How to grow basil at home: the complete guide

How to grow basil at home: the complete guide

Basil is a delicious and versatile herb that can be used in many different dishes. It’s also relatively easy to grow at home, whether you start from seed or cuttings. In this blog post, we’ll give you everything you need to know about how to grow basil at home, including the best time of year to sow or take cuttings, how to care for your plants, and when and how to harvest your crop. We’ll also include some delicious recipes that you can make using your home-grown basil. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and enjoy the taste of fresh basil all summer long!

growing basil

Why grow basil at home.

Basil is a delicious and versatile herb that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from pesto to Thai green curry. It’s also incredibly easy to grow at home, whether you’re starting from seed, cuttings, or plants. Not only will you save money by growing your own basil, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the freshest possible herbs straight from your garden.

There are many different reasons why you might want to grow basil at home. Perhaps you’re a keen cook who loves experimenting with new recipes, and what could be more exciting than being able to pick your own ingredients straight from the garden? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to add some freshness and flavor to your meals without having to rely on store-bought herbs, which can often be past their best by the time they reach the shelves. Whatever your reasons for wanting to grow basil at home, you’re sure to reap the rewards of fresh, homegrown herbs.

The equipment you’ll need to get started.

Fortunately, you don’t need much in the way of equipment or supplies in order to grow basil at home. All you really need is a pot or container (preferably with drainage holes), some good quality potting mix or compost, and of course, some Basil seeds (or plants). If you’re starting from seed, you might also want to invest in a small propagator or seed tray in order to give your seedlings the best chance of success. Other than that, all you need is a little patience and care, and soon enough you’ll have plenty of fresh basil to enjoy.

How to grow basil from seed.

Basil is a warm-season annual, so it’s best to sow the seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. In general, that’s sometime between late February and mid-April.

How to sow basil seeds.

To sow the seeds, fill a seed-starting tray or pot with a sterile seed-starting mix. Sow the seeds on the surface of the mix, then lightly press them into the mix. Water well and place the tray or pot in a warm spot. The seedlings will emerge in 7 to 10 days.

How to care for your basil seedlings.

Once the seedlings emerge, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of light. A south-facing window is ideal, but you can also use grow lights if necessary. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and fertilize every two weeks with a half-strength solution of all-purpose fertilizer. When the seedlings are 4 inches tall, thin them so they’re about 6 inches apart.

How to grow basil from cuttings.

The best time to take basil cuttings is in the spring or summer, when the plants are actively growing. You can also take cuttings in the fall, but they may not root as well.

How to take basil cuttings.

To take a cutting, use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to snip off a 4-6 inch stem from a healthy basil plant. Make sure to cut just below a set of leaves, and remove any lower leaves from the stem. Then, place the cutting in a glass of water and set it in a sunny spot.

How to care for your basil cuttings.

Once you have taken your cuttings, it’s important to keep them moist so they can root properly. Keep an eye on the water level in the glass and add more as needed. You should also mist the leaves lightly every day or so. After about 2 weeks, you should see roots beginning to form at the base of the cutting. At this point, you can transplant your cutting into soil.

grow basil
grow basil

How to care for your basil plants.

Basil plants need to be watered regularly, especially during hot weather. Water them in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can encourage fungal diseases.

Feeding your basil plants.

Feed your basil plants every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer. Stop feeding them about six weeks before you plan to harvest the leaves, as this will make the leaves less bitter.

Pest and disease control for basil plants.

The most common pests that attack basil plants are aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil. The most common diseases are downy mildew and root rot. These can be controlled with fungicidal soap or copper sulfate .

When and how to harvest basil.

You can begin harvesting basil leaves when the plants are about 8 inches tall. Cut the leaves off just above a set of leaves on the stem. You can dry or freeze the leaves for future use.

Recipes using home-grown basil.

Basil pesto is a delicious, versatile sauce made with fresh basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. It’s perfect for pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and more.

To make your own basil pesto at home, you’ll need:

-1 cup of fresh basil leaves

-1/2 cup of olive oil

-1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

-1/4 cup of pine nuts

-1 clove of garlic

-Salt and pepper to taste

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. If you find the pesto too thick, you can add a little more olive oil until it reaches the desired consistency. Once you’re happy with the flavor and texture of your pesto, transfer it to a jar or container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Caprese salad.

Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. It’s simple to make but absolutely bursting with flavor. This dish is traditionally served as an appetizer or first course, but it also makes a great light lunch or side salad.

To make your own caprese salad at home, you’ll need:

-1 pound of fresh tomatoes (I like to use a mix of cherry tomatoes and heirloom varieties)

-8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese (I like to use buffalo mozzarella for this dish)

-1/2 bunch of fresh basil leaves

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Balsamic vinegar

-Salt and pepper to taste

Start by slicing your tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and placing them in a large bowl. Add in the mozzarella cheese (cut into small cubes or slices), basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper then give everything a gentle toss to combine. Divide the salad among individual plates then finish with another drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving immediately.

Thai green curry.

Thai green curry is a flavorful, fragrant dish made with fresh Thai basil, coconut milk, and green chilies. It’s traditionally served with rice and vegetables, but it can also be enjoyed on its own as a soup or stew.

To make your own Thai green curry at home, you’ll need:

-1 tablespoon of coconut oil

-1 yellow onion

-3 cloves of garlic

-2 tablespoons of green curry paste

-1 can of full fat coconut milk

-1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth

-1 tablespoon of fish sauce

-2 teaspoons of sugar

-1/2 bunch of fresh Thai basil leaves (about 1/2 cup) -3 small green chilies -Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic then cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green curry paste and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, and sugar then bring the mixture to a simmer. Add in the Thai basil leaves, green chilies, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes more then ladle into bowls and serve immediately.


Basil is a delicious and versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. Growing basil at home is easy and can be done from seed or cuttings. Caring for your basil plants is important to ensure a bountiful harvest. Use your homegrown basil in recipes like pesto, caprese salad, or Thai green curry.

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