for example, is more filled with aromatic oils than the plant that’s grown in a greenhouse. Herbs that are fertilized and grow larger are less flavorful as well. Basically, when the plant is in full sun etc the oils are more concentrated and the flavor/smell is greater.
On the one hand, you might say that a fresh herb grown indoors is better than a dried herb from a jar or no herb at all. On the other hand, we can say that some plants are best enjoyed during their peak seasons, and maybe we’d appreciate them the most if we wait to enjoy them when they are naturally growing outdoors.
The herbs that most people have success with indoors are Rosemary (sunny window, don’t let it dry out) and bay (be on the lookout for scale, which makes the plant sticky). Other herbs that we are absolutely, crazy in love with, such as basil and lemon verbena we are content to wait and replant from year to year. And if you love lemon balm, you’ll be over the moon with a lemon verbena plant!
Wishing you a mild winter, the Garden Compass team.