The best growing conditions for basil are warm climates, basil doesn’t fare well in cold, damp weather and frosts. Fun fact: butterflies love basil so don’t be surprised if you see them fluttering near your basil bush.
Wondering how much sun basil needs? Basil needs a spot with full sun and a little afternoon shade in hot climates but you can also grow basil in pots indoors, window sills are the perfect spot. As basil stems aren’t very strong it doesn’t fare well in windy conditions so it is best to keep it protected.
How to plant
Planting basil is relatively easy, you can grow basil from seeds which you can buy from Bunnings or your local hardware or from a small shrub, even the ones you buy in coles and Woolworths will work.
Basil needs moist, well-drained soil. If you have some compost or fertiliser handy add some to the soil to give your basil a boost.
If you are growing basil in a pot remember to turn your pot every couple of weeks for even growth.
How to grow
You can grow basil relatively easily from cuttings. Simply take a few cuttings and place in a glass of water in a sunny spot until roots develop.
How to harvest
The more basil you eat the more basil you’ll grow as picking leaves encourages new growth. Picking basil isn’t an art, simply pick leaves as you need them by pressing your nail against your thumb to avoid bruising. If your basil starts to flower, simply pinch the flowers off the top to keep your basil bushy and not too tall.
Care & Troubleshooting
Struggling to keep your basil alive? Here’s a couple of common troubleshooting problems to help keep your plant from dying.
Not sure how to prune basil? Simply picking leaves from the top of the plant should be enough to keep your basil under control. If you notice any dead leaves snip them off but aside from that it needs little attention.
The best companion plants for basil are tomatoes, eggplants, beans and oregano.
You might also like: