How to Grow Basil (Tips and Tricks)

Basil is one of the most useful and versatile herbs that anyone can grow especially in warm and cold climates. The best thing about basil is that it’s forgiving, it’s easy to maintain, and it can grow in any climate.

In this article we’re going to give you some tips on how to grow basil in a pot indoors, all year round.

When it comes to growing basil there are many varieties that you can grow. You have varieties such as curly basil, standard basil, Thai Basil and Genovese basil. All unique in their own way!

In this article we’re going to look at a few different things, including what type of soil is required to grow basil, what kind of pots are required for growing basil, and where’s the best place in the house to grow your basil. 

Growing Medium & Soil

The nice thing about growing basil is that it doesn’t require a vast amount of care and it can thrive in almost any type of soil condition. When growing basil we like to grow in a standard potting mix, something with a lot of perlite and organic material in the soil. At Greenhouse to Garden we offer a variety of different soils including Tiny Soil, as well as our own in-house potting blend. For more information please feel free to check out our website.

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Soils that are light and fluffy, with lots of perlite and other types of organic matter including peat moss are optimal for most planting applications. The combination of organic material perlite and peat moss allows the soil to be nice and light, allows for good oxygenation of roots, and retains the right amount of water without damaging or causing potential root rot.

The best Containers to Grow Basil

As noted before, basil can grow in almost any type of setting and this also applies to the container that it’s being grown in as well. Typically we like to grow our basil in standard potting containers; this includes 3, 4, and 6 inch pots. However the type of pot or the size of pot doesn’t really matter, the main thing that’s important to factor in is drainage. You want to aim for a pot or container that has quite a few drainage holes at the bottom and will not allow for water to stand in the event that you over water the plant. 

Pots sizes will also dictate the overall size of the plant that you can grow. For a 3 and 4 inch pot expect to grow a basil plant with quite a few stems on it measuring about 12in in height at maximum. However once you start going to larger pots 6 in, 12 in, or 1 gallon pots, this is when you can actually plant multiple basil plants per pot. For a 6-inch pot which is fairly common, you can expect to have two to three plants or main stems for that single pot.

Planting Location

Basil is a plant that will thrive in both sunny and shady areas. Basil enjoys having warm weather and sun over cool weather and pure shade. For optimal growth basil requires 6 to 10 hours of sunlight, whether direct or indirect throughout the entire day. 

Basil will tolerate cooler temperatures for only short durations of time. This may include one or two frost events, but nothing more. The best time to plant basil like most other plants in our Northern climate is around the mid of May, once the possibility of frost has ended. 

For those of you growing basil indoors, this plant can be grown year-round in most indoor settings, as long as the temperature is relatively warm, and the plant is located near a window that has 6 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. During the winter months attaining a suitable amount of sunlight may be difficult, so with that said you can also supplement lighting through artificial lights including grow lights and standard household lamps.

Basil Plant Care

There are two main factors when it comes to the maintenance of your plant. The first being, ensuring that the plant has sufficient nutrients and the second being pruning.

To ensure your basil has the proper nutrients you will want to fertilize every 6 weeks. The best type of fertilizer for this plant is just a standard Miracle-Gro mix that is meant for vegetables. You will find this at most Home Supply Centers or gardening stores.

In addition to fertilizing, you will also need to ensure that your basil plant has adequate water. Over-watering is actually very easy to do but since you’re planting in a well-draining soil and pot this should not be a problem. Typically I like to water every two to three days, and the amount of water that I use is approximately one-quarter of the volume of the pot that the plant is planted within.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that your basil plant is pruned appropriately throughout its life cycle. Pruning your basil plant will allow for it to last many years, and also allow you to take necessary cuttings to propagate that same plant without having to go through the reseeding process again.

There have been many instances when I have taken cuttings off of an established basil plant and have rerooted those cuttings to produce many more plants. If you’re interested in learning how to propagate and prune your basil plant it is very easy to do and additional information can be found in the video below.

In conclusion, growing basil at home is very simple to do and is probably one of the easiest types of plants to grow in our climate. Having an abundance of Basil is great and can be used for many types of cooking applications, and on top of that… will save you some unnecessary trips to the grocery store. By following the above tips your basil plant will thrive and will grow for years to come. 

For more information please feel free to contact us at any time and our Greenhouse to Garden staff members will be happy to help answer any questions that you may have. For more information, visit us at

About Us: Greenhouse to Garden is a full service garden centre in Vaughan Ontario. Our Vaughan Garden Centre offers gardening supplies, flowers, vegetable plants, as well as design/landscaping services to customers throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Although we are conveniently located in Vaughan, our Garden Centre is within a short drive from Woodbridge, Kleinburg, Maple, Bolton, Brampton, and Nobleton. If you live a bit further and can’t come to us, don’t worry, Greenhouse to Garden offers easy flower and vegetable plant sales and offers fast delivery throughout southern Ontario and beyond. 

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