It is closely identified with Italian cooking, although it is originally from India. As you pinch off leaves, you can encourage the plant to get bushier, rather than taller, which will help keep it from taking up too much space in your house. Harvesting basil needs careful handling. Also make sure the container has drainage holes. However, the plant experts said it’s a good idea to remove this to get a good look at the plant. Suitable for indoor/outdoor pots and the garden, Plant at least 6 plants altogether, they like company, Only harvest two-thirds of the plant at a time, Leave on your kitchen bench at room temperature, Do not store in the fridge as cold makes the leaves go brown (remember basil does not like cold), Basil looks beautiful and decorative like a bunch of flowers, Basil makes any tomato-based dish taste great. Ample sun also means fewer disease problems and sturdier plants. However, almost nothing grows in freezing temperatures. Growing Tips for Greenhouse Herbs. For most home gardeners, it is grown a tender annual plant that lasts only until the first frost and must be replanted every season. 'Cinnamon' or 'Mexican Spice': Enjoy the green foliage, purple flowers, and spicy, cinnamon scent. Grow basil under grow lights in a Click & Grow Smart Garden for amazing results – I’ve never seen basil grow that fast! Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer. Sun Requirements. How to Harvest Basil (and Keep Your Plant Growing) Prev Article. But there are two rules for success: keeping the soil moist and not crowding the plants. And there you have it, the secret to growing big bushy basil plants! Like a box of instant cake mix, basil plants just need water. Learn more about how to prune basil to encourage abundant leaf production. Once a basil plant goes to seed, the existing leaves begin to lessen in flavor, so don't be afraid to cut and use it, as soon as possible. Once your account is created, you'll be logged-in to this account. If you live in a warm subtropical or tropical climate (Zone 9 and above), provide afternoon shade to the plant. If it gets to the point where you can’t prune off the flowers quickly enough, your plant has reach the end stage and you’d better make a big batch of basil to use up the last of your leaves. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, 2 to 11 (perennial in zones 10 and above). Re-pot regularly : It doesn’t matter if you grow from seed or buy an established plant from a supermarket, it’s important to re-pot the plant so it can expand to its full width. Basil is pretty easy to grow. Make sure the soil has good drainage. To freeze the leaves, coarse-grind them in a food processor with a drizzle of olive oil. Last update on 2020-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We also use your email address to automatically create an account for you on our website. Some of the shorter, purple varieties such as 'Spicy Globe' actually make nice edging plants in the ornamental garden, if you don't have problems with animals eating them. How to Prune Basil for Big, Bushy Basil Plants (With … During the winter, they can thrive inside. Ensure that no flower is left I even like to keep a few pots of basil on my back porch to deter mosquitoes. Learn how to care for 10 different herbs that you can throw into your favorite weeknight dinners for extra flavor. Overcrowded plants are vulnerable to fungal problems. This video below shows you how it’s done. Make sure to leave one-third of the plant untouched so it can regrow. Growing Basil Indoors. Basil frozen this way will turn dark, almost black, but retain plenty of basil flavor. Once you have repotted, keep these pro tips in mind, and your new plant is sure to thrive. Basil includes a diverse group of cultivars including sweet basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, purple basil, and more. The easiest way to follow both rules is to plant in large, deep pots, which means more soil for moisture retention and more real estate for spreading out multiple plants and ensuring adequate air circulation. Harvest in the early morning, when leaves are at their juiciest. Suitable for indoor/outdoor pots and the garden; Plant at least 6 plants altogether, they like company; No cold toes; Well-drained, fertile soil; Lots of filtered sun; Adequate water; How to Harvest Basil. Plant basil alongside chamomile, lettuce, peppers, and oregano. Basil works in almost any type of pot or container, even a kiddie pool. Basil has soft, velvety leaves that are easily damaged during harvest. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Difference Between Cilantro and Coriander. Once you bother blanching the basil, though, it's worth making the purée and freezing it that way, since it retains so much more flavor with that method. You can learn two of the easiest methods for drying herbs at home in our article here. When you’re cooking and decide basil would go great with your recipe, you pluck the basil leaves you want. