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Growing Basil Indoors to Make up Your Ideal Kitchen Herb Garden

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 3

A kitchen herb garden is really not complete without basil. You can do so much with this herb, so growing basil indoors is definitely something that everyone should try, whether you are crazy about culinary trends or not.

basil inside

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Growing basil outdoors is something that can be achieved without a problem, but who wants to run outside everytime you are cooking your favorite Thai curry or pasta with creamy tomato sauce, which always marries well with basil.

So can you grow basil indoors? Absolutely!

Tips for Growing Basil Indoors

  • Basil needs sun, so find a window and place it there where it can bake for a couple of hours. However, what if you don't have any sunlight like this? Growing basil under lights is also something that many people have been successful with. Globe basil does particularly well under lights. Use fluorescent lighting for this type of herb and move the plant around every so often, so the heat source is spread.

tomatoes and basil

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  • Everything must be organic, down to the water you use. Some areas have chemicals in the water, so this is something that you have to watch out for.
  • Get your soil and fertilizer from a nursery, and make sure that this is organic as well. Add in compost as well to help with the drainage. Ideally, you need to be looking for a soil type, with a ph level of 6-7.
  • It is best to use a clay pot with a saucer, and water your plants on a regular basis. You know you have given the plant enough water when it starts dripping through the holes at the bottom.
  • Harvesting basil is also important, because this encourages growth. Most people don't realize this, and they think that the flowers that grow on their plant are nice and pretty, but this is the time when you need to start cutting back the plant.
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Growing Basil Indoors from Seed

If you love your basil, and you often make pesto or pots of Italian pastas and curries which call for this beautiful herb, then don't go and buy yourself millions of plants. Planting these yourself from seed is not difficult.

There are just a few things to remember and with these guidelines, you will end up with with a couple of lovely pots of basil in your kitchen. It is often a lot better planting these indoors then keeping them in your garden, because you definitely avoid all of those nasty bugs and slugs.

basil from seed

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  • Get yourself a couple of pots, and start sewing in the seeds. You can use a couple of varieties of basil, like purple or thai basil.
  • Use about 10 seeds per pot with proper organic soil, and then cover them slightly. Gently water them every day.
  • They will take a week until you see them start to sprout.

Growing Basil in Water

This may sound a little daunting. Many people have been put off by hydroponics because you have to buy special kits, and it is a mission to set up. However, all this really consists of is getting yourself a jar with some water inside. After that, you find yourself a sunny spot and stick your basil branch inside. Does that sound easy or what?

This is one of the easy to grow herbs using this method.

  • When you are cutting the basil, do this just under a leaf.
  • The other thing to remember - the water you use is important - if you live in the city, you will find that most of the tap water is probably filled with chemicals, so use something that is filtered and suited to this.


Aug 10, 2013 1:25pm
Didn't realize about harvesting--wondered why basil always seemed to wither/die on me.
Aug 11, 2013 9:21am
Thanks TeeJay - no, didn't know this either until fairly recently. It's not the same like thyme, where flowers are no problem - but at least you have a sign so you know when to start cutting back.
Aug 14, 2013 8:27am
My bathroom is the sunniest room in the house and the basil does brilliantly - it loves the sun and the steamy atmosphere. Agree about harvesting, stops it running away to seed.
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