The process that goes into caring for a plant from seeds in a seedbed to a mature plant differs depending on the plant you have. It can be the different indoor plants you have, and they make your life harder by the day. Since you strive for returns from your plants, it is best to follow the important tips before you pick the plant.
Basil is easy to grow and once you have the tips to grow basil indoors using seeds, then you won’t have to worry about the challenges that come your way during the growing period.
Basil is a herb plant known for its flavor and culinary uses. If you know the taste of food with basil leaves in it, then you will be tempted to grow your own basil. If you decide to grow, don’t worry, the process is easy and straightforward.
How to grow basil indoors Using seeds
Basil is a plant for summer conditions. It requires warm conditions with the right amount of sunlight. The best time to grow this plant outdoor is in the late so that it can thrive during summer and when the temperatures start to drop, it will die, and you have to wait for the next season.
However, if you are indoor planting, then you can start at any time of the year, but you have to ensure it receives enough light even with artificial lighting. It should get at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight on a window facing south. The temperatures should range from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Requirements to grow basil indoors
For you to grow basil indoors using seeds, you need to have supplies to help you in the growing period. Let’s look at the supplies you need for your indoor garden;
A container is required to hold the soil you will use to plant basil. There are different materials of containers you can choose from. You can have a plastic container, a clay pot, or a DIY container made from timber. The things to consider when looking for a container is;
- the location you are placing (hanging the pot or placing it on table),
- the purpose (beauty or ambiance),
- the number of plants in the pot (you can plant 3 plants in a 12-inch, or 1 plant in an 8 -inch pot),
- Style of the plant.
The pot you choose will serve you best according to your preference.
Soil is important when you are planting indoors. Some people opt to use garden soil. It is advisable to use commercial potting soil because it has the necessary requirements that you need for the growth of basil.
Potting soil is made of a mixture of peat moss, pine bark, perlite, and vermiculite
Since you are starting from seeds, purchase basil seeds from your local store.
As you know, basil requires more lighting than any other plant. Because you are planting it indoors, and you won’t get enough sunlight from outside, you need a lighting system to act as a source of light.
You can purchase fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems to help you grow the plant. You can purchase this system from your local store.
How to grow basil from seeds
Growing from seeds is an easy way to plant basil. It’s a simple process that enables you to garden even when it’s not summer. Once you have the material above, you can the step-by-step process of planting basil.
Step 1: Starter pot preparation
When you are preparing a pot, avoid using a pot that you used on a different plant. Use a new container. Or, if you choose to have a used pot, clean it with hot water and disinfect it with alcohol to remove any contaminants from the previous plant.
Add potting soil into the soil to about ¾ full to 1-inch from the top of the pot. Moist the soil and mix the soil. Add a small amount of fertilizer to the soil. Then the soil is ready for seeds.
Step 2: Add basil seeds to each pot
Place the seeds in your hand and pick them as you place them in the center of the pot. Depending on the container you have, you can place two to three seeds in each pot. This way you can get the healthy one and remove all the other seeds when they start to mature.
Step 3: Cover the seeds and water
After placing the seed, cover it with ¼ inch of dry starter soil. Then, gently water it with a spray to mist the soil. You can use a spray bottle to ensure you spray the water gently on the soil.
Step 4: Provide humidity
You can keep humidity in the pot by covering the container with plastic wrap. The plastic ensures that the plant’s humidity doesn’t escape, and it is always warm.
After covering, don’t water. Leave the plant in a location with a temperature of approximately 70 degrees F for 7 to 10 days. After that, seeding will start to emerge from the soil. Remove the plastic wrap and water the plant until the soil is moist.
Step 5: Remove weak seedlings
Once leaves start to appear on each plant, check the plant to separate the strongest seedlings from the weakest. Remove the weak ones by pinching with your hands, and ensure you don’t disturb the roots of the other seedlings.
Step 6: Transplant
The next step after the seeds has grown is to move them to a growing pot. Place a plant in an 8-inch pot or three plants in a 12-inch pot. Make sure you transplant the best-growing plants only. When you have more than one plant in a container, place them 8 inches apart for high yields.
Step 7: let the plant grow
After transplanting, place the pot where you want it and let it grow. Ensure you water the soil to keep it moist, and the plant has access to more than six hours of sunlight a day.
How to plant basil plant from stem cuttings
- Cut about 4-inches of stem below the node of the basil plant. Then remove the leaves from the bottom of the stem and leave the rest.
- Pour water into a glass and place the stem in the glass. Placing it in water allows it to generate new roots.
- Fill a pot with moist soil.
- Once the roots develop, plant them in the soil and care for them as they grow.
Tips to grow basil indoors with seeds
For you to have a fresh and healthy basil plant, follow these tips when caring for your plant.
Provide the plant with artificial lighting
Since you are indoors, and you are likely to have days without the sun, it is better to find an artificial bulb that can provide your plant with 12 hours of continuous sunlight. Keep the plant away from the bulb, about 3 to inches from the top. If you place it near the plant, it can burn the leaves.
Temperature and humidity
For a plant that requires constant exposure to the sun, the temperature and humidity should match the summer environment. That means the room should be warm at all times because cold temperatures can kill the plant.
During the cold season, ensure that the room has a temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and place the plant away from the window. When it comes to humidity, you should moisten the plant occasionally.
Moisten the plant by placing it in a container containing wet river rocks. It will add moisture to the surrounding environment.
Watering the plant
The amount of water you give to a plant differs depending on the period. During summer or high-temperature seasons, give the plant more water and ensure the soil is always moist. But, during winter, check first if the soil is dry before you add it to the plant. Don’t let the soil dry for you to water the soil.
During the cold season, the plant reduces its metabolic activity, thus using less water. Adding more water can result in overwatering the plant, which causes stress to the roots.
Pruning in a basil plant involves harvesting grown leaves. To keep your basil growing, you need to remove extra leaves so that you can leave enough room for the many others to grow.
Remove the top individual leaves from the plant when pruning. If you don’t start pruning early, it will start growing flower buds, which will result in the plant using all its energy to grow the flower. This can result in the flavor of the basil leaves changing.
Cut off the flower buds once they start growing. This way, the plant only produces healthy leaves. So, pruning can help you keep the flavor intact.
A good container
It is important that you use a good container for your plants. It should have good drainage and air circulation holes. If the container can’t drain off excess water, the water will block air holes, which will result in the growth of fungi on the roots. This can kill the plant if not found early.