10 Perfect Houseplants & Herbs for Cooking & Aromatherapy

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Houseplants have always been a beloved part of home decor that invites a touch of nature indoors. However, their benefits extend far beyond aesthetics.

Functional houseplants can enhance your culinary creations and provide natural aromatherapy. In this guide, your local garden center, Evergreen of Johnson City, explores the best indoor plants for cooking and aromatherapy.

What Plants & Herbs Can You Grow Indoors for Food?

  1. Mint
  2. Rosemary
  3. Basil
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Arrowhead Plant


Mint is an incredibly versatile herb in the kitchen. It’s used in teas, desserts, salads, and as a garnish for various dishes to add a fresh, cooling flavor. This houseplant is easy to grow and highly adaptable, making it a great choice for beginners. Mint prefers indirect light and consistently moist soil.

Regularly pinch back the stems to prevent legginess and encourage bushy growth. Consider planting in a container to control its rapid spreading.


Rosemary is frequently used in roasted meats, soups, and breads for its aromatic and flavorful properties. Growing rosemary indoors requires moderate effort, as it needs ample light and good air circulation.

Ensure it gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Use well-draining soil and water sparingly to enable the soil to dry out between waterings. Avoid overcrowding to ensure proper air circulation.


Basil is a staple herb in many kitchens, used in pesto, salads, and as a fresh garnish in various dishes, providing a sweet, peppery flavor. It’s relatively easy to grow indoors with proper light and watering.

It needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily and consistently moist soil. Pinch back the tops regularly to encourage bushy growth and prevent flowering.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel can be used in smoothies, beverages, and some desserts for its health benefits, including soothing digestive issues. Best of all, this herb is an easy houseplant to grow because it’s very low maintenance.

It requires bright, indirect light and should be watered sparingly. This enables the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Use well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

Arrowhead Plant

The tubers of the Arrowhead Plant are edible and can be cooked like potatoes, although this use is more common in certain cultures. Arrowhead Plants are adaptable and relatively easy to grow indoors with proper care.

They prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy, and prune regularly to maintain shape and encourage bushiness.

What Plants & Herbs Make Your House Smell Good?

  1. Lavender
  2. Sweet Scented Geranium
  3. Tea Rose Begonia
  4. Hoya
  5. Lily of the Valley


Lavender fills your home with a calming, floral fragrance that is both refreshing and relaxing. Its scent is known for its soothing properties, often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and promote better sleep.

This herb can be moderately challenging to grow indoors due to its need for bright light and specific humidity levels — but the benefits are well worth the work! To care for lavender indoors, place it where it can receive 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. 

Use well-draining soil and water moderately to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Ensure good air circulation to prevent mold and mildew.

Sweet Scented Geranium

This houseplant offers a delightful mix of rose and citrus fragrances, making your home smell fresh and inviting. Its scent can uplift your mood and invigorate your senses.

Growing sweet-scented geraniums indoors can be moderately difficult due to their specific light and water needs. Provide bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot. 

Prune regularly to maintain a compact shape and encourage new growth.

Tea Rose Begonia

Tea Rose Begonia emits a soft, tea-like fragrance combined with floral notes, adding a subtle elegance to your home’s ambiance. Tea Rose Begonia has moderate difficulty, as it is sensitive to light and moisture conditions. 

This herb prefers bright, indirect light and evenly moist soil. Maintain high humidity and ensure good air circulation to prevent mildew. Avoid overwatering and provide a pot with good drainage.


Hoya plants, particularly the Hoya carnosa, are known for their sweet, vanilla-like fragrance, which intensifies in the evening and can fill a room with a lovely scent. Hoyas are relatively easy to moderate in terms of indoor growth, requiring minimal maintenance with the right care.

They prefer bright, indirect light and can tolerate some direct sun. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, as they do not like to sit in water. Provide a support structure for climbing varieties.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley produces a delicate, sweet fragrance that is both refreshing and intoxicating, perfect for creating a pleasant indoor environment. Growing Lily of the Valley indoors can be moderately challenging due to its specific care requirements.

It prefers cool temperatures and indirect light. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, and ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases.

Shop for Functional Houseplants & Herbs at Evergreen of Johnson City

Functional houseplants offer a unique blend of beauty and practicality, making them a valuable addition to any home. Whether you’re enhancing your culinary creations or filling your space with soothing scents, these plants provide numerous benefits. 

At Evergreen of Johnson City, we’re here to help you choose the best functional indoor plants for your needs. To enhance your home with the beauty and benefits of functional houseplants, contact us today!

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