Herbs are one of the most rewarding crops and most are also easy to grow.
But hold on, you don’t have a garden nor any soil! So, what’s the answer? Now even you can do it! How, simple: with hydroponics.
Herbs are particularly suited for hydroponic gardening: they are often small plants, many are fast growing, and they have become a favorite even with total newcomers to hydroponics.
So much so that you can even buy a hydroponic kit for herbs with everything incorporated quite cheaply nowadays – actually, you have a wide choice of these.
You can even try experimenting with several different varieties of one favorite herb, like basil.
But which herbs are ideal for hydroponics? To give you a little inspiration, here are some of most reliable and productive and herbs for growing in hydroponics:
So, if you want to have these wonderful herbs ready for the pick in your kitchen or anywhere else at home, just read on and you’ll find out how you can do it!
10 Of The Best Herbs To Grow In Hydroponics
There’s an Italian saying that goes, “You are like parsley.” What does it mean? Quite simply that you are everywhere. And why would it be? No kitchen should ever run out of parsley, as this herb, even as a garnish, can go virtually on any dish, even as garnish.
Parsley is not just an herb with a flavor that is, to say the least, so deeply rooted in our culture that it’s a classic though. Parsley is a natural antibacterial, as it contains myristicin; it is good to keep your bones healthy and it is rich in nutrients like:
This native herb of the Mediterranean, already used by the Ancient Greek has also another great quality: once you get the first crop, it will grow back… and again, and again…
Parsley is also one of those herbs that lose a lot of flavor and aroma if they are not fresh. Thus, if you want to have herbs growing in your hydroponic garden, parsley is a must.
Tips For Growing Parsley
The herb pesto is made from, but not only; arguably one of the herbs with the freshest flavor, super rich in essential oils, synonymous with Italy, which even has a region named after it, basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow hydroponically.
What is more, unless you can make pesto, there is no way you can preserve the flavor and exhilarating scent of basil by freezing it or preserving it.
Basil must be eaten fresh. The good news is, it is a fast growing plant and in less than two months from seeding you can start tasting it.
Tips for growing basil
There’s an old French proverb that reads, “Never two without three,” (or “jamais deux sans trois” in its original form).
And with two herbs that express all the beauty, flavor and smell of the Mediterranean, we could not forget the one Odysseus smells at the beginning of Homer’s epic poem when he wakes up, with the salt of this very sea in his hair, on the Island of Phaeacian island of Scheria: thyme.
A plant you will see growing among rocks in the region, it has hard, almost woody stems unlike basil or parsley; but its tiny oval leaves are packed with a very refined flavor, which can turn even the most boring dish into haute cuisine.
Not just this, but thyme essential oil is even stronger than tea tree oil (so much so that you always need to dilute it). It is in fact, a very powerful natural disinfectant, rich in, for example:
Unlike other herbs, thyme is a perennial; a low growing shrub that will be with you for many years.
Tips For Growing Thyme
Let’s admit it; chives are one of the cutest and sweetest herbs ever. Maybe underrated because they have that “oniony” flavor, they are a non “invasive” herb in sauces and many other dishes though.
They are also very fast growing plants, so, they are very productive in terms of the time and effort you will need to put in.
Yet again, even if dried chives are “feasible”, fresh chives are a completely different and more rewarding experience.
Tips For Growing Chives
Mint is not just an herb – it’s a whole mindset. When I was young, children were divided into two: those that liked lemon flavored popsicles and those who liked mint ones.
The flavor of mint is arguably the most appreciated and common around the world; you can find it in drinks, candies, sweets, jellies and, of course, also salads and even salty dishes.
Mint is also a very generous and strong herb; it grows fast, it is almost disease free, and it gives a lot for the little attention it requires.
Rich in essential oils, mint does not only give you a fresh smelling breath; it also has many properties that are good for your health:
Tips For Growing Mint
How many sweet dreams has chamomile blessed us with? The sound of the name of this herb itself is soothing and comforting.
If you have had the luck of seeing a chamomile field, even a wild one, then you will know that this plant is a harbinger of peace. It is only fair that when we think about this herb, we always picture the smiling face of a sleeping child.
