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Growing Basil: 26 Plant Care Tips

Growing Basil: 26 Plant Care Tips

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Notes

Basil is sweet and easy to moderate to care for. With a unique appearance and vibe, this houseplant is a favorite for many indoor gardeners.

In this detailed care guide, we’re discussing the necessary care practices to keep your basil plant at its happiest. We’re also breaking down the origin, growth behavior, common problems, and many other interesting facts about this sweet Basil. Read on!

What Is Basil?

Basil is an annual herb and is a member of the mint family or Lamiaceae. It has beautiful chartreuse green to deep purple leaves in the shape of an oval.

This annual plant is commonly known as great Basil, Albahaca, and Tulsi. It’s typically known for its aromatic leaves, which is why it is a plant that is sweet and savory.

The Basil would grow and thrive well in certain climates, preferably in hardiness zones 10-11.

Origin And Family

From the Lamiaceae family, the great Basil is native to Southeast Asia. This houseplant makes a great addition to your indoor plants in your home garden or vegetable garden.

Where To Buy

Do you want to get a Basil for your home? Try purchasing from Etsy. It’s something we’ve been doing for years!

In terms of pricing, the Basil can be fairly affordable.

Basil Plant Size

When grown as a houseplant, the Basil grows to a height of 18-24 inches. It’s a fast grower that flourishes when placed in a south-facing window that is sunny for most of the day.

Basil Care Needs

Basils are sun-loving plants that need moist soil throughout the year. During the summertime, water your plant water deeply and thoroughly whenever the soil is dry to the touch. Keep pouring until water oozes out of the drainage hole. Be sure to discard the water from the catch plate to avoid root rot.

Check out this more in-depth guide about basil care!

Care Difficulty

The Albahaca is typically considered easy to moderate to care for in most circles. For growing conditions, the key considerations are the well-draining soil and the amount of water that this plant has.

Growth Rate

The Tulsi grows to a mature height of 18-24 inches as a houseplant. Typically, you will observe faster and bushier growth in the summer.

The majority of basil plants grow at a fast rate.

Potting

Basil plants, in general, prefer a well-draining pot.

One of the ultimate killers of houseplants is the lack of good drainage, which leads to root rot. Please ensure that your pot has holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain through.

Repotting

Moving your Basil into a larger pot allows more space for its roots to grow. You will know that it’s time to repot when the roots are an inch or two long.

It is suitable to replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of rich, moist, but well-drained soil when filling up the new pot.

Soil

Basil grows well when grown in rich, moist, but well-drained soil. This plant loves its soil to stay relatively moist. Additionally, adequate drainage is crucial to avoid fungal diseases, root rot, and other issues.

These are some soil options we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

For this Tulsi, you’ll need a soil pH of around 6.0 to 7.5. If you are concerned about the pH of your soil, you can purchase a basic pH meter device online.

If the pH of your soil is relatively high, you can adjust the acidity by adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

If the pH of your soil is insufficient, you can add baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash.

Water

The frequency of watering will vary based on the soil temperature and humidity in your plant’s surroundings.

Avoid overwatering your great Basil. Water deeply and thoroughly, and whenever the soil is dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a drink. Water directly on the soil and take care not to wet the foliage so you can avoid fungal diseases.

Allow the water to flow through the bottom of the pot. Remember to empty the collection tray if your plant is sitting in one.

Light

Basil prefers 6-8 hours of full sun per day. Remember, you’re trying to copy its growing conditions in Southern Asia. Placing this plant in a south-facing window that is sunny for most of the day works well in most situations.

You’ll know your Basil is getting too much light when its small leaves will begin turning yellow or brown and dry out. Conversely, if it doesn’t get enough light, it loses its color and dies quickly.

Avoid clustering Basil.

Fertilizer

A well-balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate fertilizer is ideal for the Albahaca. Plant Food & Fertilizer Liquid Concentrate by Covington Naturals, for example, would work. During the summer, feed your plant every 4-6 weeks.

Propagating Basil

It is possible to propagate great Basil with the right methods. Here are various techniques for propagating this sweet houseplant.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Stem cuttings directly planted in soil are a hassle-free way to propagate your great Basil. It is recommended to propagate this plant when it’s actively growing season during early spring.

1. Cut. Locate a healthy piece of your plant that has new development. Create a 3-inch long cutting with some apparent nodes. To avoid bacterial infection, only use sanitized scissors.

2. Plant. Bury the nodes of the cutting in wet soil. Then, push the dirt around the stem to secure it.

3. Maintain. Moisten the soil often to promote quicker roots. Keep the plant near a window that receives bright, indirect sunlight.

4. Wait. New buds on the upper leaves should appear in around 2-3 weeks. This signifies your cutting has rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Your Albahaca can also be rooted in water with these easy steps:

1. Cut. Make some cuttings with new leaves and about 2-3 nodes.

2. Submerge. With a mason jar or any transparent container, submerge your cutting in water. Cut off any bottom leaves that are below the water level.

3. Maintain. Leave your propagation jar in a well-lit area with a temperature of about 68°F.

4. Refill. To avoid bacterial infection, replace the water every couple of days.

5. Transplant. Once the cutting has grown roots of at least an inch long, move it into damp, sterile potting soil. 

Division

Division is a propagation method typically used for plants which have pups shooting out from the roots.

You can divide the stem clusters of your Tulsi by following these steps:

1. Dig up. Take the plant out of its container. You should be able to see where the plant’s natural divisions are.

2. Separate. With your fingers, gently separate the sections apart. You may need to use shears to cut any entangled roots.

