How to Grow Basil Indoors

Learn how to grow basil indoors and enjoy the sight, smell and savory taste of this herb every day.

Basil Information

Basil, part of the mint family, is an annual herb that is available in different varieties. Basil complements other herbs and spices such as garlic, rosemary and thyme. You will find basil as a required ingredient in conjunction with salads, sauces, soups, tomatoes, stews and pasta. Although available dried, fresh basil is preferred when cooking and should be added at the last minute to preserve the herb's flavor.

How to Grow Basil Indoors

You can buy small basil plants from your local nursery and transplant the plants into pots, containers or herb planters. If you choose, you can also start your basil plants from seeds.

Your basil should be placed in a sunny location, preferably in a southern facing window away from drafts. Basil can also benefit from fluorescent lighting. If you are using only fluorescent lighting, plan on feeding your plants ten to twelve hours of light per day. There are also lights that are designed specifically to grow herbs, should you choose.

Your basil's soil should be kept well drained and wet, but not drowning. The plants should be fertilized with organic fertilizer periodically in accordance to the variety of basil that you are growing and the fertilizer's instructions. In addition, you should check the pH of the soil every month or so to make sure that the pH level is between 6.0 and 7.5.

If you have a strong plant, you may be able to cut the leaves back to prevent the plant from flowering. You can also pinch off flowers as they occur to help prolong your plant's live cycle.

Should you decide to let your plant go to seed, let the seed pods dry on the plant. Pinch off the pods, rub the sides of the pods with your fingers and the tiny black seeds will fall out. Let the seeds dry for several more days.

It may take you a couple of times to learn the right mix of light, fertilizer and water for where you live. In the meantime, don't forget to grow basil outside when weather permits. You can always freeze the leaves to carry you through until you master how to grow basil indoors.

Related Life123 Articles

If there is one herb that every gardener should grow, it is basil. Not only is basil an important flavoring for many popular dishes, it's also beautiful enough to fit in any ornamental garden. It's used in the cuisine of many nations, as a part of sacred rituals and as a medicinal herb. Basil is easy to grow and can even be grown on a windowsill.

Tender culinary perennial (annual in colder climates) that is surprisingly easy to grow. Common sweet basil has glossy, deep green leaves but the many varieties of basil differ extensively in habit and color. Grows 1 to 3 feet, depending upon variety.

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Basil is a fragrant, easy-to-grow herb. If it could talk, it would scream, "Summer is here!" It is a must-have for every organic garden.

When you learn how to grow basil, you will finally be on your way to being a true gardener.

If you know how to dry basil, you will have yummy herbs to use when you cook all year long.

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