Already used by the Ancient Egyptians, this plant has become a worldwide favorite as a natural relaxing and sweet flavored home remedy to soothe our nerves after a hard and irritating day at work.
What is more, if you grow chamomile at home, you will have a permanent and living source of aromatherapy.
Just the aroma of this herb has great soothing properties, and it can bring calm and relaxation into your home and family just with its presence. And beautiful flowers too!
Tips For Growing Chamomile
Growing naturally in clean and fresh steams and rivulets, watercress is not just suitable for or adaptable to hydroponics; it is a natural hydroponic herb.
With its tangy peppery flavor, this is an herb that grows fast and strong and that you can find on the salad shelves next to lettuce in many supermarkets nowadays.
Unlike most of the herbs we use, which come from the Mediterranean, watercress is an Asian herb, though it is now extensively cultivated also in Europe and the U.S.
It is such a rich and nutritious plant that it is regarded as a “super food” by many; in fact it is packed with:
In fact, studies show that it is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants in the whole world.
Watercress is so rich in therapeutic substances that it is useful to…
- Prevent some types of cancer.
- It has astounding effects on your heart’s health.
- It protects people against osteoporosis.
- It boosts your immune system.
- It can even make you lose weight.
Sure you still want to do without it?
Tips For Growing Watercress
Sage brings up the idea of dryness itself, but, you will be surprised, it can be grown hydroponically, and easily too.
This herb with velvety leaves and very dry and hard stems, with its unique distinctive flavor can, in fact, grow with its roots nourished only by a bit of nutrient solution.
This herb which you can use fresh or dry can turn even the most boring casserole into a rich and flavorsome dish worthy of a king. But there is more… it is a big source of essential oils and it is rich in:
As a consequence, it also has many benefits for your health, for example:
Tips For Growing Sage
Any dish with tomatoes gets a boost if you add a sprinkling of oregano, yet another Mediterranean flavor. Most commonly used in its dried form, oregano can also be eaten fresh.
This is an herb that grows well in hot and well lit places, where it can develop its essential oils that have huge benefits:
Despite its dry look and original habitat, oregano well adapts to hydroponics too. Finally, it also has an extra benefit for your hydroponic gardens: aphids can’t stand its scent, so, it works as natural pest control.
Tips For Growing Oregano
The queen of herbs; actually even more… Lavender is one of the most precious plants Mother Nature has given us.
If you have ever happened to stroll in the countryside of Southern France or Italy and Spain, you can’t have missed the magic beauty of lavender fields… Vast seas of purple waves, that, if you look closer, are teeming with life!
I think lavender has no match when it comes to feeding butterflies, bees, bumble bees and other insects.
You will find them dancing in the scent of this very feminine plant, and mixing their colours with lavender’s own, some would say, “spiritual” hue.
This plant has been our loving companion, in food, soap, ceremonies and even as medicine at least since the Pharos erected temples in Ancient Egypt. And now lavender is witnessing a revival, and it has also entered the world of hydroponics.
Why has this herb been such a protagonist in our history? Put simply:
Tips For Growing Lavender
The magic world of herbs, now also in your own home with hydroponics
Herbs have always been associated with magic, apart from cooking, cleaning and even perfumes; used by Shamans and Druids since time immemorial, people have even been tortured and killed for using them to heal themselves and their neighbors; they were called “witches” and accused of harnessing some sort of “unnatural” energy.
But there is nothing more natural than herbs themselves… They are a gift from Nature, maybe a door to a transcendental experience; one of healing, peace and wellbeing. Of course, they also taste and smell nice…
And if you don’t have a kitchen garden, but you understand how good herbs are for your quality of life, health as well as for the flavor of the food you offer your guests, don’t worry!.
Just a small hydroponic kit on top of the fridge can be a good starting point to turning your whole kitchen into a useful, colorful and above all, aromatic herb garden.
After many years as an academic in London, Adriano Bulla became a writer, publishing books like A History of Gardening, Organic Gardening and Elements of Garden Design; he then decided to become a gardener, following his childhood dream, and has been following his dream writing and gardening professionally in Southern Europe, where he has specialized in new and innovative organic gardening fields and techniques, like permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests and hydroponics.