How To Grow Basil

Botanical Name: Ocimum Basilicum

Basil is a widely used herb in the mint family, native to tropical areas of Central Africa and Southeast Asia. 

It has fragrant leaves and is used in cooking, traditional medicine, and cosmetics due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Do you want to know how to grow basil? If so, let’s dive in. 

  • How To Grow Basil
  • How To Grow Basil
Planting Guide Image

Basil Planting Guide

Method

Sow direct or raise seedlings

Sowing Depth

5 mm

Season

Warm

Germination

5 – 10 days & 18 – 35°C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Annual

Row Spacing

60 cm

Plant Spacing

20 – 25 cm

Position

Full sun, part shade

Days Until Maturity

70 – 85 Days

Storage

Hang branches to dry and store dried herbs in a jar in the cupboard.

Snap freeze. 

Make into oil-based pesto and freeze.

When to Plant Basil in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Jan Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Temperate Plantable in Jan Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Feb Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Tropical Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Arid Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Cool Temperate Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan
Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb
Mar Plantable in Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul Plantable in Jul
Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug
Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec
What growing
region am I in?

Growing Basil

This aromatic herb thrives in warm and sunny conditions. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh basil leaves, perfect for enhancing the flavours of various dishes, from salads and pasta to soups and sauces.

How to Grow Basil Year Round

Growing basil year-round will provide you with fresh, aromatic leaves for your culinary creations even during the colder months. With some planning, care, and the right growing conditions, you can enjoy fresh basil throughout the year. Follow these simple steps to ensure a continuous supply of this popular herb:

  1. Choose the right variety: Opt for basil varieties that are suitable for indoor growth, such as Genovese, Sweet Basil, or Lemon Basil. These varieties adapt well to indoor conditions and offer a range of flavours and aromas.
  2. Start with seeds or seedlings: You can either sow basil seeds in a seed tray filled with moist seed compost, or purchase healthy seedlings from a garden centre. If starting from seeds, keep the seed tray in a warm spot with indirect sunlight and maintain consistent moisture until germination.
  3. Provide adequate light: Basil thrives in well-lit areas, requiring at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. In regions with shorter days during winter, supplement natural light with a full-spectrum grow light to mimic sunlight and support healthy growth.
  4. Select the right container: Choose a pot or container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A pot size of at least 6-8 inches in diameter is ideal, allowing the basil plant enough room to grow.
  5. Use well-draining soil: Basil prefers well-draining soil that retains some moisture. A mix of potting soil, perlite, and compost is ideal for providing the necessary nutrients and drainage.
  6. Maintain proper temperature and humidity: Basil thrives in temperatures between 18-24°C (65-75°F). Keep your indoor basil plants away from drafts or cold windows. Use a humidifier or mist the plants regularly to maintain humidity levels between 40-60%.
  7. Water and fertilise regularly: Water your basil plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Fertilise your basil plants once every 4-6 weeks with an organic or balanced liquid fertiliser, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Prune and Harvest: To promote bushy growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy, regularly pinch back the tips and remove any flower buds. Harvest basil leaves as needed, taking care not to remove more than one-third of the plant at a time.
  9. Rotate your plants: If you have several basil plants, rotate them regularly to ensure even light distribution and growth. This helps maintain a continuous supply of fresh basil leaves.

 

By following these steps, you can successfully grow and enjoy basil year-round, adding fresh, flavorful leaves to your favourite dishes no matter the season.

How Much Water Does Basil Need

One essential factor to consider when growing basil is the amount of water it needs. Basil thrives in moist soil, but overwatering can be a problem. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain an optimal balance of water to prevent the risk of overwatering or underwatering.

To ensure that your basil plants are getting enough moisture, water them regularly, ideally with clean rain water. The quality of the water you use is also important since basil doesn’t do well with hard or chlorinated water.

Growing Basil in Pots

To grow basil successfully in pots, it’s important to use quality potting soil that is well-draining and nutrient-rich. Fertilising tips include adding a slow-release fertiliser at planting time and supplementing with liquid fertiliser every two weeks during the growing season.

As for pruning basics, it’s recommended to pinch off the top leaves when the plant reaches 6 inches tall to encourage bushier growth. Pest control can be achieved through regular inspections and using natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap.

