How to Grow Basil at Home? (A Simple Growers Guide)

Basil is an annual herb, that adds loads of flavor to foods like Pesto, Soups, Salads. Pizza, Fish and much more. It can also be used in many drinks, such as Basil Mojito, Gin Basil Smash, Bloody Mary’s.

I like to grow my own basil. I prefer it because, it tastes much better when it’s fresh and just picked off the plant. Growing your own basil is convenient. It’s better tasting, and you have an unlimited supply at your fingertips.

The Reason you Should Grow Basil?

Basil is a great addition to any cuisine, and is sure to spice up any dish you throw at it. It is very healthy and has numerous health benefits. It’s good for digestion, skin, liver, anti-inflammatory and even promotes a healthy flora in your gut.

Growing your own basil is very convenient, clip off a few leaves from your plant, and throw it into your homemade sauce or pizza instantly, for incredible flavoring.

Basil is the type of plant that will provide you with a steady flow of basil leaves every week. This herb does not need much space to grow, and is the perfect plant for a kitchen windowsill especially if you have limited space in your home.

Basil does not like the cold, and prefers a sunny window, so make sure there are no cold drafts by your windowsill.

How to Plant Basil?

Basil will grow well in any type of garden, indoor or outdoor. This plant needs soil that has excellent drainage to prevent root rot. It is an excellent companion plant to tomatoes, and is said to increase the growth of tomatoes and improve the taste.

The 3 ways to start a basil plant is either by cuttings, seedlings or starter plants from the nursery. Start seeds indoors approximately 6 weeks before frost ends.

When transplanting basil outdoors, make sure that the ground is not cold because basil doesn’t like the cold. The perfect ground temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.11 °C).

If you want to try to grow basil from cuttings, I recommend cutting a 5″ branch from an adult plant, and place it in a glass or jar near a window sill.

The branch will create roots very quickly, and you should root in one week to ten days. You can then either plant it into your garden or into a pot or planter. Make sure the pot or planter has holes at the bottom.

How to Cultivate Basil at Home

Type of Soil Needed for growing basil

Type of Soil Needed

Basil likes soil that is not to nutrient dense. The best type of soil for basil is well draining, and should not be clumpy, with a pH level of 7.

Recommended Products

These are some products I would highly suggest when growing Basil. All these products are available on Amazon.

When growing Basil I use the FoxFarm soil. This soil is well-draining, and also provides your herb plants with the nutrients they need.

For kitchen windowsill growing use the Saratoga Home Herb Pots with Tray Set.

If you have trouble giving your basil plants the appropriate sunlight throughout the day, then I would recommend using the Mindful Design LED Indoor Herb Garden.

I find the best planters for growing basil is the Classic Garden Planters. These planters are very nice quality, and can be used for indoor and outdoor use.

Sunlight Requirements

Basil loves the warmth and heat. It requires a minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight daily.

Water Requirements

Make sure to water this plant whenever you notice the soil looks dry, or dry to the touch. Also make sure not to overwater, and do not get water on the leaves, just the soil.

Proper Spacing

Basil needs space for it to grow properly. This plant is capable of reaching up to 24 inches (60.96 cm) tall, and needs about 12-15 inches (38.1 cm) between plants, because it will spread.

Growing them in pots or planters will keep the plant compact and very easy to move around.

Companion Planting

Basil is an excellent companion to tomatoes, asparagus, chamomile, oregano, and chives, peppers, root vegetables, lettuce, oregano and more. It is very good for deterring pests and insects.

Harvesting Basil at Home

Basil is the type of plant that grows better when the leaves get clipped. Doing this regularly will make your plant hardy and less leggy.

To harvest this plant, simply clip off a few leaves at a time or just cut off a stem close to the node. I recommend you just pick the leaves as you need them.

The plant will continue to grow. It is best to pick basil before it flowers, because it has a better taste.

Basil will bolt quickly if it gets a lot of sunshine. To prevent this from happening it is recommended to pinch the flowers. It will also keep the plant nice and bushy.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Is it better to grow basil inside or outside?

Basil grows well in warm climates, and is great for growing indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer.

