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Best Tips For Growing Basil

 

Are you looking for a way to spice up your cooking with fresh basil? Basil is one of the most aromatic herbs, which adds flavor and texture to dishes and has many health benefits. The plant itself is very easy to grow and maintain as it requires little care. This article will provide all the best tips on how to grow basil so that you can enjoy its benefits every day!

Light

The best way to ensure optimal growth of a basil plant is by placing it in indirect sunlight. Basil cannot survive in an area that gets direct sunlight, as the sun will burn its leaves and may kill the plant. If you do not have enough room for your basil plant to get adequate light indoors, try placing it near a window with indirect sunlight. If you do not have access to an area that receives any light, try using grow lights instead.

Watering

One of the most common causes of basil dying after planting it indoors is overwatering. Don’t give your plant a daily dose of water. Instead, water it about once or twice a week in the morning when you get up. If the basil plant is on a window sill where it can get some direct sunlight, you may have to water it a bit more frequently because the sun will dry out excess moisture from the soil. Once leaves start drooping, it is time to water your plant. Avoid using softened or distilled water on the basil, as it lacks the minerals and salts that the plant needs for growth.

Soil

Basil plants require rich soil that drains well. This is why it’s important to use a pot with a drain hole and place a saucer under the plant if you are growing it indoors. One of the best potting mixes for basil plants is 70 percent perlite, 15 percent vermiculite, 5 percent peat moss, and 10 percent compost. This type of soil retains moisture well but also allows for good drainage.

Fertilizer

Another main cause of basil dying after planting it indoors is improper fertilizer use. Avoid using too much fertilizer on your plant, or you will see its leaves turn yellow at the tips and fall off. One of the best kinds of fertilizer to use on basil plants is fish emulsion. It will take about three to six weeks for your basil plant to get growing well enough that you can start fertilizing it every ten days.

Pinching

When your basil starts getting bushy, don’t be tempted to cut the top off. This will lead to your basil growing spindly, which can be fatal. Instead, use scissors to cut the tips of each stem an inch or two above a set of leaves. This process of removing the tips of the leaves is called ‘pinching.’ Pinching helps promote bushy growth further down the stems, leading to more abundant yields in less time!

Temperature

Basil, like most other herbs, does not like extreme temperatures. If you want your plant to grow healthy and strong, make sure it is in an area with the right temperature. The best way to maintain a constant temperature for basil plants is by keeping them indoors near the window. Basil cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than a day. Basil also requires warm soil, so when you plant it indoors in the winter, place it in a pot with good drainage and fill the saucer with pebbles and water to help keep things nice and warm.

Transplanting

If you want to grow your basil outdoors, it’s best to start the process in mid-April. Remove the plant from its pot and place it in a separate container filled with soil. Make sure that each stem is at least six inches below the soil’s surface so that it will not freeze or dry out. Transplanting can be a stressful process for plants, so make sure to water your basil plant every day until it begins growing vigorously again.

Avoiding Insects

The most common insects that affect basil plants are aphids and whiteflies. These insects suck sap from the leaves, causing them to dry out and fall off. Aphids can be recognized by the sticky coating on their bodies, while whiteflies resemble tiny moths flying around your plant. If you see either of these bugs on your plant, carefully pick them off and dispose of them. You can also thoroughly spray your plant with water every morning to wash these bugs away. If your basil plant becomes severely infested, you can use insecticidal soap to kill them off.

Pests

Other common pests for basil plants include slugs and snails, who will eat holes in the leaves of your basil plant and carry a disease from plant to plant. One sign of these pests is the slime they leave behind. Slugs and snails can be easily picked off the plant and disposed of, or you can try placing a barrier around your basil plants like gravel to make it difficult for them to crawl onto the leaves.

Harvesting

Basil does not need to be pruned regularly as other plants do, but if you want to harvest your basil, cut off the upper leaves leaving about an inch of stem and use them immediately. The lower leaves can remain on the plant without affecting its growth. If you end up harvesting more basil than you need, save the stems in a glass of water to use whenever you need some fresh basil for your recipes.

Conclusion

Growing basil is easy and rewarding. With just a little bit of effort, you can enjoy fresh basil all year round! By following the tips above, most people who are growing basil for the first time will see success! Basil is one of the simplest things to grow indoors or outdoors, which makes it an excellent plant for everyone to grow no matter their garden situation.