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong, this is just a cycle, slowing down the growth process. Aphids are the biggest basil pest, especially with plants grown indoors. To keep the plant going and producing, keep harvesting the basil leaves on a regular basis. All types of basil grow easily in warm, sunny weather. Basil needs moist, well-drained soil. If your basil plant has started flowering, pinch off the flowers to help redirect the energy back to growing basil leaves. Basil has soft, velvety leaves that are easily damaged during harvest. It might seem counter-intuitive to start with smaller basil plants as opposed to larger established basil plants (particularly if you’re hoping to harvest basil regularly), but it is one of the most important steps. © All rights reserved - Outdoor Happens - 2020. If the plant sets flowers, it is on its way to going to seed and will not grow bushy and fill out with a lot of tasty leaves. This wonderfully fragrant herb can be grown for use in the kitchen, making aromatic oils, or simply for aesthetic purposes. How to Grow Basil Start with Small Plants. Give your newly potted plants a generous soaking and place them in a sunny spot, indoors or in a greenhouse, and let them do their thing. This can cause the leaf to tear or bruise (resulting in those ugly brown spots you may have seen). Supermarket basil is often hydroponically grown and only has water roots. Although basil appreciates moisture, the roots will rot in soggy soil. There are several different basil varieties that you can grow, and some of the most popular ones are sweet basil, purple basil, lemon basil, and Thai basil. Depending on how much sun your basil gets, you might need to water your basil plant every 1-2 days. Growing a basil plant indoors is a reliable way to keep your kitchen stocked with garden fresh flavor, and the foolproof process requires minimal effort. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family. The good news is that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If you live in a frost-free area, you might want to allow some basil plants to set flowers and self-seed in your garden. Want to learn how to supercharge your food production and create your own permaculture slice of heaven? Worms convert table scraps in to cold, hard cash in as little as 3 days! Once temperatures hit 80°F (27°C), basil will really start leafing out. Harvest from your basil regularly to keep it growing and healthy. Once you have repotted, keep these pro tips in mind, and your new plant is sure to thrive. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. It is wonderful for flavoring vinegar. If you have some compost or fertiliser handy add some to the soil to give your basil a boost. But be extra careful in winters and follow these tips: Keep the plant in a warm spot away from cold drafts and heating vents. Plant basil in a container on your veranda; Plant basil in well-drained soil on a sunny windowsill. Basil is a great plant to experiment with pruning but you’ll find most plants (like annual flowers) will benefit from a good pruning too. This will keep the water from sitting in the pot and causing the roots to rot. This video will teach you the best way to plant, grow, care for, and harvest basil. And it's an aspect of growing basil indoors that many people get wrong without realizing it. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors, from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon and licorice. This should help prevent botrytis (powdery mould). First, make sure you give your plants enough water (daily) and sunlight (more than 6 hours of a day). Give each plant at least a 12-inch pot in a sunny site and it should do very well. Spritz soil with a spray bottle every day to keep moist. Gradually decrease the amount of water you give them. Basil is pretty easy to grow. Basil can be used in cooking, generally added at the end to keep its fresh taste and color. This is the case except in the hottest climates, where basil does best in partial shade. Share. Most herbs thrive in sunny Mediterranean-like conditions in well-draining soil. You can extend the season slightly by covering your plants with row covers when frost is threatened. Plant basil in well-drained soil on a sunny windowsill. As basil stems aren’t very strong it doesn’t fare well in windy conditions so it is best to keep it protected. You can pour the purée in ice cubes trays, freeze them, and transfer the cubes to re-sealable plastic bags where they keep for up to a year. Use a quality potting soil that drains well so the roots do not sit in water. This will keep your plant healthy and under control, but also, once a basil plant starts flowering the leaves no longer taste as good. Even during the summer, it's nice to have some plants inside. Sprinkle liberally with basil seeds and cover with a thin layer of soil. Water the basil plant with 1/2 inch of water immediately after planting and keep the soil moist, but not saturated. Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. The remaining leaves will soon shoot away for the next harvest. Prevent your basil from blooming for as long as possible by harvesting or pinching off the top sets of leaves as soon as the plant reaches about 6 inches in height. How to grow basil – harvesting basil leaves. You can preserve basil by freezing or dehydrating. Click here for more helpful tips https://bit.ly/2MWngw8Are you keeping up with your basil pruning this summer? You can pinch off individual leaves or take the tops off of a large plant if you need a large amount. Seeds can be started indoors three to four weeks before your last spring frost date. The trick is to get the plant enough sunlight. Why pay for basil at the grocery store when you can grow your own? Pre-potted plants from the supermarket are often densely packed into one single pot. Use well-draining planting mix in the containers and plant each herb in a separate pot. You'll want to prevent your basil from blooming for as long as possible by harvesting or pinching off the top sets of leaves as soon as the plant reaches about 6 inches in height. I always keep several basil plant and let one flower like crazy. Growing basil needs plenty of sunlight – about 6-8 hours per day. Mulch around your basil to aid in moisture retention. The plant should also be trimmed at the first sign of a flowering stem being produced. Pick the leaves and tops of basil regularly throughout the summer to use fresh. Water basil deeply on a regular basis, but be sure its soil is well-drained. Pruning. You can snip off leaves as you need them from the ongoing supply. Bring your basil pot indoors and place it in a warm sunny spot. If temperatures regularly rise above 86°F, give plants partial shade during … This course by Survival Sullivan shows you the exact steps to food freedom for $39 with 100% Success Guarantee. As you pinch off leaves, you can encourage the plant to get bushier, rather than taller, which will help keep it from taking up too much space in your house. 