Minxy
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How to fix my indoor herb plants

Hello I need some help fixing my indoor herb plants.
1. Oregano - some leaves and stalks are brown and its flowering. Is the plant dieing? Is it still edible? And can I save the plant so that it will continue growing?
Oregano
Oregano
2. Lemon Thyme - some leaves are brown. Is it normal, must I trim it more?
Lemon Thyme
Lemon Thyme
3. Basil - is starting to flower. Do I just cut off the flowers and it will continue grow? And what else but pesto can I do with all these basil leaves?
Basil
Basil
4. Rosemary - is growing very slowly. Is this normal?
Rosemary
Rosemary
All my herbs grow in pots in the window sill in sun, except the basil it wilted in the direct sun so I moved it to another window sill where there is no sun but i keep the window open for fresh air during the day and it seems to be growing well. Also what is the best way to keep herbs once harvested, dry them, or can I freeze it in some butter?

Peter1142
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

The basil looks lovely. Yes, cut off the flowers, you can eat them too. It will make more. Basil is sun loving, I doubt it wilted because of sun through a window, could the soil have dried out? I am surprised it is doing well without direct sun.

Nice looking rosemary too. Yes it grows kind of slow. Especially indoors!

Basil is best kept in oil in the freezer, the rest of the herbs are best dried. Basil is good in Thai dishes too, or in tomato sauce.

I think the thyme looks pretty normal. Sorry I don't know what is wrong with the oregano. I'd guess some kind of nutrient deficiency. Phosphorus?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Just to second, most herbs really need cutting back to keep going. Don't just cut the flowers off the basil, cut a pair or two of leaves off, cutting just above a leaf node. Trim the thyme and oregano back substantially.

If you don't want to use all the herbs you are cutting while they are fresh, they are easy to dry. Hang, them upside down by the stems in a dark, dry place (like a closet). Or put your oven on warm, spread the herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet put them in the oven for five minutes, then turn the oven off, but don't open the door and leave the herbs in there. If they aren't very dry in a couple hours, put the oven on warm until it is up to temp again and repeat the above.
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imafan26
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Basil
You can use it in a lot of dishes. Thai cuisine uses basil like spinach Chicken with basil, curries, cellophane noodle with pork and basil, Ban mi sandwich ( usually uses Thai basil, but you can use sweet basil, different flavor). Roast chicken: put basil, garlic, and olive oil or butter under the skin of the chicken and season and oil or butter the outside of the chicken before roasting. Tomato basil toast, Mozzarella and tomato salad with basil. Basil in omelllets, spaghetti sauce, pasta salad, pizza topping after it is baked, herbed bread, basil vinagrette, chicken salad with olive oil and herbs.

Rosemary is slow growing especially in a pot. Likes lots of sun and well drained media. Does not like a lot of fertilizer.

Thyme, and oregano will outgrow their pots and spread the center eventually gets woody. Cutting the herbs tips is one way to do that. I usually plant thyme, oregano and mint in wide containers. I ground layer the stems to produce more pots. When the mother plant gets too woody it does not regenerate well so I will have the younger layered plants to make a new mother plant. You can also root the stems as cuttings. Mint needs to be divided as soon as it looks good and fills the pot. Once the roots wind around the pot it needs to be divided before it chokes itself.
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Minxy
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Wow thank you everyone for the speedy response. I couldnt ask for better help. Im gonna follow your instructions and try those recipes. Just one last thing, if I understood correctly, I can still eat the Oregano even though some of the leaves and stalks has gone brown/woody? Thank you for saving my plants. Happy herbing. :()

imafan26
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Yes. Mostly you want to eat the youngest leaves on most plants as they are the most tender and flavorfull. Annuals like basil can turn more bitter after they have flowered.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Peter1142
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

I have not found basil to get bitter. That is definitely conventional wisdom, but IMHO I do not find there to be much truth to it. Oregano and thyme tastes fine too.
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applestar
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

I think basil's leaf structure starts to change after blooming phase sets in. The veins get tougher, more protruding, some serrated leaf edges develop, and the leaves also become ...leathery? -- less tender.
minxy wrote:I can still eat the Oregano even though some of the leaves and stalks has gone brown/woody?

-- well, the stalks don't matter because you will remove them anyway (older stalks would have sort of tan colored "bark" on them) but I discard the brown crumbly leaves in case they had died due to fungal disease. I don't bother to taste them, but I would think leaves affected by fungal disease would taste musty/moldy.
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imafan26
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Grown indoors and in a cooler climate, your basil may not change that much. In a warm climate and outdoors when the temperature is 88-91 degrees, once the basil is in full flower and the stems get woody, the taste does changes for me. Not as bitter as lettuce gets, but definitely different.
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Minxy
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Hi I am reading about different methods of drying the herbs and wonder if I should hang in closet like suggested or dry in sun? I live in Cape Town South Africa and its summer now and very hot, was 33°C today, wouldnt sun drying be better and faster? Also is it okay to wash herbs before i dry them?

imafan26
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Yes you can wash herbs before drying them. Put them in a salad spinner and pat them dry. Usually herbs are not dried in the sun. You don't want direct light. You can dry them in a microwave oven or if you have a screen and not a lot of humidity you can dry them in a shaded patio or indoors if you have the space. The screen will allow the air to circulate around the herbs. You want them to be in a single layer if possible.

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/how- ... -dry-herbs
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Minxy
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Re: How to fix my indoor herb plants

Hello. I need some help again urgently. So I trimmed my herbs like suggested, and they are all doing really well except one of my oregano plants, the leaves are going a yellowish color and feel tough compared to the soft leaves on my other oregano plant, whats happening? Can i save it, or should i cut all leaves off now and freeze or dry them? Are they edible when yellow?

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