Inspired by User 23550's answer on this question in Seasoned Advice, where they suggested:

Instead of drying the cilantro, why not just plant the other half in good potting mix? You won't have to run to the store for fresh then. It grows quickly too!

Now, I have tried to grow a small herb garden in my house a few times over the years from seeds. Apparently I have the black thumb of death because all I end up with is a nice pot of dirt. The house I live in has a great south facing window which is also shaded in the afternoon (just enough to not fry plants - or maybe by store bought plants are just hardier) it is in this spot that I tried to grow my herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, cilantro, and chives) but I couldn't get it to take.

This brings me to User 23550 - would her suggestion to "plant the other half" in potting mix work for other herbs? Is there a need to try and stimulate root growth using a damp paper towel before doing so?

  • 2
    This isn't really a cooking question... you should probably ask on Gardening & Landscaping.
    – Sneftel
    Aug 9, 2019 at 14:36
  • I agree - yet I see posts on here all the time about growing Herbs and no flags or comments like that on here so I assumed that this was fair game for this site.
    – user26619
    Aug 9, 2019 at 14:37
  • This is specifically about taking cuttings, unlike most of the herb questions here. You really are more likely to get good answers there
    – Chris H
    Aug 9, 2019 at 14:49
  • 1
    This really belongs on Gardening, not here, but… Don't use 'dirt' use potting compost & don't get one for flowers, they put all kinds of enhancers in it you wouldn't want to eat. BTW, if you can kill chives & rosemary there may be little hope for your horticultural talents ;-))
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 9, 2019 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


From reading the thread you link to, it would seem that User 23550 is referring to potting on the plant from which the person doing cooking has just taken half the topgrowth. It seems to be a misinterpretation of the question as posted, since User mentions 'instead of drying the leaves', whereas the question was about previously dried coriander, not fresh.

Your difficulty with getting herb seeds to germinate is likely down to the fact you're doing it indoors. If you read this link https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/herbs/coriander on coriander specifically, the seeds are germinated and grown on outdoors, rather than trying to get seeds to grow in the house. Rosemary seeds need bottom heat and can be difficult to start from seed even in ideal conditions - should you get some to grow, they will not be big enough to harvest from for at least a year https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/how-to-grow/grow-rosemary

If you want to have a herb garden indoors, its probably better to just buy small pots of actual plants and pot them up into larger containers to grow on. However, Rosemary will be much happier outdoors, it really doesn't do too well indoors for anything other than a few weeks at most; it also grows reasonably fast into a medium sized shrub, making about 5 x 5 feet within 5 years. Sage is also classed as a shrub, has a wide spreading growth habit. and also would be happier outdoors, though it may be okay initially. Basil is usually pretty successful grown inside.

  • Great insights - the only issue with the growing them outdoors in the region of Canada I am in essentially has winter for 7 months of the year and I want fresh herbs for the entire year.
    – user26619
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:51
  • I guessed you lived somewhere inhospitable to these plants, but it doesn't change my answer - just buy them as plants and keep them in pots indoors for as long as you're able to - most larger retail outlets specialising in plants have a herb section with small pot versions. If Rosemary is hardy in your area, you can grow that outdoors and cut what you need during winter as its evergreen, depends on your zone. - I just checked, Rosemary is hardy down to -10 deg C , probably not low enough for where you are
    – Bamboo
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:53
  • Rosemary should certainly survive -10C and maybe -15 to -20 for short periods. I know of some bushes growing outdoors in the UK with no protection that are 50 years old or more. But its native habitat is a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers, not Canada!
    – alephzero
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:03
  • The big problem with trying to grow perennial herbs indoors is lack of light. Full sun all day on a window sill is only 10% of the light level of full sun all day outdoors.
    – alephzero
    Aug 9, 2019 at 17:06
  • Here in E. Ontario my rosemary spends the entire time in pots in plain sandy garden soil; new cuttings in July. They come inside as soon as the snow starts to fly about mid-November and go to a cool light room where it hovers around 0-5 C until mid-April. Water plunge in pail when they look really dry. Grow as bonsai. 20 years no problems. Aug 9, 2019 at 17:15

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