By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
While basil is a commonly grown herb outdoors, this easy-care plant can also be grown indoors. In fact, you can grow basil inside much the same as you would in the garden. This wonderfully fragrant herb can be grown for use in the kitchen, making aromatic oils, or simply for aesthetic purposes. Let’s look at how to grow basil indoors.
Basil Growing Indoors
Growing basil indoors is easy. Container grown basil should be planted in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Using the proper soil type is important in order to successfully grow basil inside. As basil is not tolerant of water stress, make sure pots provide adequate drainage. While the soil should be kept somewhat moist, it should never be soggy; otherwise, the roots will be prone to rotting.
Basil growing indoors will require fertilizing. Depending on the variety grown and its overall purpose, a general houseplant fertilizer can be used. As with many houseplant fertilizers, this should be used at half the recommended strength. However, basil used solely for flavoring foods requires the use of an organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer also helps to maintain pH levels when growing basil indoors.
Healthy pH levels are another important aspect of quality soil. You should check the pH levels of soil about once a month or every four to six weeks for optimal growth. Sufficient pH levels are usually between 6.0 and 7.5.
Best Lighting to Grow Basil Inside
Additionally, when growing basil indoors, lighting is important. Basil growing indoors requires at least six hours of sunlight. Basil plants should be placed in a sunny window, preferably facing south. Otherwise, these potted plants may need to be grown under fluorescent lights. With this type of lighting, basil plants will need about ten hours of light for healthy growth. However, basil grown indoors can also be given both sun and artificial lighting by alternating so many hours in each.
While growing basil indoors is an easy endeavor, the vigorous growth of plants may require frequent repotting.
If you follow these few easy tips on how to grow basil indoors, you will be rewarded with this delicious herb year round.