How to Grow Basil

Supercharge your cooking with home-grown herbs

Zoë Poulsen


Photo by Gisela Kretzschmar on Unsplash

One of the mainstays of Mediterranean cooking, basil is a highly versatile herb that has a range of culinary uses in many different cuisines.

For the freshest herbs with the shortest distance from the plant to the cooking pot, growing your own makes all the difference. One well pruned plant can supply you with around half a cup of basil per week.

Growing your own herbs at home also saves money, as well as removing the need for the single use plastic that is used to package ready cut herbs sold in most supermarkets.

So how do you go about growing your own basil? Let’s take a closer look.

An Easy Growing Herb for your Windowsill or Garden

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

If you live in a colder climate and have access to a sunny windowsill, then growing basil indoors in a container with well-drained compost can be a great option.

For maximum growth and plant health, you’ll want your basil plants to receive around six hours of sunlight per day.

In areas with warmer climates and during the summer months in cooler areas, basil can be grown outdoors in containers and planted into backyards in fresh produce gardens.

Basil grown outdoors enjoys being planted in frost free areas with well drained fertile soils that receive morning sun in areas with relatively hot conditions, and in full sun under cooler conditions.

How to Propagate Basil

Photo by おにぎり on Unsplash

If one basil plant just isn’t enough for your culinary needs, and you need more plants to keep up with your passion for pesto, you can easily grow more basil plants at home.

Basil can be grown from seeds and cuttings. Propagation from cuttings is one of the quickest and easiest methods, and allows you to grow more of a specific basil variety you may particularly…



Zoë Poulsen

Botanist, freelance writer and conservationist based in Cape Town at the heart of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region.