How to Grow, Care for & Prune Basil Plant (Ultimate Guide)

basil plant grow care and harvest

Basil comes in so many different flavors, such as sweet basil, zesty lemon, or spicy thai, that people who enjoy cooking will appreciate having a constant fresh supply of basil. It’s no wonder basil is one of the most popular herbs for home gardeners to grow, even for those who don’t have a garden. Basil is an easy plant to grow that does well in pots and is very productive. All you really need for a bumper crop of basil is a sunny windowsill and good preparation.

Five easy steps to grow basil plant from a cutting

Five easy steps to grow basil plant from a cutting
  1. The selection of the stem, select a stem that does not have a seed stock or the crown.
  2. Select a stem that is at least three to four inches long.
  3. Remove all the extra leaves leaving only the first one or two sets of leaves.
  4. Put the stem in water to root. If your water is heavily chlorinated use filtered water. After two weeks in water, the basil stem develops a really good set of roots. Basil is one of the easiest plants to grow from a stem once the roots developed we are on to step number five.
  5. Planting the basil stem in-ground or in pots. Get a really well-balanced compost and soil mixture, dig a hole in the soil and place the basil plant in the hole and cover with soil. The basil plant has been planted and ready to grow.

I really hope you enjoyed these five steps on how to grow basil from a cutting.

Basil plant care

Basil plants are herbs. They like to grow in warm sunny spaces. You can either plant them indoors in your kitchen or you can plant them outside in your garden. If you’ve decided you want to plant your basil plant indoors, it is very important that you choose a container that has proper drainage. Basil plants do not like to sit in water.

Basil plant care

Things you will need for basil plant care:

  1. 12″ pot with drip tray
  2. Gravel or packing peanuts
  3. Growing medium
  4. Basil plants or seeds
  5. Scissors
  • Select a good spot in your home to keep your basil plants. Basil is a sun worshiper that loves light and heat. Southern exposure is ideal, but more importantly, place basil in a window where it will get a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
  • Choose a proper-sized container for your basil. Basil doesn’t need a lot of room, but should not be cramped. An 8-inch to 12-inch pot wilt suffice. Clay pots, such as terra cotta, are best because they are porous, promoting better drainage and air circulation than plastic.
  • Add an inch or two of gravel, foam packing peanuts, or pebbles on the bottom of the pots to promote air circulation. Fill the pots with potting soil, preferably one specifically designed for herbs. Mixing equal parts of peat moss, compost, and potting soil will produce good results. Tamp the soil down lightly to remove air pockets and water it.
  • Keep the soil in the sunny window. Plant your basil only after the soil is warm (above 60 degrees) by sowing seeds directly into the pot, or transplanting seedlings.
  • Water your basil regularly to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Water deeply, until water drips out of the bottom of the pot. Don’t allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
  • Turn your plant every couple of days so that the foliage on all sides will get equal amounts of light. This will promote bushiness. If your plants are not getting enough sunlight, offer fluorescent light for several hours each day to supplement.
  • Begin harvesting lightly from your plant by picking or snipping off leaves once it develops three full sets of grown leaves. This frequent pruning by using it often will also stimulate growth. As your plant continues to grow, you can increase your harvest, but never take more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.
  • Pinch offshoots with white buds when they grow from the top of branches. This will prevent seeds from dropping and keep your plant producing, encouraging bushiness.

3 Tips to Prune Basil in 2 Minutes

3 Tips to Prune Basil in 2 Minutes

If you do not prune basil plants basil plants will just grow tall and that’s what we do not need. So the reason behind pruning basil is to grit push your plants that produce a lot of basil.

Basil grows in sets of leaves which is a very important piece of information to know while pruning basil. Basil plant produces two sets of leaves and too little offshoots right next to the leaves every one to two inches.

  • You can prune the basil plant when the plant is about six inches tall and it has at least two to three sets of leaves
  • To prune a basil stem cut the stem down to the last set of leaves. Leave about a quarter of an inch of the stem above the last set of leaves. As soon as the basil stem gets up to six inches tall cut the stem back to the last set of leaves, this will force the basil plant to keep branching out.
  • Whenever you see your basil plants bolting which means is trying to create flowers and then seeds. Just snip off the top of the plant this process is called deadheading.

After pruning you can enjoy the basil leaves in your cooking. It is also possible to grow another basil plant from the cuttings of basil stems and that’s it that’s how you prune basil.

Check your basil plants every one to two weeks and cut every single stem to the last set of leaves and that will produce a much bushier plant.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed guide to Growing, Caring for & Pruning Basil Plants. If you have any queries then let me know in the comment section below.

I am Fenil Kalal. Professionally I have done Engineering in Information and Technology. Gardening is my passion/love/favorite hobby and I have 5+ years of experience in Gardening.

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