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How To Grow and Harvest Basil |

A Little Bit About Basil And Its Flavors


One of my favorite herbs to grow is basil!  It is super easy to grow and care for. There are so many different varieties of basil for one to grow.

I encourage you to try to grow several different varieties in the growing season.  It is great to discover all the different flavors that basil has to offer.

Basil is known to have an anise or licorice flavor that pairs well with salads or olive oil and many other sauces.  Other varieties include cinnamon, lemon, and spicy varieties.

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Lets talk a bit about how to grow basil shall we?

How To Grow and Harvest Basil |

How To Grow Basil


Basil is a tropical like plant that likes warm or hot weather.  Basil can grow anywhere from 1-2 ft high and needs ample space to grow properly.  Be sure to check the spacing on the back of the seed packet or plant info card to see how to space your variety appropriately.

Basil grows well in gardens and in pots.  If growing in pots, I recommend buying foam pots so that it holds moisture longer.  Basil likes well drained soil so make sure that there are holes in the bottom of your pots so that it can drain properly.

Plant basil outdoors when there is no chance of a frost or freeze.  Basil will bruise easily and if you plant when it is too cool it can easily damage your plant. Basil should be planted in full sun and in well drained soil that is enriched with quality compost.

Water basil regularly and mulch as needed to retain moisture in the soil.

Pruning Basil


It is best to prune basil regularly to create a bushy plant.  See picture below to see the difference of a pruned plant and a basil plant not pruned.

How To Grow Basil |

Basil can be grown throughout the summer season and into the fall if you prune regularly.  When your basil plant starts to become woody (picture below), cut the plant all the way down to about 2-3 inches of the plant.  Just make sure to leave at least 2 leaves on the stems.

I left the two basil plants behind the one I pruned so that you can see how much I pruned off.  Don’t worry, it will grow back!  Do you see the new growth already growing?

How To Grow Basil |

You will be amazed how quickly your pruned basil plant will grow back and it will grow back fuller and bushier.

Pinching Back Flower Heads


It is important to also pinch back the flower heads of basil plants.  Here is what a flower head looks like.  In a few days this flower head would most likely have little white flowers.

How To Grow Basil |

To pinch back simply snap the stem off in between your two fingers.  It should snap off really easily. Remove all flower heads as they appear so that the plant’s energy is focused on producing healthy leaves and not producing flowers.

How To Grow Basil |

Harvesting Basil


When your plant is large enough to start harvesting, you simply remove the top of the plant as pictured below.

Snap the plant at the top of the stem and then remove the leaves from the stem and put the leaves in your favorite salad/dish or you could cook or make your favorite sauce with your basil leaves.

Remember the basil plant will continue to grow and you will be encouraging new growth as you harvest your plant so harvest regularly to create a healthy plant.

How To Grow Basil |

Stay Tuned For My Favorite Basil Recipes!


Later this week I can not wait to share with you all a HUGE list of amazing basil recipes! You all have to try some of these amazing recipes!!

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7 thoughts on “How To Grow Basil”

  1. helena says:

    Excited for the recipes!!!! I made a pesto (that I hope turned out okay) and have been wondering what to use it with,

  2. gail says:

    Enjoyed yor basil tips. Looking forward to your recipes.

  3. Alisa says:

    Thanks for including such great pics! I never know what exactly people are talking about. This really helped.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      So happy you find them useful. Thanks for the feedback Alisa!

  4. Kate says:

    Thank you for this website knowledge sharing. I have basil in a thick clay pot and it has turned very light green almost yellowish and it is not growing well at all. Do you think it is because of the clay pot or perhaps not enough drainage? I water it once a day unless it rains and it is in full sun. Your advice is appreciated. Thank you

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Hi Kate,

      Sounds like you are watering your basil to often. Yellow leaves usually indicate over watering. Basil likes it dry. Try watering it less, that should help with your issue.

  5. june coaten says:

    If you get too much growth with not using your basil take cuttings and root in water (which only takes a few days) . Plant them up and you have a whole new plant to increase your stock. Do the same with your mint to get new free plants. So brill !!!!!!

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