Basil is one of the most picked herbs for indoor gardening. The fragrant, sweet aroma and peppery flavor of this plant explain why it is loved and commonly added in kitchen gardens. In fact, It is known for being the main ingredient in pesto and a preferred spice in tomato-based pasta sauces. Basil is essential in Italian dishes, various cuisines, including Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. This herb also provides substantial health benefits and has been a part of holistic medicines such as Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Basil grows fast, sprouted from seeds, and produces plenty of fresh leaves for a few months. Feel free to use leaves as soon as the plant is built and branched out. Basil’s taste shifts throughout its life, becoming more vital as the plant flowers. If you see flower buds forming after 75 days of planting, snip them off. Basil that has flowered can still be eaten, but it doesn’t taste very pleasant. Now, let’s walk through these simple steps on how to grow Basil indoors.
What You Need
Prepare a packet of basil seeds and a bag of high-quality organic soil. One pack of basil seeds will be plenty to keep you well-stocked. Use ordinary 4-6 inches pots for planting. Basil should be set in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. As this plant is not tolerant of water strain, make sure containers give sufficient drainage. While the soil should be maintained somewhat moist, it should never be soggy; otherwise, the roots will be prone to rotting. As with various herbs, Basil is a true sun-lover, give this plant four hours of sunlight daily, and it will grow. Alternatively, Basil produces exceptionally well under lights also, and with a regular compact LED grow light. This also helps to nurture healthy plants anywhere in your home or office.
Four necessary steps to Growing Basil Indoors in a pot
- Gently moisten the nutrient-rich soil and pack firmly into four to six inches pots. Put some seeds into your palm, and spatter the few seeds into the surface of the soil. Coat the seeds with a thin layer of soil and press lightly to firm the soil. Water gently or use a mister.
- Set the pots in a bright window with a warm temperature to avoid drafty places where temperatures are down at night. As the Basil starts to grow, turn the plant to balance the light on all sides. When you are using LED grow lights, set a timer for 14 hours a day. Make sure to move the lights closer in order the plant doesn’t look leggy. Make sure to place the lights above the seedlings. When you see white spots on Basil’s leaves, that means the lights are quite near.
- Maintain the soil humid but not soaking moist. If the plants looks crowded as they grow, use scissors to thin them out. Cut the extra basil stems and sprinkle the chopped leaves over a pizza and pasta.
- A month after planting, you can experience the aroma of leaves. After two months, you may harvest plenty of basil leaves to make fresh pesto and delight your friends! If the leaves start looking faded in green color, then begin using fertilizer.
Besides, many people consume their Basil before they transfer it to another pot. Now if you’re growing from seed, step up seedlings after two weeks into a 4 inches pot, which will be its final place. Cut the stems after the newly transferred plant is set to develop new leaves. If you follow these easy tips on how to grow Basil indoors, you will be rewarded with this delicious herb all year round.
Now, you know how to take care of and grow this plant. This time you will learn how to store Basil. Fresh basil leaves will last for four days if stored properly in the refrigerator, layered in paper towels, and stored in a plastic pouch. Basil with stems will last up to a week when placed straight in a jar of water, with the leaves screened by plastic, and make sure to change the water daily. You can also freeze basil leaves for later use. Entire leaves can be blanched or washed and stored in a zip-top pouch in the freezer. Chopped, drizzled with olive oil, the basil leaves, and transferred into an ice cube tray and kept it frozen. The cubes are best when added to stews and soups. It should be held for Dried basil leaves in a cool, dry place, and you can use them within six months.
The most important takeaway in growing basil plants and other herbs is to learn to have fun! You may experience a few mistakes along the way, but that is usually part of growing herbs at the comfort of your home.
Louie is the father behind the travel blog Browseeverywhere.com. He has a background in photography, E-commerce, and writing product reviews online at ConsumerReviews24. Traveling full time with his family was his ultimate past-time. If he’s not typing on his laptop, you can probably find him watching movies.