How to Grow Basil Indoors

Botanical Name Ocimum basilicum
Common Name  Basil, sweet basil
Plant Type  Annual

overhead angle of a basil plant

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Can You Grow Basil Indoors ?

As with many early herbs, basil is a true sun-lover—give it bright light each day, and it will thrive. alternatively, basil does exceptionally well under grow lights, so you have the opportunity to increase your harvest and grow enough basil to keep your kitchen stocked throughout the year. Basil requires a toilet equitable big enough for the plant, so starter plants can fit quite well in even the smallest apartment quad.

How to Grow Basil Indoors

Basil is a uniquely reinforce establish to grow—it ‘s relatively plague and disease-free and is delectable in both bouquet and taste. Basil ‘s taste will change throughout its life cycle, becoming stronger as the plant flowers—basil that has flowered can placid be eaten, but it may be a bit acrimonious. The herb responds well to pruning and exceed, so tactile property loose to use leaves a soon as the plant is established and has branched out.


Whether being grow indoors or outdoors, basil plants need ample light—at least six hours of full moon sun daily .

artificial Light

If you ‘re using fluorescent bulb, keep your basil under them for 12 hours a sidereal day, with the lights about 2 to 4 inches away from the top of the plants. Be careful not to let the leaves touch the bulb to prevent burn .

temperature and Humidity

Keep your basil somewhere in your home that boasts an modal temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Avoid putting the plant anywhere it may be subjected to a harsh or cold breeze, like in front of an open windowpane in the winter or near an atmosphere conditioning unit. Basil plants besides like a average piece of humidity, so obscure your plant occasionally, specially if your home plate is particularly dry. If you find you need an lend spot of moisture, you can place your basil container on a bed of besotted river rocks to increase the ambient humidity around the herb .


For best results, aim to keep your basil plants regularly moist. Basil thrives best when it receives about 1 inch of water a workweek, but plants housed in containers much need a bit more than that. Water your establish once the top layer of territory has dried out, or when the establish shows the beginning signs of wilting ( though it ‘s best to not wait for that as a signal ).


If you ‘ve previously amended your dirty with organic compost, there ‘s a good opportunity that your basil plants wo n’t need extra nutrients. however, if you notice your plants are n’t experiencing much increase, you can feed your basil establish once a calendar month using a unaccented liquid fertilizer .

Pruning and Maintenance

Basil is a audacious plant that needs short maintenance. Well-drained dirt, commodity tune circulation, periodic water, and batch of sunlight are adequate to keep a basil plant in full human body. Harvesting is effectively pruning the plant, as the leaves should be taken from the top down. Cut off individual leaves from smaller plants, or snip stems a few inches down for larger ones.

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Container and Size

To avoid potential fungal emergence on the plant, basil needs a container that allows for good airflow and excellent drain. To this end, a framework pot filled with high-quality potting territory can help basil boom.

Potting Soil and Drainage

basil plants prefer a dirty mix that is damp but well-draining. For best results, amend your potting territory with a act of organic compost before planting your basil indoors. beyond that, make sure to choose a potentiometer for your establish that boasts ample drain holes at its establish so the soil does n’t get doughy or waterlogged.

Potting and Repotting Basil

Most people eat their basil before they can repot it. If you ‘re growing from source, step up seedlings from a seed starting tray after two weeks into a 4-inch pot, which will likely be their final examination home. Pinch the herb after the newly repotted plant is established to encourage more leaves. Basil responds well to pruning, but do n’t expect indoor plants to get quite a large as those originate outdoors.

Moving Basil Outdoors for the Summer

Basil does n’t like the cold. Move it outside merely after temperatures are systematically about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. As winter approaches, bring basil inside before the beginning frost.


  • How do you grow basil from seed?

    Basil plants start promptly from seed, particularly when placed under grow lights. Most basil varieties will germinate in about five days when observe at temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( a heat mat can be helpful to achieve these conditions ampere well ). Lower temperatures will increase germination time .

  • How do you harvest basil?

    When basil leaves grow to the size of your like, plainly snip them off with a pair of kitchen scissors or pull them off by hand.


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