What Are Some Tips for Growing Basil Indoors?


Quick Answer

Basil requires plenty of light to grow indoors. A sunny window that receives a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight, a grow lamp or an ordinary compact florescent lamp ensures proper growth. Well-drained soil prevents root damage, while misting at the first sign of wilting ensures the plant receives necessary moisture.

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What Are Some Tips for Growing Basil Indoors?
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Full Answer

Basil is an easy herb to grow from seed. Unless the grower trims it regularly, it requires repotting. Trimming also prevents the plant from blooming, which causes it to develop a bitter flavor. With regular trimming, a single plant produces one-third to one-half a cup of leaves weekly. Add a weak liquid fertilizer once a week to encourage growth of the plant.

Genovese basil, with green leaves and small white flowers, is the most common type. Growing plants from seed gives many choices, including lemon basil, cinnamon basil and Thai basil, which has licorice undertones. Purple basil adds color to the herb garden but has a milder flavor than other varieties.

While fresh basil imparts the most intense flavor, it is possible to preserve an overabundance by freezing or drying. Freezing preserves more flavor, but many cooks find dried basil more convenient. In a shaded, well-vented location, the leaves should dry in 3 to 4 days.

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