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How to Grow Basil Indoors and Outdoors

10 Tips For Growing Basil

Radecor recently posted photos of some prep work she completed on her garden before the Winter, and GeorgieGirl30 was one of many who commented on her efforts, also adding a gardening question. She asked, "I had basil that I started from seeds. They were doing well until it rained a week straight. Now they all seem to be dead. Do I pull it up and replant? Or is there a chance that they are OK?"

I hope GeorgieGirl30's basil is on the mend, but while we're on the subject, let's add a few more tips to our collective gardening toolbox.

While you should feel free to save these tips for your outdoor garden, you can also grow basil in a kitchen window, so if you have a gardening impulse, why don't you gratify it with a few basil seedlings in your window this Winter?


Keep reading for my 10 basil growing tips

  1. If you grow basil in a container, use one with good drainage. Add gravel or rocks to the bottom of the container if it doesn't have large drainage holes.
  2. Let basil dry out between waterings, but keep your plants well-hydrated.
  3. Plant the basil in full sunlight for best growth.
  4. If planting outside, make sure your soil is turned over and well-fertilized. If you're using a container, fertilize the plants once a month.
  5. If you're growing your plants outdoors from seed, thin them after they've developed at least two true leaves (true leaves look like regular basil leaves).
  6. If growing your basil outdoors, mulch around the plants to suppress weed growth.
  7. Once the plants reach about six inches tall, pinch off the top leaves to encourage bushier growth.
  8. Pinch off any flowers that appear on your plants to prevent them from going to seed.
  9. To keep your plants growing their best, harvest only a few leaves from each plant at a time. If you harvest in this way, you'll be able to keep your plants strong, healthy, and producing. In fact, if you use this method with your indoor plants you can keep them growing and producing leaves year-round.
  10. If growing your basil outdoors, make sure that you protect your plants from frost. If there's even a slight danger of frost, protect your plants with row covers (cotton sheets will work, too) overnight.


Do you have tips for growing basil? Share them in the comments! Also, make sure to join The Girls' Guide to Gardening for more tips, photos, and gardening fun.

Source: Flickr User gnuckx

SugarKat SugarKat 6 years
I tried basil indoors last year and we got bugs! I couldn't believe it. I don't know how the aphids got inside, but I'm afraid of planting them outdoors for the same reason. The aphids from our roses LOVED the basil. :(
Elka-Karl Elka-Karl 6 years
Another good tip that a lot of folks don't know? Don't try to grow the live basil for sale at Trader Joe's and other groceries. That's simply to be used as a clipping plant for a week or so, and then it dies. Use nursery basil for a kitchen garden plant instead, or try growing it from seed in your window.
MandyWH MandyWH 6 years
Finally, the solution to my black thumb when it comes to basil! I can't keep the stuff alive longer than a week or two for the life of me.
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