How To Grow Basil In A Pot: A Step-By-Step Guide
Basil is a woody, branching plant that grows best in warm-weather and grows even faster in 80- to 90-degree weather. When planting basil, keep in mind that two or three plants will produce plenty of fresh leaves enough for family consumption. Many gardeners incorporate various types of basil in their plant beds for a quick harvest anytime. It is also ideal for containers like a pot. Especially when you’re planning to grow it indoors, it's best to learn how to grow basil in a pot.
Quick Guide to Growing Basil
- The best time to grow basil is two weeks after the last frost. This flavorful herb is perfect for garden beds, containers like pots, and in-ground gardens.
- Space basil 12-18 inches apart. Grow in fertile and well-drained soil. Consider purchasing a premium potting mix for growing in pots.
- Give your garden a good foundation by mixing in several inches of compost or other rich organic matter into your soil.
- Basil grows in moist soil, so check moisture levels from time to time and water once the top inch becomes dry.
- Basil plants grow up to 4 to 6 inches tall, so try to pinch off the topmost branches to encourage more side shoots and a taller plant. Pinch off blooms to prevent your plant from going to seed.
- Encourage leaf production by keeping basil fed with water-soluble plant food.
Tips On How To Grow Basil in a Pot
Basil is one of the most useful herbs you can grow. There are so many different varieties of basil like the curly basil, Dark Opal, and the traditional Genovese. On the other hand, the tiny leaves of the bush basil are the option to go if you want the best tasting basil variety.
There are as many uses for basil, just like there are types. You can add basil in bouquets, soups, and almost any seafood dish. However, basil is not the easiest of plants to grow. Here are some tips on how to grow basil in a pot.
Find a Sunny Spot
Basil needs a warm and sunny place to grow. It requires 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight, though if you live in a tropical climate, try to give your basil some afternoon shade. For basil to thrive, the soil and air need to be reasonably warm, so don't rush putting out your plants in the spring. Wait for about two weeks after the last frost before putting out your plants, and don't forget to dry them off.
Choosing a Container
Basil can grow in almost anything. All sorts of containers will work, including a small kiddie pool or a laundry basket. It also likes a room where air can circulate openly. It also should not dry out completely, so try to should use a large pot. Don't crowd your plants too much, and it is recommended to put them 12 to 18 inches apart. Basil is vulnerable to fungus, so keeping airflow between plants is essential.
Make sure your pot has enough drainage and use a high-quality potting soil. Basil doesn't like to be too wet, so do to keep your soil moist, not soggy. Try using fabric pots for best results. For a sleeker look, you can put a pot in a larger vessel like a colorful laundry basket for accent.
Start from Seed
Basil is amazingly easy to grow from seed. You can start planting your seeds for about a month before your last frost date. Set them outside about two weeks after your last frost. Basil needs some sunlight to germinate, so plant the seeds 1/4" deep only. With the right temperature, basil will germinate for 5 to 10 days.
Transfer your basil when the plants have 3 to 4 sets of leaves.
You can opt to root basil in water. Take the stem and put it in a clear jar or glass of water. When roots start to appear, you can transfer it into your pot.
Feeding and Watering
Basil is water-sensitive. It needs enough moisture, so keep in mind not to let your pot dry out because if you do, your basil may dry out. To identify if you should add more water to your pot, stick your finger down into the potting mix. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to add water.
It's best to mix in an organic fertilizer to the potting soil when you plant. Your potting mix should not have a fertilizer added in it, so always make sure to read the label. Add a liquid fertilizer every few weeks.
It is necessary to pinch back your basil often for it to grow bushy instead of tall and lean. Start tweaking when it's about 4 inches tall, taking off the top leaves.
Growing basil plant at home has many advantages. Knowing how to grow basil in a pot gives you instant and easy access to a flavorful herb you can add in most of your dishes. It may not be the easiest plant to take care of, but carefully following the tips above will assure you of a thriving foliage of basil in no time.
November 6, 2020
by: Andrew McGuire
Everybody should get into gardening because it’s a fun and productive hobby that rewards you with valuable life skills and fresh produce.