Growing Basil Indoors In Winter

Publish Data: August 5, 2021

by Mumtahina Piya

I stopped using stored basil in winter once I learned that basils could be grown in winter too! If you want to enjoy fresh basil in winter, there is no other alternative to grow these herbs indoors in winter. Basil is a summer herb, but you can grow it in winter effortlessly.

Basil is an annual herb so that you can grow them from one summer to another effortlessly. Besides that, you may find some basil varieties that are perennial herbs!

However, during summer, you can effortlessly grow them outdoors, and in winter, you can switch them indoors too! Or else, you can start growing them from scratch during winter on your kitchen window or kitchen windowsill too!

For growing basil indoors during winter, you have to provide the proper condition for their growth. For this reason, I am here to give you the guideline about growing basil indoors in winter. So, let us dig deeper!

Grow basil in winter
A Thorny Pot / YouTube

The method you can follow for growing basil indoors

Either you can grow them in containers, or you can grow them in water. Growing in water is a temporary method, though. By growing in water, you can collect basil only for a few weeks. You have to replace the stem with fresh stems after a few weeks.

On the other hand, growing in a container can give you the flexibility to move this container outdoors during summer. That is why I prefer potted basils as I can transfer the plant outside during summer.

So, here I am sharing a handful of tips about growing basil indoors in the container during winter.

Three easy steps for growing basil in containers

Basil is one of the easiest indoor herb plants to grow in your indoor herb garden. All you have to ensure proper condition for the healthy growth of your basil. That defines the right amount of sunlight, water, the right temperature, well-drained soil, and a little bit of fertilizer. Let’s move forward to know about the steps for growing basil.

Step 01: Select an appropriate indoor spot!

Direct Sunlight: Basil is a sun-loving plant, and so it needs plenty of light. So for growing basil, choose a sunny spot where it can get a proper amount of sunlight with better air circulation. Basil needs at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day.

You can select south or south-east facing sunny window or window sill for placing the container. You can go for open space if it is available. South-east or south-facing windows or location is preferable as in this way you can avoid the intense light afternoon shade.

Artificial bright light: Sometimes, there might be no sunlight in the winter due to gloomy weather. It can happen for some specific long period. Or else, there is sunlight available for a few hours indoors. Then you can arrange for artificial grow light for your basil. Put your basil under those lights for at least 12 hours a day, and that will do the work.

Temperature: The average temperature for growing basil is 65-70° F. But during winter, the temperature can be below 50° F. That’s why you can’t grow basil outside in winter. And for the same reason, it is better not to put your basil in a cold window place or where it may face the cold breeze. Arrange for a cold protection shade to your basil.

Step 02: Gather all the necessary materials for planting!

Container: For planting, you need a container, some potting mix, and some water-soluble fertilizer, right? Well, choosing a proper wide and deep container is a significant fact for growing basil. You can choose an 8 inches or 12 inches container for growing basil. If you want to put 2 or 3 plants in one container, you must select the 12 inches container. But it is preferable to put only one plant in an 8 inches container!

Besides that, you have to make sure there is enough drainage hole for better water drainage. For retaining moisture for a long time, you can use a saucer under the container so that the soil will stay moist from the bottom.

But don’t do overwatering! To maintain the soil moisture and humidity, you can spray some water on the upper soil level avoiding the leaves. Also, you should water deeply once a week as basil needs only 1-inch of water per week. Excess water will turn the soil into wet soil.

Potting Mix and Fertilizer: It is better to choose a fresh potting mix. Just fill the pot with potting soil mix and sow the seeds or seedlings in it. If you have decided to use a potting mix, there will be no need to use other fertilizers before planting. But if you are using garden soil from your outdoor garden, you can use some compost for water retention.

No matter what you choose, make sure it is not heavy in texture. Otherwise, the soggy soil will be the cause of diseases for your plant. However, basil plants don’t need too many fertilizers. You can use liquid fertilizer once after every month at a small amount to restore the nutrients.

Step 03: Plant the basil and take care of it!

After preparing the container, you can sow the seeds in it. Within two weeks, you may notice those seeds turn into seedlings. And by the passing of two more weeks, you may see two or three sets of true leaves on your basil.

Once the plant grows 6 to 8 inches tall, you can prune the basil. Pruning the basil quite often can help the basil to grow thick and bushier. By pruning the basil stem, you can harvest that stem or use that stem for growing another basil plant. But when you prune or harvest the basil, make sure you collect the stems or leaves from the top, and there are at least 2 to 3 sets of green leaves.

Also, make sure no flower buds are growing on the plant. Flowers can ruin the taste of the basil leaves. If flowers start to bloom, the leaves will develop a bitter taste. Besides that, flowers might take vital growth nutrients from plants. So, for the sustainable growth of basil, remove the flower from the plant as soon as you notice it.

Few last words for you!

You might be used to see this culinary herb in your summer garden only. But you can deny the fact that basil is an excellent indoor plant too! So to enjoy the taste of your favorite herb in winter, start growing them indoors. You have to ensure some hours of sun or artificial direct light, moist soil, sufficient water, and fertilizers, and that’s it. Hopefully, you will get a lot of basil this winter by following these simple steps for planting basil indoors and can use them for your Italian cuisine or pizzas!