Growing Basil in a Pot – Best way to breed basil

Growing Basil in a Pot - Best way to breed basil

Endowed with Mediterranean charm, basil thrives particularly well in pots. A guide to planting Basil perfectly in a pot sets the course for lush growth and a bountiful harvest.

Choose the best location

One of the many benefits of potted basil is the flexibility in terms of location. Thanks to mobility, unsuitable positions can be changed quickly until the optimal place is found. The location should be like this:

  • sunny, warm location
  • ideally under protection from the pelting rain
  • no cold drafts

Although basil does not tolerate cool drafts well, good air circulation should still be ensured. The quicker the foliage can dry off after a downpour, the fewer opportunities there are for fungal spores and other diseases to attack.

The best soil for vital growth

Within the large family of herbs, basil occupies a special position that has a significant influence on the choice of a suitable substrate. Basil is one of the heavy consumers, so commercial herb soil is unsuitable in pots. Instead, use one of the following mixtures:

  • Compost-based potting soil, optimized with sand or perlite for good permeability
  • alternatively a mix of loamy garden soil, mature compost, horn shavings, and coconut or wood fibers

It is important to create a structurally stable mixture with a sufficient amount of nutrients without the risk of compaction.

Step-by-step instructions

You can carry the basil plant that you have grown on the windowsill or bought ready-made outdoors from mid-May. If you plant a few weeks in advance, the basil will spend the cold nights indoors. The herbal plant can only cope with the local temperatures when the ice saints have said goodbye and there is no longer any threat of late frosts. How to proceed:

  • the ideal pot is 30 cm (11 inches) or larger and has an opening in the bottom for water drainage
  • create drainage over it made of coarse, inorganic materials
  • a water- and air-permeable fleece keeps soil away from the drainage
  • fill the substrate halfway into the pot
  • put the basil in the middle
  • Plant as deep as the basil was in the previous pot

When watering, avoid wetting the tender leaves. Experienced hobby gardeners always water basil from below. To do this, place the pot in 5 centimeters (2 inches) of water so that the roots absorb the moisture due to capillary action.

You can use a thumb test to determine when the substrate surface is moistened. From now on, keep the soil constantly moist and fertilize your basil weekly with an organic liquid preparation.


Does bought basil in a pot die within a week at home? The reason for the rapid death is usually a much too narrow planter in a completely depleted substrate. Clever hobby gardeners divide a purchased herbal plant into 3-4 segments and place them in individual pots.

Then plant the basil on the day of purchase according to these instructions in a larger bucket.

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