Basil can be referred to as the crowning jewel of the summer with many species scattered around the warm-regions of the world. The correct way to prune basil. 1. Ample sun also means fewer disease problems and sturdier plants. Keep these tips in mind, and good luck with your next indoor basil project! Don't let the row cover touch the leaves. Pruning basil plants is a quick and simple process, and it's helpful in order to keep the plant healthy, the leaves large, and flavorful once prepared. Cut them back to 1 inch tall and, using a sharp shovel, divide them at their base, making sure to include the roots so each one will fit into the container. Use well-draining planting mix in the containers and plant each herb in a separate pot. As you pinch off leaves, you can encourage the plant to get bushier, rather than taller, which will help keep it from taking up too much space in your house. The leaves that you should remove are those growing on the top of the plant. If you have some compost or fertiliser handy add some to the soil to give your basil a boost. Use mulch to help keep moisture in. Basil is pretty easy to grow. Growing basil plants you bought at the store or caring for homegrown herbs is easy – here’s how to care for them and keep them fresh for longer: Divide your basil plants up among three to four pots. Sun Requirements. Basil is pretty easy to grow. I add basil to many dishes during the summer, but I also find it freezes well in olive oil for use during the winter. Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer. Keep in mind, not all herbs are alike and some respond faster to pruning than others. It's a good idea to amend your soil with compost or other nutrient-rich mulch. Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. The easiest way to follow both rules is to plant in large, deep pots, which means more soil for moisture retention and more real estate for spreading out multiple plants and ensuring adequate air circulation. Clear the ground by cutting off all dead basil stalks near the ground Check the stalks carefully and pinch off all the leaves that have already wilted by cutting them where the stem of the leaves meets the stalk of the basil Start working on the basil stalks with flower by removing every single flower on each plant. It's said they help each other grow, but it may just be for convenience in harvesting. For most home gardeners, it is grown a tender annual plant that lasts only until the first frost and must be replanted every season. Most herbs thrive in sunny Mediterranean-like conditions in well-draining soil. When you’re cooking and decide basil would go great with your recipe, you pluck the basil leaves you want. Re-pot regularly : It doesn’t matter if you grow from seed or buy an established plant from a supermarket, it’s important to re-pot the plant so it can expand to its full width. How to grow basil – harvesting basil leaves. This fast-growing herb thrives equally well in gardens and containers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. When growing indoors, basil is one of those plants that requires warmth from its roots to the outer basil leaves. Once you bother blanching the basil, though, it's worth making the purée and freezing it that way, since it retains so much more flavor with that method. Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Basil has soft, velvety leaves that are easily damaged during harvest. Basil is a great plant to experiment with pruning but you’ll find most plants (like annual flowers) will benefit from a good pruning too. I cut off the large stems with seed pods in them, let them dry then shake out the hundreds of seeds. The size of your plant will depend on the variety, the growing conditions, and how much you harvest. Not all varieties will do this successfully. Once your account is created, you'll be logged-in to this account. Outdoor Happens is reader-supported. Once you have repotted, keep these pro tips in mind, and your new plant is sure to thrive. How to harvest basil . How you prune your basil plant is super important. Also make sure the container has drainage holes. Herbs can grow anywhere: Inside or outside your house. The ideal would be to always have 2 mature basil growing with young basil plants growing in the other 4 spaces. Of sunlight – about 6-8 hours per day all the flavor the water every few days, to it! 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