Fresh basil paired with mozzarella, a sliced tomato (still warm from the sun) topped with a smoked salt, pepper and sprinkle of a thick rich balsamic vinegar? Hello gorgeous and delicious. Propel your culinary favours to the next level and grow basil inside your home. Whether you plan to grow basil from seed or from a seedling, follow these tips for indoor basil growing success.
Disclaimer! If it’s summer and you have outdoor growing space: a stoop, a ledge, a balcony, grow your basil outside! It will always do best when grown outdoors.
Pick A Container With A Drain Hole
Often overlooked, this point can’t be stressed enough. Every container that has a plant inside needs a drainage hole. Why? Well, if you overwater and there is nowhere for the water to escape, you will essentially drown your plant. Ever heard of root rot? Most plants do not like “wet feet,” which means they don’t like their roots to sit in water.
Use a small plate or saucer underneath the pot if you plan on watering it where it’s placed versus moving it to the sink to water and allow to drain.
Tip: If the container you like doesn’t have a hole in the bottom make your own hole. Or place your soil and plant into a plastic pot that then fits into the pot you’d like to use, this is called a “cachepot.” (Appropriately pronounced “CASH-pot” because they’ll save you money from having to buy a new plant because yours died from root rot!)
Use New Soil
Fill your container up with fresh, healthy and happy soil. New soil ensures your plant will get the required nutrients it needs.
Basil needs warmth and sun. To grow successful basil indoors, its growing location needs to have a very good amount of sunlight. If you are relying on natural sunlight for your basil growing – six hours is good but eight hours is better.
If you don’t have a sunny spot in your home and want nothing more than to grow fresh basil inside a good option is to buy an indoor garden system with artifical light. There are many options available at all different price points.
Deep & Thorough Watering
Basil doesn’t mind living in moist (not, wet and soaking) soil. Best practice in watering plants is to slowly water, all the way through, until water drips out of the bottom drainage hole. Watering deeply but infrequently helps to grow a strong root system because the roots stretch down and look for water.
Allow your plant to mature before harvesting. Try to give it several weeks to grow and develop many leaves before you start to trim it. Being patient here will allow for a strong and healthy plant to grow that will in turn, produce more basil for you in the coming months. When you do start to pick the leaves, pick from the top to encourage lateral growth. This will help your basil grow bushier instead of taller.