How to Grow Basil Indoors

Many gardeners look to bring plants indoors over the winter so they can enjoy their plants and fresh flavorful food all winter long.

Starting basil plants in the fall before the first frost is a great way to bring your herb garden indoors for the winter.

Plus, bringing your garden indoors is a great way to help enjoy gardening while you wait for spring to come back around so you can get back into the garden.


Can I Grow Basil Indoors?

Yes, basil can grow well indoors when given the right conditions. Basil thrives in the warm sun which can be a challenge but completely doable in most homes.

Basil is often grown in a sunny south-facing window in the warmer months but depending on where you live you may need to supplement the light over the winter or rainy seasons.

How to Start Your Basil Plants for Growing Indoors.

You can start basil indoors from seeds or cuttings any time of year provided your home can provide enough light and warmth for your basil plants to thrive.

Starting Basil Indoors from Seed

Starting basil from seed indoors is easy. In a room that stays a steady 70 degrees or warmer place 3 to 4 basil seeds in a pot of well-draining loamy potting soil and water well.

To help speed up germination and help your young seedlings thrive, place a plastic bag over your pot to create a make-shift greenhouse to trap heat and moisture until leaves have begun to form.

Thin your basil plants after true lease form to keep from overcrowding your basil.

Start Basil Indoors from Cuttings

To start basil from cuttings indoors you can easily start from a fresh cutting from your outdoor plants or even from fresh sprigs of basil from your local grocery store.

You can grow basil indoors in water by removing the bottom leaves and placing the cuttings in a glass of water. Place this in front of a window where the sun will hit it.

Change the water daily to help prevent bacteria build-up. After your basil has rooted you can move it to a pot with plenty of well-draining soil.

How to Plant Basil in Pots

Growing basil in pots is easy. Basil needs plenty of airflow to prevent issues with moisture-causing fungus, you should plant a single basil plant per pot. 

Basil does best larger pots giving it enough room to spread out. A single basil plant can do well in a container that is about 2 gallons.

For the best results, you want your basil to be in a pot that is at least 8 to 10 inches tall to allow room for a deep root system. Avoid the small pots sold for window herb garden kits as these can quickly leave basil root-bound.

Basil likes to be kept moist but not wet and will do best in a porous pot like terracotta that helps to pull out excess moisture into the air to prevent your plant’s roots from becoming waterlogged.

Make sure that your plant pot has plenty of drainage and allow for excess water to leave the pot.

A self-watering pot with soil that contains a large amount of peat moss and a layer of mulch to protect your plant from drying out too fast with the hot dry air indoors over the winter can help make maintaining your basil plant easier.

Protecting our basil from becoming too dry or too wet is the most important part of helping to keep your basil plant alive indoors.

How to Grow Basil Indoors

Basil needs to be kept moist but not wet. Using a well-draining soil or solid substitute will help keep your basil plant roots from becoming waterlogged.

Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out before watering again. Do not allow your basil to fully dry out. Always water your basil at the base of the plant avoiding getting the leaves wet as this may cause mildew that will damage your plants.

Keep your basil warm around at least 70 degrees but avoid overheating it which can lead to your basil going to build and damaging the quality, and flavor of your basil. For the best results do not place your basil near a heater that may produce temperatures much hotter than the rest of the room as it works to warm your home.

Provide your basil with plenty of sun. 6 hours of direct sunlight minimum daily is recommended for the best results. This can be achieved in a warm sunny window or more effectively with an LED grow light.

To prevent the basil from bolting you need to avoid overuse of a grow light by placing your plant where it is near but not directly under the light and limiting the hours each day that the light is on your basil plant.

Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow inside and it’s perfect for people who don’t have a lot of space in their kitchen or want fresh ingredients year-round. It thrives when given plenty of sunlight, warmth, humidity, and moisture so make sure your plant has these things!

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