How to plant basil from seed?

If you decide to use seeds. I would recommend starting them indoors. Starting your seeds in a seed starter tray is best. You want to get your seed starter tray ready with some sterilized seed starter mix. Once that’s done, you then want to sprinkle the seeds evenly onto the soil. You can purchase an assortment of Non-GMO culinary herb seeds and seed starter tray kit for a great price on Amazon.

Have a spray bottle nearby with water, and mist them after you’re done. Never over water the seeds. You want to cover your seed starter tray with it’s lid and place the tray in a sunny area of your home, such as your windowsill to germinate. The seeds will take a week or more to germinate.

How do you care for a basil plant?

Water basil weekly to prevent the soil from drying out. Basil will require approximately 1 inch (2.54 cm) of water weekly. The best time to water your plant is in the morning.

If you’re using a planter or pot, you will probably need to water it more often.

Should I fertilize my basil?

Basil is the type of plant that does not require fertilizer. If, you decide to use fertilizer make sure it is diluted and use it to a minimum. Fertilizer can strip the taste from basil.

Pinch the leaves to promote growth

I like to pinch the tips of leaves of basil. Especially if your plant is leggy. This promotes a full bushy plant.

How to avoid bolting?

Basil will bolt in the summer, especially if the sun is really hot. Try to keep it away from the sun and move the plant into the shade on the hottest parts of the day if possible to prevent this from happening.

How much sunlight does basil need to grow daily?

Basil will grow well with at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily.

Why is my basil plant wilting?

Basil leaves can wilt in high temperatures. Make sure your soil is not to dry. Also, make sure not to over water, because if the soil has too much moisture it can bring about root rot.

Is it better to grow basil inside or outside?

Basil is a herb that does wonderful indoor or outdoors. But if I had a choice it would be outdoor in the summer. The warmth and sunlight will give you a bigger, better tasting crop.

How do you keep a basil plant alive?

Basil is fairly easy to keep alive. Just make sure that you water it about every 2 days, and that you have good soil that gives adequate drainage.

Use pots or planters with holes at the bottom to avoid root rot. Give your plant about 4-6 hours of sunlight each day.

Does basil grow back every year?

Unfortunately basil is an annual plant that has to be planted every season. Basil does not regrow back each season.

What temperature will kill basil?

The basil herb plant does not like the cold. Do not plant it outdoors unless the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 16 °C). Keep it indoors until the risk of frost has passed.

How do you take care of a basil plant indoors?

Basil is very easy to take care of indoors. The only thing you want to do is make sure that it is getting enough water. Water the plant when the soil looks dry. If it’s difficult for you to set a schedule of watering your basil, try self watering pots.

Will Basil take over my outdoor garden?

The best place to grow basil is in pots or planters. The reason I recommend this, is that this plant can spread very quickly in a garden setting. So be careful or it will take over your garden.

How do I get rid of basil bugs?

To get rid of basil bugs you want to add a small amount of dish soap with some water into a spray bottle, or use a small amount of vinegar with water. Spray the plants leaves.

What eats holes in basil leaves?

If you start to see holes in your leaves you have aphids, slugs or possibly beetles. Slugs hide under soil, and under the leaves. They like to come out at night, they like to leave jagged holes.

Black beetles are active during the day, and are easy to spot. You can buy traps for black beetles. For slugs try putting a bowl of beer under the plant, this will attract them and kill them.

For aphids use small amount of dish soap with some water into a spray bottle, or use a small amount of vinegar with water. Spray the plants leaves.

So in this article we have covered the easiest methods of growing, caring, harvesting and storing your own basil. Hope you enjoyed this basil grow guide. Make sure to check out our herb blogs below.


  • Vince S

    Hello, I'm Vince, and I bring over 25 years of dedicated experience in the world of herb gardening. From cultivating fragrant basil to nurturing hardy rosemary, my journey as a passionate herb enthusiast has allowed me to explore the wonders of these versatile plants. Through, I'm thrilled to share my knowledge, tips, and insights to help you embark on your own herb gardening adventures. Let's grow together!