How to Grow Basil Indoors [Tips for Cuttings & Seeds!]

how to grow basil indoors

You don’t need green fingers to know how to grow basil indoors. It is one of the easiest kitchen herbs to grow yourself as long as you give it lots of sunlight.

An easy to grow herb that tastes delicious in all kinds of homemade dishes. That should be all you need to hear to pick up a bag of basil seeds or basil plant.

Want some extra advice on how to grow basil in your kitchen? Here is a quick guide to get you started on your culinary herb garden.

How Do You Care for a Basil Plant Indoors?

Basil plants that are kept indoors don’t ask for much more than lots of sun and good watering. If you place basil near a window and make sure that its soil stays moist then you are golden.

These are the ideal conditions for an indoor basil plant.

Sunlight: At least 5 hours of full sun or 10 hours under fluorescent lights.

Water: Only water when top soil is getting dry

Soil: Moist but loose and fluffy with good drainage

Temperature: 70 °F- 82°F

Generally, it is not necessary to add fertilizer to basil potting soil. However, it can benefit from a heavily diluted fertilizer mixture during its growing season, especially when grown indoors.

The danger with adding fertilizer to the soil is that basil quickly develops symptoms of overfertilization. Start out with half strength fertilizer every 2 weeks during growing season and see how it reacts.

How to Grow Your Own Basil Plant Indoors

Up for a challenge and want to grow your own basil plant? With many plants it is quite difficult to start from seeds but basil is one of the exceptions.

Alternatively, you can take a few sprigs from someone’s basil plant and grow these cuttings in water. Both options are relatively simple to do.

Take your pick of your preferred method for growing your own basil plant.

How to Grow Basil from Seeds

Start basil seeds in a container of approximately 4 – 8 inches deep. Make sure it has good drainage to avoid root rot.

  1. Fill up your basil container with fresh potting soil up to about 3/4.
  2. Add a little water and pack the soil.
  3. Make small equally spaced indentations in the soil using your finger tips.
  4. Place a few seeds in each indentation.
  5. Cover the seeds with fresh soil.
  6. Mist the top soil.
  7. If any seeds appear after the misting, press them further down into the soil or add more soil. In that case, repeat step 5 and 6.
  8. Place the container in a warm and sunny spot.
  9. Check every day whether the top soil is still moist. Mist when necessary.

Basil plants start sprouting quite quickly. You should see the first green tops popping out after just 5 days.

Keep monitoring the soil moisture of the basil plant as the seedlings grow. Only water when the top layer is getting dry and only water by filling the saucer.

How to Grow Basil from Cuttings

You can take a few cuttings from a mature basil plant and use it to start a new one. Like with most plants, this is the easier alternative.

  1. Find a few sprigs that are at least 4 – 5 inches long on an existing basil plant.
  2. Cut it off from below the leaf node.
  3. Remove most of the leaves except for 2 – 3 at the very top.
  4. Remove any flowers that may be on there.
  5. Grab a small container to place the cuttings in.
  6. Fill the container until only the top third of the stem is above water level.
  7. Place the cuttings in a bright warm spot.
  8. Refresh the water inside the container daily.

Depending on amount of sun and average temperature, you should see roots starting to grow after about 2 weeks. It can take a few more weeks when there is little sun or if the weather is cooler.

You can transfer the basil to a pot with soil once the roots are approximately 2 inches long. Make sure the soil is already moistened before you move the basil roots.

How Do You Keep Basil Alive All Year?

Basil is not a perennial which means that it won’t regrow after its season is over. However, some say that it is possible to grow basil all year when you provide it with ideal conditions.

In this case, you still won’t grow new basil but you are fooling the plant into an extended season. This can be a little tricky but having this fresh herb on hand 365 is worth a try.

Growing basil year round only works if you keep the plant indoors. This herb is quite sensitive to cold weather meaning it will not survive the temperatures of fall and winter outdoors.

The most important thing is to keep the soil warm. Basil doesn’t do well in temperatures below 70°F so don’t leave it in a room where the temperature often drops below that.

The kitchen is pretty much the ideal room for growing basil year round as long as there is plenty of light. The warmth and humidity that spreads when you are cooking will do this green herb good.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is It Better to Grow Basil Inside or Outside?

If you want to enjoy your basil plant for longer it is better to grow basil indoors. Basil doesn’t survive cold weather but indoors it won’t be affected as much by the changing season.

Can You Grow Basil In Just Water?

You can grow basil cuttings in just water. However, once the basil cuttings have grown roots of about 2 inches it is best to transfer them into a container with potting soil.

Is Basil Easy to Grow Indoors?

Basil is one of the best herbs to grow indoors because it likes warm temperatures. It doesn’t need a lot of care besides making sure that its soil stays adequately moist and the plant receives plenty of sunlight.


Basil is a great herb plant to grow indoors. Its love for light and moisture makes the kitchen window an ideal spot for this easy to grow plant.

You can either start from cuttings or from seeds, both being quite easy. When growing basil indoors, make sure it receives at least 5 hours of sunlight and keep the soil moist throughout.

With a bit of luck and care, you will be able to enjoy your homegrown basil plant throughout the year.

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