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Two Edible Plants Grow Well Indoors During Winter

This undated photo shows a rosemary plant, left, and a Bay Laurel, right, in New Paltz, NY. Rosemary is an herb ideal for growing on a windowsill in winter, provides aroma, flavoring and beauty. (Lee Reich via AP)
Two Edible Plants Grow Well Indoors During Winter
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Do you want to grow plants inside during the cold weather? If so, you may want to consider some plants that can flavor your food and make your home smell nice at the same time.

We are talking about the herbs rosemary and bay laurel.

Both plants do well inside, near a sunny window in the cold weather as long as the temperature is warm and you keep them watered.

Both rosemary and bay laurel come from the part of the world near the Mediterranean Sea. The area is cool but not icy during winter and it gets lots of sunlight.

Gardening expert Lee Reich of the Associated Press says it is important to keep these plants “happy and alive” in the cooler months.

So, how do you do it?

For rosemary, water level is very important. The plant needs soil that is a little bit wet all the time but never soaked. Too much water will kill the plant. You can plant rosemary in a container with soil that is about 25 percent sand, perlite or vermiculite. Perlite and vermiculite help soil hold water.

Rosemary can add a nice taste to food but it also can make a room smell good. So if you have it growing inside, it is a good idea to place the container near an airflow source, like a door that is used often. That way the pleasant smell of rosemary floats through the air.

Bay laurel has dark, green leaves and produces a nice smell when picked. When added to food, Reich notes, it makes soups and tomato sauces taste better. You need to crush the leaves after you pick them to release the flavor.

If you want to grow the plants inside to make your home look good, you can cut unwanted branches from the plant as it grows and make it look like a small tree. You will not hurt the plant if you do this. Most plants that grow this way get a little bit taller than 65 centimeters.

Rosemary and bay laurel can live for more than 10 years if they are cared for.

Every two years it is a good idea to replace the soil and add the plant to a larger container.

You can move them outside when the weather gets warm. The plants will like the change. And you can welcome the rosemary and bay laurel back into your home for many winters to come.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on a story by Lee Reich of the Associated Press.

What have you been able to grow indoors during the winter? Tell us in the Comments Section and visit our Facebook page.

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Words in This Story

herbn. a plant or a part of a plant that is used as medicine or to give flavor to food

soakv. to make (someone or something) very wet with water or another liquid

soupn. a food made by cooking vegetables, meat, or fish in a large amount of liquid

saucen. a thick liquid that is eaten with or on food to add flavor to it

crushv. to break (something) into a powder or very small pieces by pressing, pounding, or grinding it

branchn. a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk