How To: Grow Basil in a Pot
Basil is a favorite herb across the world for its tasty flavor, plus it has many health benefits. Grow basil at home in pots at home for the spring and summer months.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the easiest and beneficial herbs to grow. Most of the experienced gardeners like to grow the basil herb as an outside plant as well as an indoor plant. Basil can be grown very easily as an indoor plant.
The proper soil type is very important for the good growth of the basil inside. There are four types of basils;
- Sweet basil- the green variety of basil
- Cinnamon basil-It has purple flower and cinnamon flavor
- Lemon basil- It has a flavor of citrus
- Purple basil-It has purple leaves
Details for Growing Basil
March to May
2 + months from planting
Temperature to Plant
60 + F
1/4 inch seed – 2 inches replanting
8 inches apart
South and south-west
5.8 – 6.2
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Seven Steps to Growing Basil
Basil plant requires well-drained soil but the soil must be moist enough. The pH value of the soil should be 5.5 – 6.5 which is neutral. You need to test your soil or you can add more organic nutrients from blood meal, cottonseed meal or compost. Soil too rich then the basil loses its flavor.
Soil pH Testing
You need to make sure that you accurately test your soil to give your plants the best chance. This Apera kit has ±0.1 pH accuracy, see the star ratings over at Amazon.
If you are planting the plant indoor in a pot then try to use a large pot to help the plant to dry up the water from the soil very easily. The nutrient-rich soil helps to grow the basil plant at the starting of the growth.
The best time to plant the seed is when all dangers of the frost are over like the 6 weeks before of spring. The growing of the basil seeds is not difficult as it needs a ¼-inch depth of soil. The soil should moist enough to grow the seed but the soil must be well-drained. Also, you need to remove all the weeds in the soil as the basil can grow the other vegetables like tomatoes, pepper, etc.
The best way to germinate your seeds so that they have a great start is with a germination kit. Seeds that are grown this way produce greater results. Check the specs of the MXIC over at Amazon.
The pant should be able to get 6-8 hours full sunlight and the minimum temperature of the soil will be 10C but for the best growth of the plant, 21C is needed. The seed germination will appear within a week. The seedling can be seen as a D shaped seed leaves. When more pairs of the leaves will appear then the plants should be placed 10-12 inches apart. They can grow up to 12-24 inches in height.
In a ground
To plant basil in the ground you need to consider some points which are required to grow the basil. Choose a good location that has good drainage. Choose a good location where proper sunlight is available – The basil plant needs proper sunlight to grow. To grow basil outdoors, the temperature is one of the key factors as the basil does not survive in cold temperatures.
In a Container
If you want to grow basil plant inside so you need to start 6-8 weeks before you would start to grow outside. All the other requirements are the same as the outside planting of the basil only when the basil is growing in a container then the soil may be dried very easily. So you need to water the plant regularly and keep the plant in proper sunlight.
The soil of the basil plant should be wet whatever it is growing in the outside or inside. So water the plant properly in a day to keep the plant-soil wet. But remember water the plant at its base, not on the leaves of the plants.
If you are growing the plant in a hot location then use mulch which helps to hold the moisture of the soil and helps to clean the weeds. During the hot season, water the plant properly, keeping an eye on the basil leaves to make sure that they are not wilting due to the lack of water.
Pruning the Basil
After the production of the six leaves by the seedling then prune above the second set. This will help the plant for branching and the production of more leaves for harvesting.
Pruning is necessary to repeat at some intervals as this will help to increase the growth of the plant. If the weather suddenly going to be cold then harvest the leaves of your plant as the cold temperature can destroy your plant.
Aphids, Powdery mildew are the pests can attack the basils plants. A variety of fungal, bacterial stem, leaf and root diseases can occur in the basil plant.
Basil plant doesn’t need many fertilizers but if you think that you need to use fertilizers then you can use compost or rotted animal manure in the top 6-8 inches at the planting time. The use of more fertilizers can cause a large plant but can reduce the quality of the basil leaves.
You can start to pick the leaves of the basil plant when it is about 6-8 inches tall. The regular picking encourages the round-shaped leaf formation in the plant. It is always better to pick the leaf before the plant produces a flower.
Edible Basil Flowers
The flowers are edible but if you don’t have the time then just remove the flowers and if the flower is not present in the plant then the plant gets the energy to produce new leaves. Try to harvest in the morning when the leaves of the plant are filled with moisture.
Try to pick the leaves regularly to encourage the growth of the plant. If you don’t need the leaves then also you should pick the leaves regularly to maintain the growth of the plant. Keep the leaves for future use. If you pick the leaves regular basis, 12 basil plants can produce 4-6 cups of leaves per week.
Freezing is the best method by which we can store basil leaves. Freezing is the process by which the flavor of the basil leaves does not lose. Try to freeze the leaves quickly in an airtight container and store it in a freezer.
One of the issues people have is that their crops produce all at once. The best way to overcome this is with a dehydrator so you can store your food for years and the flavor is amazing. The best one on the market is the Excalibur with a 10 year guarantee, see it at Amazon.
Dry the Basil Leaves
The other option to store the leaves is to dry the leaves for storing. But in this process, the flavor of the leaves may be lost. Pick the leaves and place them in an airy container. After 3-4 days if the plant will not dry completely then place the leaves in an oven at the lowest heat.