It’s always nice to grow your own basil, especially since this herb is a pantry staple. Having easy access to fresh herbs elevates your dish both in aroma and taste. It’s not too difficult to grow basil in a pot — you just need to know how to do it properly.
Here are some tips on growing basil in pots that you can try to make sure your basil grows right. This includes tips on how to grow basil from cuttings, which can help you keep this herb flourishing in your garden.
Grow basil in a pot: Begin by planting a healthy basil seedling
Keep an eye on the basil plant’s physical condition.
First, look for a plant that is dark green on its leaves and stem to ensure a healthy basil seedling.
That indicates that the plant is well-cared for. A basil plant with yellow leaves or a yellow or brown stem shows that the plant is dying or has not been well cared for.
Look for basil plants that are short and bushy
This reveals that the plant has received enough sunlight. Basil plants that are tall and leggy are not the healthiest seedlings, to begin with.
Start growing basil seedlings in clumps
The five stems can be grown together in a small space. It is highly recommended to grow the basil seedling between three to five stems.
Know when to prune
Basil plants require early pruning. When you cut a basil plant, it bifurcates or splits into two. So you want to cut frequently. When the basil plant’s stem has about three nodes, it’s time to cut it for the first time.
Does basil grow back? It does and you have to know how to grow basil cuttings so you will get it right. Nodes are areas where new growth sprouts from the stem.
You’ll clip off the plant near the third node (about 6 inches up from the base of the plant) and allow the new growth to grow into new stems.
Pruning, harvesting, and taking care of the harvest
Prune repeatedly, which means harvesting frequently. Stacey suggests harvesting basil every week so that you’ll have a steady supply. When you harvest and prune basil, you are essentially keeping it in a vegetative state.
A vegetative state means that it’s growing leaves rather than flowers
The reason for its importance is that the progression of a plant is that it starts to grow flowers, then those flowers turn into seeds. Then the plant dies, which is not what you want the basil plant to do; instead, you want it to continue to flourish.
Three common mistakes made when growing basil
Stacey shares three common mistakes people make growing basil. They are:
- They aren’t pruning early and often enough, which means they aren’t maximizing their yield.
- One common mistake when growing basil cuttings is instead of cutting the stems, you pull the leaves off the basil plant. Cutting the stems will increase your yield by doubling it.
- They keep their basil in the fridge, and it basically goes bad before they can use it.
Stacey suggests keeping small bouquets of basil on your countertop after you’ve harvested it.
Remove the lower leaves to create a stem to place in the water. Then, use the lower leaves in your first meal and keep the other stems in water to keep the basil fresh for future meals.
Knowing how to grow basil in a pot is a really smart thing to do, especially if you like to cook. You can also do a bit of research about what grows well with basil so you can plant other herbs and vegetables around it.
Sources: YouTube/Stacey Murphy, Wikipedia/Basil