2. Give them adequate water and harvest regularly to encourage your plants to keep producing leaves. Keep in mind that potted plants generally dry out faster and therefore need more frequent water than those in raised garden beds or in-ground. Tweet. Basil can also be used fresh in salads, on sandwiches, or even as a wrap around cheese cubes, for instance. Flowers are bad. Alternatively, basil does exceptionally well under lights also, and with a regular compact fluorescent bulb, you can grow enough basil to keep your kitchen stocked all year round. Then adjust them to some sun, an hour at a time to see how they react. If you live in a part of the world where there is no frost and the weather is always warm, you may be lucky enough to have basil growing year-round. Sue has retired from nursing and spends her time visiting friends and family around the world. The flowers are edible, too, so don't despair if a few plants get ahead of you. Additionally, you can also purchase small basil plants and just transplant them outdoors. For the greenest, freshest seeming basil: quickly blanch the basil in boiling salt water for 15 seconds, drain it, and dunk it into ice water to cool it quickly (this sets the green color; see How to Blanch for details), and then whirl it in a blender with just a bit of olive oil. Basil will flourish in the right conditions in your herb garden, or container on the kitchen windowsill. If the basil was not too dry, it will actually begin to grow and can be transferred to a pot filled with soil or a hydroponic system where it will keep growing. One packet of genovese basil seeds will be enough to keep you well-stocked in basil plants, with plenty to share. Now you can plant your own basil seeds and have enough basil for life. Plant basil in a larger garden amongst your tomatoes. I add basil to many dishes during the summer, but I also find it freezes well in olive oil for use during the winter. 'Red Rubin': This variety keeps purple color throughout the season with great flavor. Basil can be dried or frozen for use after harvest. Just keep your plants keep it in full sun with moist roots. Always water with care, ideally before midday, and avoid splashing the leaves. Throughout the season, feed basil plants every couple of months with dilute seaweed extract or compost tea. Pruning basil plants is a quick and simple process, and it's helpful in order to keep the plant healthy, the leaves large, and flavorful once prepared. If you’re growing basil from seed, plant them in well-draining soil. Thereafter, feed the plants every two weeks with diluted liquid fertilizer. How do you keep Basil plants alive? Keep your basil fresh for weeks with this super simple tip! Plant basil where the plant will get a minimum of six to eight hours of bright sunlight every day. To make sure your container plants are properly hydrated, check the soil daily by sticking your finger in to the second knuckle, and water when the soil feels dry at this depth. Another consideration to successfully grow your rescued basil plant indoors is providing your plants with UV light that mimics natural sunlight. An all-purpose fertilizer works well and helps ensure that new leaves will grow continuously. They germinate quickly and are very easy to transplant. 'Lemon': This variety gives a fresh lemony tang to pesto, but its small leaves can be harder to harvest. Be sure the soil drains well. The flowers will be visible, making it easy to spot when the plant has started flowering. That’s pretty much it as far as growing on the plants on to this stage. As with many other herbs, basil is a true sun-lover—give it four hours of light each day, and it will thrive. The leaves that you should remove are those growing on the top of the plant. Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Use succession planting to keep freshly grown plants coming up, every two weeks or so. Dump and replace the water every few days, to keep it fresh. Herbs are difficult to keep alive and thriving, and it often feels like their survival is down to the luck of the draw rather than it being any reflection on the care you give your plant babies. Want More? Don't bother planting it until the daytime temperatures remain in the 70s and night temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When you log in for the first time with a social login button, we collect your account's public profile information, shared by the social login provider, based on your privacy settings. Frequent harvesting or pinching of the leaves will keep your basil plants producing fresh leaves longer. 2. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. When growing indoors, basil is one of those plants that requires warmth from its roots to the outer basil leaves. Use mulch to help keep moisture in. Very often, when it gets too cold, we just let them die. Pick off the leaves when you need small amounts of basil. 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