Look at these tips on how to grow basil indoors. When you see how simple growing basil indoors can be, it is hard to resist planting some for your kitchen. Won't it be wonderful to always have fresh basil plants to harvest from readily on hand.
How to Grow Basil Indoors
Growing basil indoors in your kitchen may be easier than you think. Whether you prefer sweet Genovese basil or one of the more exotic varieties, they all have similar requirements. Just keep in mind some basic elements of basil plant care and your indoor herb garden will soon be flourishing. You'll be harvesting basil to add to salads, marinades, pastas and more. Growing this fragrant herb yourself is a frugal way to have an ample supply of fresh basil for cooking.
Lighting for Indoor Basil
Make sure you have adequate light for your basil plants, a south facing window is ideal. While herbs don’t need a ton of light to grow you should find a sunny window where they will get at least 6 hours of light per day. Ideally you want 8 hours, but 6 will do. Look for sunny spot away from other heat and cooling sources. If your living space has limited natural light, grow lights will enable you to still successfully grow basil plants.
Choosing a Pot for Basil
Your basil doesn’t want to be squished. Make sure you use pots that have drainage holes at the bottom (if not you can drill some) and are at least 5 inches wide and deep per seedling. This way the basil has ample room to grow.
Growing from Seed or Starting with Plants
Growing basil indoors from seed is quite cheap, and you can get a whole package of basil seeds for under two dollars. Seedlings are a bit more, but still quite reasonably priced and easy to transplant, so either way you go they are frugal options. The question is, are you in a hurry? If so seedlings will grow faster for you.
Soil for Growing Basil Indoors
Small potted plants need exceptionally nutrient rich soil. Buy bagged soil at your local gardening center. Most brands have extra nutrients in them, just what your basil plant needs to survive and thrive. If you are planting seeds, you will benefit from using starting mix to get them going, then transplant to a rich potting soil.
How Often to Water Indoor Basil Pots
Watering basil should be done with room temperature water from base of plant not over the leaves, to avoid fungus growth. Soak the soil well. but allow the pot to fully drain and don't leave any standing water in the saucer, which can damage roots. Water again before soil fully dries out. Basil plants prefer the soil moist and struggle to recover from dry outs.
Fertilizing Basil Plants Indoors
Like most plants, indoor basil will need a little nutritional boost, occasionally. You can help by giving the basil some liquid fertilizer or plant food. Follow package for best results, feeding every 4-6 weeks or as instructed.
Spacing Basil Plants and Appropriate Pot Size
You should space your basil seeds and seedling 4-5 inches each so they have plenty of room to grow. Depending on the size of your planters, chances are you will have 1-3 seedlings per planter. Make sure you’re your seeds are buried according to package directions, and if using seedlings they should be buried so the root is about 3 inches deep.
Harvesting Basil from your Indoor Herb Garden
Once your plant is at least about 5 inches tall, snip center stem at joint where two new branches are sprouting. Avoid the temptation to just pick off the largest basil leaves, because doing so will result in a spindly plant prone to flowering. Snipping the top growth basically doubles the growth and creates a bushy basil plant with a high yield of usable leaves. Once the plant gets rolling you will have plenty of basil for cooking and perhaps enough to dry or freeze some for later use, right from your little windowsill herb garden!
Basil is a fun and easy herb to grow, and once it starts growing it really goes nuts! Consider these tips for how to grow basil indoors and see what kind of success you can achieve right in your own home.
As you can see basil is something you can readily grow indoors with a bit of knowledge. Best of luck and a bountiful harvest!