how to grow basil from seed


Basil is one of the herbs that are great for home growing. This essential oil-rich plant is very unpretentious and can thrive at home all year round. Basil bushes look very decorative and also have a pleasant aroma. 

It is basil that is recommended for the first experiments on creating a miniature vegetable garden on the indoors. But in order for the bush to give a good harvest, you will learn the basic rules for grow basil from seed.

    Basil seed germination

    Growing basil from seeds

    Basil bushes can be obtained in different ways - from cuttings or fresh shoots of a specimen growing in the garden, as well as using how to grow basil from seed. It is growing from seeds that can guarantee a good harvest when growing basil at homeSuch bushes will be able to grow longer than those obtained vegetatively.

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    You can grow basil from seed on a indoors. But individual varieties of this plant - purple and large-leaved - are distinguished by a longer development, and it will be more difficult to get a quick and bountiful harvest from them. Usually, compact and small-leaved varieties are used for growing in pots. 

    You can sow several varieties at once, similar in size to the bushes, but differing in maturity. A number of varieties are specifically designed for home sowing.

    If you want to buy quality seed I recommended quality seed for indoors 

    In addition to the seeds, it is necessary to prepare a suitable soil and container. For basil, you will need a container with a volume of at least 1-2 liters, or a box with a depth of 15 cm. In such a container, seedlings can be placed in 10 cm increments. Another important condition is the presence of drainage holes.

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    Basil seed preparation

    Basil seeds do not need to be processed, but it allows you to speed up the emergence of sprouts. To do this, the seeds are soaked for 1-2 days in warm water, changing it at least once every 12 hours.

     This procedure will help remove the essential oil from the seed surface. After such soaking, the seeds are kept for a couple of hours in a pale solution of potassium permanganate, and then slightly dried on a napkin for easy sowing.

     Due to the small size of the seeds for drying, you need to use a material that does not complicate their subsequent extraction - for example, paper, and not loose fabric. A toothpick will also help to simplify the process - it pokes the seeds with it when moving into the ground.


    Basil Soil preparation

    Basil requires loose soil; for its cultivation, a mixture of universal purchased land with garden land in equal proportions is suitable. Garden soil can be replaced with vermicompost by mixing it with a universal substrate (1: 4), or with a coconut substrate (1:20).

    I use and recommend: Miracle-Gro Plant Food

    Before sowing, it is recommended to disinfect the soil by calcining (keep for 1 hour at a temperature of about 110 degrees), freezing or spilling with potassium permanganate. Such measures help protect seedlings from pests. After that, the necessary mineral fertilizers can be added to the soil.

    A drainage layer about 2.5 cm thick must be laid on the bottom of the selected pot. The rest of the place is filled with soil, leaving about 3.5 cm to the edge of the container. The land is carefully leveled and then watered.

    Learn More

    How deep to plant basil seeds

    Features of sowing basil seeds

    The best time to start growing basil is March. This plant loves warmth and light, and in such conditions, its young bushes will develop. 

    Basil seeds are sown, maintaining a distance of 2 cm, then covered with a centimeter layer of earth and cover the container with glass or a bag. Then the pot or box is transferred to a warm place and aired daily until sprouts appear. 

    The article "how to grow basil from seed" will not need watering, but if necessary, the soil can be gently sprayed. The timing of the emergence of seedlings varies depending on the variety and growing conditions, and on average they are about 7-12 days.

    With the appearance of sprouts, the film should be removed, and the excess seedlings should be thinned out or transplanted into another container. At least 10 cm should remain in the box between the plants. 

    If the basil grows in a pot, the number of bushes is calculated based on its diameter. Seedlings should not be crowded, but too deep capacity will make it difficult for immature plants to develop. Seedlings should be kept in a well-lit place. When the bushes grow up to at least 5 cm, you can add a little earth to the pot to strengthen the plants.

    Basil taking care at home

    Taking care of basil at home

    When the basil is taken out of the "greenhouse", caring for it will consist of regular watering, loosening and compliance with the necessary growing conditions.

    Insects.  Specifically Japanese Beetles. They will destroy your basil in one day!!! If you don’t want beetles ruining all your hard work I recommend purchasing Sevin Bug Killer.


