Dill is an annual plant that vigorously self-seeds to continue giving fresh foliage every spring and summer for a constant supply of herbs for soups, salads, and pickles. Though dill is available in the warmer months, you can harvest fresh herbs for your recipes all year round by growing dill in pots inside.
It’s the perfect choice for your indoor herb garden since it won’t take much space and can easily grow in pots. All the parts of the dill plant are edible. Dill seeds are a flavorful spice for flavoring pickles, stews, and roasts, while the feathery leaves make a good addition to omelets, salads, or as a garnish on meals.
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Continue reading, and you’ll learn the secrets to nurturing a thriving dill garden indoors.
Dill Varieties For Indoor Potted Garden
There is an extensive range of dill varieties available for home gardeners, but here’s a list of the ones that are particularly suited to container growing:
- Bouquet Dill
It’s among the most popular choices of dill for home gardeners. It gives flavorful seeds and leaves, making it perfect for cooking, garnishing, and pickling.
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- Long Island Mammoth
Though it’s a large variety that typically grows up to 5 feet tall and 32 feet wide, it is possible to grow it in a large container. Make sure the container is at least a foot deep and has enough width to support the large plant. Place the pot at a sunny spot.
- Fernleaf Dill
This one is a compact variety, perfect for growing in pots indoors. The dwarf dill plant grows to a little over a foot tall and will work great in a window planter.
- Superdukat Dill
This one is another compact variety, great for an indoor container garden. Though it grows slower than other varieties, the plant will only grow to 1 to 2 feet tall and offers a longer harvesting period.
How To Propagate Dill
Dill is typically propagated from seeds. It’s easy to grow and won’t take much time to produce results. You’ll probably be able to harvest fresh dill sprigs in 6 to 8 weeks after planting the seeds. Follow the steps to grow a potted dill plant:
- Dill has a long taproot and doesn’t like being transplanted, so plant the seeds directly in the pot in which you wish to grow the plant rather than starting it in starter trays. Choose a container that’s at least 12 inches deep. Depending on the number of plants you wish to grow, the pot should be wide enough to grow individual plants 9 inches apart.
- Make sure that the container has drainage holes and fill it up with any light, well-draining soil. Sprinkle dill seeds over the surface before sprinkling some more soil over it such that the seeds are ¼ inch deep in the soil. Water the soil lightly until it’s evenly moist.
- Keep the soil moist throughout the germination phase. It will take between a week or two for the seedlings to emerge. Place the container at a sunny location and continue watering it regularly for the seedlings to develop.
- Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, choose the few healthiest ones and thin the rest. Make sure they’re about 9 inches apart to help the roots develop freely.
- Once all dangers of frost have passed, you can move your dill plant outdoors or continue growing it on your balcony or windowsill if it looks like it’s happy.
Growing Dill In Pots Inside – Plant Care
Now you know how to start a dill plant indoors. However, there are still some care tips you need to know if you want to see a thriving dill plant on your window. Dill plants prefer warm, sunny conditions. As long as you give them what they need, they shouldn’t have a problem being as productive indoors as they would in an outdoor garden.
Here are some of the things you should keep a check on:
Mist the soil often to keep it evenly moist. In the hot climate, if your growing dill on a sunny balcony or a sunny south-facing window, you’ll need to water more often to make sure the plants don’t go dry. If it’s not receiving too much sunlight, however, water only when the topsoil is dry.
Dill plants grow best in full sun, at a location where they can receive at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight. Though you can also grow them in part sun, the plants won’t be as bushy as the ones receiving full sunlight.
Choose a South or West-facing window to grow dill. If you don’t receive ample sunlight indoors, use grow lights, keep them on for 10 to 11 hours each day, and maintaining a distance of at least 6 inches between the plants and the lights.
The ideal temperature for growing dill is between 60°F to 80°F, which most indoor environments already maintain. Keep them away from cold drafts and radiators to prevent damage to the plants.
While outdoor dill plants rarely need pruning, you may want to prune your indoor dill plants to keep them growing compact. Snipping the tips from the top of the plant keeps them growing bushier instead of taller. If you regularly harvest the plant, you won’t need to prune at all.
Once the plants are at least 8 inches tall, you can start harvesting them. Use sharp scissors to snip the branches without damaging the rest of the plant. The leaves have the best flavors and aromas when used fresh, right after harvesting. The best time to harvest is just before the plants start to flower. To store the surplus, lay the leaves on a rack and leave it for a few days in a dry room, away from sunlight. Once the leaves are completely dry, store them in an airtight jar and use them within six months.