How do I care for these herbs/plants?

Question by T: How do I care for these herbs/plants?

I am doing gardening in a nursing home. I have seeds for basil, cilantro, thyme, and lavender. I am planting the seeds (how many per pot????) in organic potting soil in styrofoam coffee cups. Sorry environmentalists, that is what I have to work with.

How much sunlight should they get? Window sill? inside? outside (it’s currently very cold in Indiana)

2nd question. How do i measure how much water they need? Should i use a spray bottle? Should i use a watering can? I have googled, but am still not a green thumb.

I am in the nursing home 5 days a week. I would please like a general guideline (in ounces or number of sprays or any other measurable advice you have) as to how to water these correctly.


Best answer:

Answer by Nazgul
Don’t think about it that much, just pot some holes ion the cups and water when the soil is looking a little dry. Some herbs are more difficult to grow than others and take longer to sprout, warmth is yor key here, you want to pot the pots is a warm location at first to simulate spring time warmth, try on top of a frige or close (not to close!) to a heater or radiator, seed will not sprout well when cold because they think it’s winter still. Lighting, this is going to be a tough one; especially right when they sprout seedlings will “bolt” to the nearest source of light, and if that light is not sufficient they will stretch themselves to great lengths to get close and will rapidly become to long and lankey to support themselves and will fall over and will not do well at all, this happens in the first week of sprouting so you want the brightest window possible, a window is not ideal at all but like you said it’s all you got, I use fluorescent lights for seedlings but I don’t think you have the room for that, anyway, good luck and remember seeds are cheap and if you fail just try again. Oh yeah, how many seeds to plant per cup? I’d plant 3 or 4, let them grow a little and see what seedlings are the healthiest, and clip the others leaving one good plant. :)

Add your own answer in the comments!


  1. Your seeds will germinate in the cups but need much bigger pots to grow. Plant 2 seeds in each cup. The seeds need soil that is evenly moist, not soggy and warmth to germinate. Once they germinate they need very bright light at least 6-8 hours a day. Once the seedlings have 3 or 4 sets of true leaves you need to put them in a larger pot at least 12″ each. When you pot them up make sure the pots have good drainage. Move them outside after the last frost. 6 -8 hours of sun per day.

    BTW when you pot them up gently remove them from the cups because the cups will not decompose and will eventually strangle the root system.

    Good luck

  2. For germinating purpose the cups are enough but for growing them properly, you will need bigger pot and you have to arrange that. I would suggest you to plant at most 2-3 trees per pot maximum. Initially the soil will need much moisture for the germinating to took place. After that you should reduce the watering. For watering I would suggest you to get help of the water spray. Once the trees are grown up 10-12 inches, you can use other method of watering also.

    Initially the seeds will require as much as sun light you can provide them, so place the pot in such a place where there is enough of sunlight available during the day time. If you follow these basic rules, you won’t have any issues.