    Grow indoor basil from seeds lighting

    In the warm season, the basilica will have 6 hours of sunshine, but in winter, plantings will need additional lighting. From fall to late winter, homemade basil will also need enough sun.

    I specifically recommend: Hydrofarm Grow Light

     In order for the bushes to have enough light, artificial lighting is used, providing plantings with 12-hour daylight hours. For basil, warm white LED lamps (2700K) or phytolamps, which are kept 15-20 cm from the bushes, are suitable.

     You will also need to make sure the room temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the air temperature does not stay around this temperature then your seeds will not germinate or pop through the soil.

    If you don’t have an area that will stay consistently around 70 degrees, I would recommend investing in a Plant Heating Mat.

    Indoors Basil Watering

    In the summer, basil is watered daily, in the morning, trying to keep the soil constantly moist, but not waterlogged. In winter, if the room becomes cooler, the number of waterings is reduced to 2 times a week.

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    Humidity level

    Basil can also be sprayed, this procedure is tried to be carried out in the morning or in the evening on especially hot and dry days, using water at room temperature. The increased humidity will make the foliage juicier.

    Top basil dressing

    If the basil grows in a nutrient soil, top dressing can be skipped. As depletion proceeds, organic compounds, vermicompost or Agrolife preparation (1 tsp on the soil surface) are monthly introduced into the soil. Top dressing can be done after pruning. It is also recommended to loosen the soil in a pot with adult bushes periodically - this procedure will contribute to its enrichment with oxygen.

    Harvesting basil

    Harvesting basil

    In order for the basil to form more leaves and branch better, they try to systematically cut it, "pinching" the tops of its shoots. 5-7 weeks after the emergence of seedlings, when about 4-6 full-fledged leaves appear on the seedlings, the first harvest can be removed by pinching off a couple of the top leaves from the top.


     When the bushes grow a little more, pinch the top of the shoot over the place where small leaves begin to form from the sinuses. This procedure is repeated every few weeks.

    If basil leaves are needed only in small quantities as a seasoning, use the old side foliage for this. It is removed where it is attached to the main stem. 

    When pruning, you should always leave at least 4 leaves at the bottom of the stem. Pruning the lower shoots will lead to the development of the bush in height, which will lead to a decrease in yield. The buds that appear should also be cut off. Greens are no longer harvested from flowering bushes, so the buds are removed along with the two leaves located under them.

    Alternative ways to grow basil indoors in pots

    Basil growing methods

    Using temporary containers in indoors 

    The convenience of the planting method described above is that there is no need for transplanting young seedlings. But the lack of space on the window does not always allow large containers for mature shrubs to be kept there, while the seedlings remain small and immature for collecting foliage. 

    The reason for this is that 3 inch pots are great for seeds and starting small plants, but cannot sustain the root growth needed for basil leaf growth.

    I recommend: Viagrow 5 Gallon Nursery Pot

    To save space, the primary sowing is carried out in temporary pots. In this capacity, any seed container is used. When the bushes grow to 5-7 cm, they are transplanted into a permanent pot or box.

    Instead, I recommend starting off your seed in 3-inch pots. My suggestion is GrowKo Peat Pots.

    Transplanting bushes from open ground

    In the summer or towards the end of the season, you can simply transplant a young basil bush from the garden into a pot, this will save you the hassle of growing seedlings.

     From such a plant, foliage begins to be harvested immediately after the final rooting, but it will begin to bloom faster, so the seedlings are considered more productive. To extend the growing season of such a bush, you will have to constantly remove flower stalks from it or form new plants by cutting cuttings from it.

    How to grow basil indoors Cutting  

    Cutting basil

    Quickly and easily get a basil bush using cuttings. In this capacity, non-lignified lateral stems or tops of shoots are used, taken from an adult bush or even purchased fresh greens. They are placed in water, changing it daily. Under such conditions, the twigs should form roots in 1-2 weeks, after which they are transplanted into a pot. 

    The harvest from such seedlings begins to be harvested within a couple of weeks after planting, but such bushes will only actively grow for about 3-4 months.If you any questions for the "how to grow basil from seed" article please comment bellow. Thanks 

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