By Jennifer Poindexter
Do you like making homemade pickles?
Dill pickles are some of my favorites to make. They’re easy, good for you, and help use excess cucumbers when the garden is overflowing.
When making your own pickles, it’s a good idea to grow dill in or around your home. By growing dill inside your home, you can have it year-round.
It’s also easily accessible when you want a handful for your favorite dips or dishes. If you’d love to know more about growing dill indoors, I’ve got you covered.
Here’s what you should know to grow dill inside your home:
What You Might Need to Grow Dill Indoors
Growing dill indoors doesn’t require much more than any other herb you might produce inside your home.
You’ll need a well-draining planter, well-draining soil, a well-lit area, and cooler temperatures. I’ll give you pointers on places you should avoid growing your dill plant to ensure the temperatures don’t fluctuate too much.
You should also choose a planter that can support the roots of the dill plant and that will drain the water away from the plant quickly. You need well-draining soil for the same reason.
Dill also needs proper lighting. If you don’t have a sunny location in your home, be sure you purchase a grow light or an LED lighting system.
If you’re using grow lights, ensure you have a flat surface you can set the planter on with a way to hang the light above the plant. You don’t want the light more than a foot away from the plant to avoid it becoming leggy.
By giving yourself a proper growing set-up, you should have an easier time learning how to grow dill indoors.
Growing Conditions for Indoor Dill
Dill isn’t super picky about where it grows. There are a few main things you must have in a growing area. If you can provide these necessities, your plant should do well for you.
When growing dill indoors, it’s going to grow in a container. You must pick the right planter for this herb. As you look at dill, you may not be aware that it’s related to the carrot family.
Yet, it is. Why does this matter? It will matter for a few reasons over the growing process. When it comes to the growing area, it matters because dill has a long tap root as carrots do.
Therefore, the container must be able to accommodate such a root. Pick a planter that drains well, is a minimum of a half foot wide, and it should be a foot deep.
The next thing you must provide in a grow space is the proper soil. Dill must grow in soil that’s fluffy, high in nutrients, and well-draining.
Dill must be grown in full sunlight. This equates to either a sunny location in your home, where the plant will receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight, or it can be grown under a grow light for a minimum of twelve hours.
If you must use a grow light to supplement a few hours of sunlight, understand that for every hour of sun you’re supplementing, your plant will need two hours under the grow light.
Finally, you must consider the temperature. Dill likes cooler weather. Therefore, place it in an area where it can live comfortably between 60- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Be mindful of placing the plant near any heaters, wood stoves, or extremely drafty areas. You don’t want the temperatures fluxing too much in one direction or the other.
If you supply these basic needs in your growing space, your dill should have what it needs to prosper under your care.
How to Plant Dill Indoors
In the last section we discussed how the dill plant is related to the carrot family. I gave you one reason why it mattered, but now it’s time to discuss the other reason.
It’s recommended to grow dill from seed and to direct sow it into the planter where it’ll be growing. As carrots don’t like being disturbed once planted, dill doesn’t either.
Dill comes in a multitude of varieties. Some varieties are larger than others. For indoors purposes, it’s best to choose smaller varieties of dill to ensure your planter can support the plant.
Just as you would outdoors, plant dill indoors when the temperatures are low because it helps with the seeds’ germination rate.
Once you have a well-draining container, filled with proper soil, it’s time to plant. Moisten the soil prior to planting and direct sow the seeds.
They should be placed approximately ¼ inch deep in the soil and try to put six inches of space between the seeds.
Cover the seeds lightly with soil once planting is complete. Mist the soil with a spray bottle of water to keep it from drying out while you wait on germination.
It’s also wise to cover the seed tray with a lid or plastic wrap as this helps to retain moisture. Germination can take up to two weeks.
After the seeds have sprouted, place a foot of distance between each plant if you’re using a window box to grow them in.
However, if you’ve opted for a round container, remove all but one plant. Pick the strongest plant and cut the others off at soil level using scissors. This will ensure you don’t damage the roots of the plant you’d like to keep.
Now that your dill plants have sprouted, it’s time to learn how to properly care for them while they’re growing indoors.
How to Care for Dill Indoors
Dill is a simple herb to care for. If you start the plant in an appropriate grow space, you’ve overcome the thick of the battle in raising this plant.
The only things dill will need from you going forward are water, fertilizer, and potential staking. If you’ve chosen a larger variety of dill, it’s possible that the plant will become tall.
Without proper support, it could cause the stem to break. Add a stake behind the plant, in the planter, and tie the plant to it as it grows.
Dill should be watered using the deep watering method. Place the planter in your kitchen sink and spray it with water until it’s running out of the bottom of the planter.
Wait until the plant has drained completely before placing it back in its growing location. To know when to water the plant again, stick your finger in the soil.
If it’s dry to the first knuckle, it’s time to water the plant. If not, wait a day or so before testing the soil again.
Finally, you should fertilize dill once per month. You can use an all-purpose fertilizer, but it should be diluted by half before applying it to your plant.
If you can provide these few minimal things to your herb, dill should be happy growing conveniently in your home.
Pests and Diseases Which Could Impact Dill Indoors
There are few things which impact dill when growing indoors. The only diseases which might impact dill would be fungal.
You can avoid fungal diseases all together by planting the dill in a soilless potting mix. If you’d prefer to use traditional soil, heat it in the oven before planting in it.
Place the soil on a tray, heat up your oven, and place the soil inside. Wait until it’s heated all the way through before removing it.
Allow the soil to cool before planting in it. This process should kill any fungal diseases which might be hiding in your soil unbeknownst to you.
If you notice signs of fungal disease, prune your dill plant to increase airflow around the plant. It’s also wise to back down on the number of watering sessions you’re providing your plant.
Also, make sure the soil is draining properly. Since dill likes to grow in cooler temperatures, colder soil that isn’t well-draining is a wonderful breeding ground for fungal disease.
The only pest which might impact your dill plant is an aphid. If you notice signs of something sucking the sap of your plant, spray it with an insecticidal soap.
By staying alert to these potential threats, you’re setting your dill plant up for success.
How to Harvest Dill Indoors
Harvesting dill isn’t complicated. Wait until two months after planting the herb. When the plant has reached an adequate height, it’s time to harvest.
Use scissors to remove as much, or little, from the plant as you like. Ensure you don’t cut the plant down too closely to the soil, or it won’t grow back.
Once you’ve harvested dill, you can use it immediately or dry it in a dehydrator for later use. You’ve now completed the growing process for dill.
Hopefully, this has encouraged you to grow this herb inside your home. The process is simple, if you have the right growing location.
Dill could be a great way to add natural décor to your kitchen and more herbs to your food. The next time you want to make pickles or a dip, don’t worry about adding dill to your grocery list. You could have it right at your fingertips by growing dill indoors.