3. Repot. Plant each section in new pots filled with the same soil that they’re used to.

Humidity And Aeration

This savory plant prefers moderate to high humidity between 60% to 65%. If your Basil has curling or crispy leaves that have brown edges, you may consider getting a humidifier. This device is meant to continuously generate steam and considerably increase the humidity in a room.

Temperature

Temperature ranges between 50–80 degrees Fahrenheit is best for your Tulsi as it likes warm weather under a sunny spot.

Sudden temperature changes can be fatal for your Tulsi. During the winter, close windows and seal any openings where cold drafts may enter. Don’t place your plant near appliances that emit heat.

Non-Toxic

Albahaca is not considered toxic to humans, dogs, or cats! This means it’s a terrific selection for your house, whether you have pets or not!

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Here are some of the most prevalent diseases, problems, and pests, as well as treatments for them.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are an annoying yet frequent occurrence on houseplants, especially in  Tulsi. Spider mite damage manifests early as little brown or yellow specks on your plant’s leaves. When the infestation is serious, fine, sticky webs teeming with red bugs may be visible.

Thoroughly scrub every part of your Tulsi to dislodge the spider mites. This must be conducted on a sink, in a tub, or outside. If it doesn’t work, you can smother the spider mites with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil.

If you have several other plants in your house, you may need to isolate your ill plants while you manage the spider mite population.

White Flies

Whiteflies, which are soft-bodied winged insects, are another common problem to the great Basil. While adult whiteflies are normally harmless, they lay eggs that hatch into larvae that will feed on your plant’s leaves.

There are insecticides that can kill whiteflies at all phases of development, but choose one that is safe to spray indoors. Here are some options we recommend:

Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, and neem oil are great organic alternatives too!

Scale Insects

Scales are insects that consume plant sap. How they’re different from other bugs is that the adult scale will fasten and stay on that portion of the plant. Armoured scales are brownish clumps that can grow on a plant’s stems or petioles.

To keep scales from latching onto your Basil, you can mix 500 ml of water and a teaspoon of neem oil and spray it on your plant’s leaves to discourage scales from latching onto your Basil.

Releasing ladybugs or lacewings near your infected plant and allowing them to take care of the problem for you is another option! 

Aphids

Aphids are little insects that eat up the leaves of your Albahaca, causing black and brown spots.

To treat an infestation, apply insecticidal soap or neem oil. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid for example.

Start by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves where aphids can be usually found.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs have the potential to infest your Tulsi. These parasites harm the plant by consuming its nutrients. Mealybugs have the ability to destroy your Tulsi if left untreated.

Your most effective weapon against mealybugs is rubbing alcohol. On touch, it kills mealybugs and turns them transparent brown. Dilute the alcohol with water and spray it directly on the pests.

Brown Leaf Tips

If your great Basil isn’t getting enough moisture, both from the air and from its roots, the edges of its leaves may turn brown. Water your plant on time and make sure the humidity level in its area is appropriate for its demands.

You should also think about how much and how often you apply fertilizer. Overfeeding can burn the foliage of your houseplants, resulting in browning margins on their leaves.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Basil are a typical indication that your plant needs to be watered. Your plant will normally perk back up once it’s watered, and it might also help if humidity is increased around the area.

Be careful! Pest-infested plants may initially have droopy and curling leaves, which might eventually develop other signs like stunted growth, spots, and an overall decline in health. Make sure to always examine the underside of the leaves if you suspect any issues with pests.

Yellow Leaves

Sometimes, you may find yellow leaves on your Albahaca, and it can be a sign of trouble. Moisture stress, inappropriate lighting, nutritional imbalance, irregular temperatures, insect infestations, bacterial or viral infections, and other factors all contribute to this condition.

To pinpoint the problem, evaluate any recent changes in the weather or in the way you care for your plant.

Root Rot

A typical cause of death for the Tulsi is root rot, which occurs when you overwater your plant. Keep in mind that you should only water deeply and thoroughly whenever the soil is dry to the touch.

Insufficient drainage is another source of root rot, and this needs a rich, moist, but well-drained soil that drains well.

When picking a pot for your plant, make sure there are drainage holes to allow excess water to flow through. Unglazed ceramic planters and clay pots can also help absorb moisture from the soil and gently release it into the air.

Similar Plants

Love great Basil? There are different varieties and types of Basil. Here are some other comparable plant options you should try:

Cinnamon Basil – One variety of Basil is cinnamon basil. It is a synonym for Thai basil, a specific cultivar of Thai basil, and a distinct cultivar. The phrase “cinnamon basil” can be used to describe a variety of basil plants.

Purple Basil – A variety of Ocimum basilicum with dark purple leaves is called Osmin purple basil. Smaller, darker leaves set it apart from other purple basil cultivars. Of all the purple basil varieties, its leaves are the darkest. The plant is grown in bright or partly sunny conditions, and it typically reaches a height of 50 centimeters.

Genovese Basil – The leaves of Genovese basil are flatter and taper to a point, and they are slightly larger than those of Sweet Basil. It features glossy, dark green leaves that are more fragrant than sweet Basil.

Conclusion

Basil is a stunning plant and is truly a delight to care for and would be a great addition to your herb garden. It is a fragrant herb usually available in any local supermarket for its culinary uses. There are several basil varieties, but the good news is that basil seedlings are usually easy to plant as long you provide them with adequate hours of sunlight, draining soil, and amount of water, and you follow this basil plant care growing tips for best results. Your labor to care for this plant will be rewarded when you witness new growth and its aromatic leaves unfold.

Can’t get enough of basil plant guides? Check out these other useful articles from Two Peas In A Condo!

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