What Medicinal Plants Grow Well Indoors?

LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin
edited November 2021 in Growing Medicinals

Have you grown medicinals indoors...not just the usual culinary herbs, but beyond? Which ones? Are there any others? Any tips? Which need special treatment, grow lights, special growing medium? Just what do I need to be successful? Are they susceptible to any particular pests? Do I buy seed, root or started plant?

I would like to try this with not only native plants but ones not native to my area.


  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,756 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do to the raccoons, squirrels and skunks I am growing my crocus bulbs in a pot that I put out during the day and indoors at night. I also leave them in the house when we have our Santa Ana winds at it can get up to low to mid 80's.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    I don't have a green thumb when it comes to house plants (it might be due to the very dry air with wood heat) so take any suggestions from me with a grain of salt. :)

    Aloe is the first medicinal house plant that comes to mind.

    Judson has posted about coleus a couple of times and it makes a lovely houseplant.

    I'm told that citrus shrubs are fairly easy to grow. I started a grapefruit and a lemon from seed once and they both did quite well, even for me (although I lost them for other reasons). Lemons for hot lemon beverage when not feeling well. Oranges for the peel for bitters (or baking).

    I use quite a bit of cayenne for making joint salve and peppers do well as house plants. Being in the same family, Ashwaganda might be an option. If its being sold as Winter Cherry, make sure to check the species. Not all Winter Cherries are Ashwaganda.

    I was gifted a passionflower vine once so I know they were available as house plants. I killed it almost immediately. Good one for anxiety, restlessness and insomnia.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,283 admin

    I am pretty limited on what I can grow inside due to lack of much natural light. I mainly stick tot eh culinary herbs that I want to have fresh int he winter. But yes, coleus does very well.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin
    edited November 2021

    @torey You just have to water more often when you have wood heat. If you can give them periodic times of steam/give the foliage a cleaning in a shower, that also helps. Make sure your soil doesn't get water logged and if your water is chlorinated, it's best not to do this. Untreated well water is good.

    I have aloe. I had to restart it because the plant was dying off.

    I am a little hesitant to put coleus in the house due to its tendency to have nasty spider mites & the like. I've grown peppers indoors and they became infested. That is so sad as I didn't have any safe & effective way to get rid of them completely.

    I have a lemon tree growing. This winter, I will try to get some mandarins & try to grow another orange tree. My other two died for some reason. It's good to be reminded that I can use the lemon leaves. Is orange the same, I wonder? I haven't had any fruit off my tree yet. I'm still learning what it likes to thrive indoors.

    Ashwaghanda could be interesting. I would like to do gotu kola but I would have to be extremely careful to keep its space humid (and without mold of course). I have read that a plastic bag sealed over those can help.

    I will have to look for a passion flower vine. That sounds really nice in more ways than medicinal.

    Ritchers would be one of my sources. Maybe rarexoticseeds another and maybe Tropic of Canada. Do you have any other sources of seeds and plants of this nature, @torey?

    My south windows are full of plants. I have others in mid to low light areas as well. Over time, you learn their favorite locations. For example, my ficus likes either direct bright light or better yet, indirect in front of a heat vent! I only put it there as a temporary thing, but left it there to see what it would do. It loves the heat on its pot & is doing great. That's good, because it freed up space for other plants...it was already too full before that move & is still full. 😁

    I have a long florescent light that I've been thinking of replacing with a grow light bulb if I can find one that works in that space. I would then have to rearrange what is underneath and/or build a shelf between the wall supports. This would give me a lot more space for growing (part of the ficus had to pop into the corner of the picture, haha).

    The other plants shown are a hoya/lipstick plant & newly started fern. That old MAC could move, but it isn't necessary. It would just make it less cluttered. The cups could probably stay.

    The space is 16" wide and approximately 5' long and up to 2' in depth, although I don't want it to go quite that far across (wide) nor that far down. The blue board running down the side is 6" across and I figure that that is most likely wide enough for most pots.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,810 ✭✭✭✭✭


    There are grow lights that have multiple light legs and a clamp to attach them to cramped spaces.

    I am already on your medicinal plant journey; whether I am successful remains to be seen. I have shaded windows, so must supplement with grow lights. My best lighting is in a bathroom, so cactus and succulents there, unsuitable for food plants.

    Plants are in pots indoors:

    My ginger plant looks kind of raggedy but survived the fungus gnat invasion. It is still growing.

    My new gotu kola plant is struggling, so I don't know if it will survive.

    My new gumweed plant looked crappy when it arrived, now looking better.

    My echinacea plants are growing slowly, still surviving. I have to figure out what is causing curled and/or crunchy leaves.

    My calendula plant has a tall, weak stem but is flowering regularly. I am not planning to harvest flowers yet.

    My dwarf pomegranate has three blossoms.

    I have too many aloe vera plants both indoors and out.

    My moringa seedlings are growing beautifully.

    My wild lettuce is limp, short and growing slowly.

    My horehound plants died. The herbs that did best indoors are the catnip and various chive plants.

    I do have some beautiful houseplants though.

    Good luck with your efforts.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,215 admin

    @shllnzl put a plastic bag over your gotu kola & keep it very humid in it. I am hoping it stays living!

    I've killed a couple ginger plants, but keep trying. Last time was a bit more successful than the time before. My lemongrass did okay, but was spindly and also ended up dying.

    Cool...a pomegranate. I couldn't expect anything off of one here so I've read.

    Moringa is something I'd like to try.

    Thanks for the advice & encouragement.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    I found a black pepper vine at Phoenix Perennials. That might be an interesting one to have.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,756 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It did not dawn on me until just now that I am growing Aloe indoors. When I got the two aloe plants they were smaller and you can see by the broken limbs and brown spots not in the best condition but all of the healthy green limbs in the middle are new.