And when it comes to harvesting methods, it’s best to pick leaves regularly for a continuous supply of fresh herbs. Growing basil in pots has not only allowed me to have fresh herbs at my fingertips but also provided a sense of satisfaction in growing something myself.

With proper care and attention, anyone can enjoy the benefits of having their own basil plant at home – even if they don’t have access to a garden space!

How to Grow Basil from Seeds

Growing basil from seeds is like watching a caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly. It’s a rewarding experience that requires patience and care. With the right techniques, you can grow fresh basil in your own backyard, which will add flavour and aroma to your cooking.

To start with, you need to prepare the soil by mixing compost or organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. You can sow the seeds indoors in pots or directly in your garden during spring or summer months. Once the seeds germinate, thin them out so that each plant has enough space to grow.

Fertilising techniques such as using fish emulsion or seaweed extract can be used to encourage healthy growth. Companion planting with other herbs such as parsley, oregano, and thyme can also help repel pests and attract pollinators. To ensure proper pest control, use natural remedies such as neem oil or soap sprays.

When it comes time for harvesting tips, always pinch off leaves from the top of the plant first to promote lateral growth. Basil leaves are best harvested before they flower for maximum flavour and fragrance. With these simple steps, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh basil all season long!

How to Grow Basil from Cuttings

So, you want to grow basil from cuttings? Great choice! It’s a cost-effective and straightforward method that allows you to multiply your plants quickly. Plus, it’s an exciting way to share your love for this versatile herb with friends and family.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Firstly, make sure that your cutting is about 4-6 inches long and has at least two sets of leaves. Remove the bottom set of leaves and dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder before planting it in a pot filled with moist potting soil.

Water it thoroughly and cover the pot with plastic wrap or a clear plastic bag to create humidity. After about two weeks, when you see roots forming, remove the plastic cover and place the plant in a sunny location. Remember to keep it moist but not wet and fertilise it every three weeks with a balanced liquid fertiliser diluted according to package instructions.

You can also start harvesting the leaves when they reach 2-3 inches long, taking care not to remove more than one-third of the plant at one time.

Remember that basil prefers warm temperatures (above 10°C or 50°F), full sun exposure (at least six hours per day), and well-draining soil. So if you live in a cold climate or have limited sunlight indoors, consider using grow lights or placing your pots near north-facing windows for optimal growth results.

So grab your pruning shears and start multiplying your plant today!

How To Grow Basil Indoors

Now that you’ve learned how to grow basil from cuttings, let’s talk about how to grow basil indoors. Growing basil indoors is a great way to enjoy fresh herbs year-round, and it’s surprisingly easy!

Here are some tips for success.

First, make sure your indoor basil plant gets plenty of sunlight. Basil loves sunshine, so if you can position your plant near a north-facing window, that’s ideal. If you don’t have access to natural light, consider using an LED grow light to provide the necessary light for healthy growth.

Additionally, fertilising your indoor basil plant is essential for promoting growth and flavour. Use a balanced fertiliser every two weeks during the growing season (spring through fall), and be sure to follow the package instructions carefully.

In terms of winter care, keep in mind that basil is sensitive to cold temperatures, so make sure your indoor environment stays consistently warm.

When it comes to harvesting basil grown indoors, remember not to take too much at once as this can stunt the growth of the plant. Instead, pick individual leaves as needed or harvest entire stems when they’re about six inches long.

If you want to propagate more plants from your existing indoor basil plant, simply take cuttings and root them in water or soil – this process works just as well indoors as it does outdoors!

Finally, be aware of potential pest problems like aphids or whiteflies; if you notice any signs of infestation, treat them promptly with organic pest management techniques like neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Harvesting Basil

Harvesting basil is a simple process that can be done throughout the growing season.

Basil is a versatile herb that is commonly used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, and it’s best to harvest it when the leaves are tender and before it flowers.

To harvest basil, simply snip off the top leaves of the plant with a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears. Avoid cutting too much of the plant at once, and always leave at least a few sets of leaves on the stem to allow the plant to continue growing.

Basil can be used fresh, dried, or frozen, making it a great addition to any kitchen garden.