grow basil indoors

How to grow basil indoors

Basil is not only a tasty and widely used herb. It is also very easy to grow indoors.  Let take a look at how to grow basil indoors in a container garden.

how to grow basil indoors

Growing Basil from seed in an indoor container garden

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seeds.  It would be a great first seed to try in your kitchen garden.

It will only take about 7 days for your new basil plants to sprout.  The basil can be ready for your favorite recipes in as little as 3 weeks.


To start your basil from seed:

  • use good, lightweight potting soil.
  • plant the seeds 1/2 deep,
  • keep the soil lightly moist using a spray bottle
  • as soon as the plant sprouts; they will need light.  Place a grow light close to the plant, moving it up as the plant grows.
  • If you don’t have a grow light, then place it in a sunny spot.  Rotate the pot often to help prevent the plant from getting “leggy.”

Check out Sow Good Naturally for the best grow lights

sow good naturally

Starting Basil from cuttings

Starting basil from cuttings is an easy and quick way to grow basil.  Take a fresh basil cutting and place the stem into a bottle of water.  Make sure that the stem has a clean, fresh cut before placing it in the water.

Within about 4 days, you will see roots starting to form.  The best time to transplant the basil into the soil is when the roots are about 1 inch long.

growing basil indoors

You can continue to grow basil in water; however, there are important things to know.  Please read about the Kratky method of growing to learn how to grow long-term in water.

How to grow basil indoors in a container garden

Regardless of whether you start from seed, cuttings, or buy a plant, there are some that you need to do to keep your basil growing for months.

Basil does best in the morning sun.

Place your containers in a sunny spot.   Avoid a spot that will get too warm with the afternoon sun.  Basil doesn’t mind a bit of shade but does not do well in a lot of heat.   6 hours of sun is a good amount.

Grow lights are a good option since they allow lots of light without the heat

Temperature to grow basil indoors

Basil does best in temperatures of around 75-80 degrees.  This makes it a great container plant for a kitchen garden.  Basil will bolt if it gets too warm, so avoid putting it anywhere that the temp goes above 85 degrees for any long period.

grow basil indoors

Soil for container basil

A good lightweight potting soil will work well for basil.  There is no need to add fertilizer if you use potting soil with a good compost mix.

Harvesting Basil

Harvesting your basil is very important for the health and long life of your plant.  Cutting back the basil plant regularly will help create a healthy plant.

Basil will bolt or go to flower if you don’t harvest it regularly.  Don’t be afraid to take 20% of the plant every couple of weeks.  The more you cut it back, the fuller it will grow.

Basil can grow usable leaves for months if you continue to harvest.

You can use some of the basil as cuttings to grow new plants.  The clones, or new plants, will be as productive as the first plant.  So given that you can grow basil for years from an initial plant!

Types of Basil

growing basil

There are so many new varieties of basils available.  I like the classic the best, but there are flavors to satisfy any taste.

Sweet Basil.

This is the most common type.  Sweet basil is used in pesto, on pizza, and in hundreds of other recipes.

Genovese Basil.

Classic Italian basil with a bit stronger flavor than sweet basil.  Used in all the traditional Italian recipes.

Thai Basil.

Used in many Asian recipes.  This has a spicy flavor.

Purple Basil.

These plants have extra-large dark purple leaves.  They give a nice contrast to your container garden with the bonus of being very fragrant.

Lemon Basil.

This type is becoming very popular because of its wonderful lemon scent and light flavor.  Great in fish recipes or teas.

Cinnamon Basil.

This is another spicy basil.  A bit milder than Thai Basil but still can add a nice spice to your recipes.

Greek Basil.

This type of basil has small pointed leaves and a spicy flavor.


If you have been thinking of starting a container garden, then basil is a must-grow.  It is easy to grow, you get lots of leaves to harvest, and it comes in many vanities.  I think that makes basil the perfect container garden herb.

If you like growing Basil, you might consider growing mustard!

Thanks for reading!  Please like, comment and share.  Thank You!


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