Potted basil for terraces, balconies, decks and indoors, too

Basil growing in a container pot.

Growing basil in pots is easy, and it is even a great idea to start growing potted basil in spring.

Basic Potted Basil facts

NameOcimum basilicum
Family – Lamiaceae
Type – herbs and spices

Height – 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – light, well-drained

Harvest – May to October

Forget about purchasing freeze-dried or packaged basil, go for fresh harvests straight from the windowsill to discover the true taste of basil.

Planting potted basil

Potted basil kept outdoors

If you’ve purchased your basil in a container, its preferable to re-pot it quickly because it grows fast.

You can also leave it in its original pot for a while for easy picking indoors or on a balcony.
What is best, though, for growing potted basil, is to repot immediately after purchasing in a larger pot.

Potted basil kept indoors

This plant is perfectly suited to indoor growing, or on a balcony, in pots or garden boxes.

Take care to water regularly so that the soil mix never dries up.

Sowing potted basil

Sow directly in the ground, starting in April in Southern regions and in May for other regions.

  • Prepare your soil mix to prevent damping off.
  • Sow in soil mix and cover seeds with a thin layer of soil mix.
  • Put your seeds in a well-lit place, but avoid direct sunlight, especially during the hottest moments of the day.
  • Water regularly with a fine drizzle to sustain soil mix moisture.

Collecting and harvesting potted basil

You can harvest basil leaves all spring and summer long.

Select larger leaves, and snip the entire stem off, so that new shoots can appear.

Growing potted basil

It is very easy to grow your basil inside your house, on a balcony or terrace.

What is the best season to plant basil in pots?

There isn’t any “better” season to grow basil indoors, even though it is difficult to keep it growing in winter.

Usually it is added to summer meals.

It is mostly grown from April to September-October, both indoors and outdoors.

Choose a sunny, well-lit space like a windowsill for instance.

  • Water as soon as the soil is dry.
  • Fertilize the soil for better productivity.

Growing basil from seedlings in a pot.

Learn more about basil

Native to India, basil spread to the Mediterranean region where it became a typical ingredient in most types of dishes, salads and sauces, owing to its unique taste.

Growing it is rather easy as long as basic rules are followed.

  • Choose a location that is sunny but not scorching.
  • Consistently moist soil, but not drenched.
  • Add fertilizer from May to August with special herb fertilizer.

Read also on herbs and spices:

Learn more about herbs and spices: best practices to grow and care for them

Smart tip about potted basil

Basil can be frozen and its taste will virtually stay as delicious, even after several weeks.

Potted basil on social media

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Picture related to Potted basil overlaid with the Instagram logo.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Basil container (also on social media) by Monika under Pixabay license
Potted basil sprouts by GartenGoere under Pixabay license