How to Care for Basil Plant Indoors | Basil at Home, Planting, and Care

How to Care for Basil Plant Indoors

By growing basil at home, you can provide yourself and your family members with year-round spicy greens. In addition to excellent taste, seasoning has a number of valuable beneficial properties for the human body.
But in order to get the desired harvest, it is important to know how to properly plant basil and what conditions to observe when growing this crop indoors. After all, basil is a rather demanding plant, especially to heat, light, and moisture.

To minimize errors when planting and caring for basil at home, it is more rational to first study the material below.

How to Care for Basil Plant Indoors

Basil at home, plant description

Basil is a popular genus of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the Lamiaceae family.Types of basil bushes are similar.
  • In its natural environment, basil grows in tropical and temperate climates. Africa is considered the birthplace of fragrant grass.
  • A popular food spice, basil is also known as rayon, Reyhan, Regan, or fragrant cornflower.
  • The root of the basil is superficial, and the stem is straight, branched, and densely leafy.
  • Oval, serrated basil leaves are covered with sparse hairs and may be green or purple in color.
  • Inconspicuous small basil flowers of white, light pink or purple color, are collected in an inflorescence spike or brush.
  • The fruit of basil is nuts. Seeds remain viable for about 5 years.
  • Outwardly, the fragrant herbal spice resembles a small lush bush, 15-80 cm high, depending on the variety.

Useful properrties of basil

  • The main advantage of spicy grass is its pronounced aroma, due to the presence of a complex essential oil in the plant.
  • The plant contains various useful nutrients (C, PP, B2,), minor ingredients, carotene, phytoncides, provitamin A, rutin, etc. Due to the complex of useful substances, basil stimulates the immune system and has a bactericidal, antipyretic, tonic, and antioxidant effect.
  • Basil food is especially useful for viral, incurable and respiratory diseases.
  • In addition to its therapeutic effect, basil has a general strengthening effect on the body, improves memory, stimulates mental activity, and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Aromatic spice perfectly copes with inflammatory processes in the oral cavity (caries, tartar, stomatitis), and neutralizes bad breath.
  • The use of basil is shown in people suffering from flatulence or gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Basil is widely used in food, as a seasoning to improve the taste. Purple varieties of basil are considered the most fragrant. They are especially popular in the Caucasus and Asia. Green varieties are more in demand in European and Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Basil also has contraindications. So, it is not recommended to abuse this space for people with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, thrombophlebitis, and vegetative dystonia.
 

Types and varieties of basil

In culture, there are a huge number of different varieties of basil, differing in smell, color, the appearance of the bush, and ripening time.

The most popular types of basil are:
  • Camphor (fragrant)
  • Purple (ordinary)
  • Green leaf
  • Mexican (brown)
  • Spoon-shaped (salad-leaved)
  • Large
  • Small-leaved
  • Puchkova
  • Lemon (Thai)
For home-grown basil, it is best to choose low-growing varieties with small leaves of basil, which do not have the structure of tall (up to 0.5 m) shrubs.

Consider the most common and popular varieties of this series:
  • Marquis - Medium initial classification, reaching the level of something like 25 cm. The bushes are compact, and spherical in shape. Green leaves have a bright clove-pepper flavor.
  • Basilisk is an early ripening undersized variety, no more than 20-25 cm high. It has a pronounced peppery-clove aroma.
  • Dwarf - grows no more than 10-18 cm in height, it happens with green or purple leaves. It is considered a popular aromatic herb. It is used both as food and as an ornamental herb.
  • Troll is a small-leaved green-violet variety, growing up to 40 cm in height. A high-yielding variety that is resistant to temperature changes.
  • Clove - medium-sized variety, characterized by an unusual clove-anise smell.
  • Spicy Globe - forms sprawling low bushes with small leaves of a spicy aroma.
  • The philosopher is a low-growing purple variety with a pronounced clove aroma.
  • Bush Minette is a miniature bush variety, great for growing in a pot.
  • Cinnamon - forms small bushes, and has a cinnamon smell.
  • Balconstar is a less developed classification in which small lettuce leaves are more satisfying. Fills pots well on windows.

Of the large leaf representatives of basil, the most famous are the following varieties:
  • Table -Described by the normal size of the hedge and the large light green sensitive leaves. Has high productivity and average terms of maturing.
  • Yerevan is a productive clove-pepper variety. The leaves are medium-sized and purple.
  • Genoese - productive variety, with large, dark green fragrant leaves. The spicy aroma is complemented by subtle minty notes.

When choosing varieties of basil according to the desired aroma, you should pay attention to the following varieties of basil:
  • Lemon, Lemon Aroma, Freshness - have a pronounced lemon aroma.
  • Lemon miracle - a variety with lemon-mint notes.
  • Velvet, Mint Gourmet - varieties that stand out for their bright menthol taste and smell.
  • Karakum, Cinnamon, Cinnamon - have the aroma of cinnamon.
  • Robin Bobin, Rapture, Red Rubin, and Robin Hood are bright representatives of clove varieties of basil.
  • Pomegranate Muscat, Gigolo, Fantazer - varieties with nutmeg - peppery notes of smell and taste.

Basil, planting features at home

By planting basil in an indoor pot, you can have fresh herbs almost all year round. Consider all the features and conditions for growing basil at home. Compliance with the key rules for planting spices will ensure a 100% positive result.

Conditions for planting basil at home
  • Before planting or seeding basil, it is important to take care of the quality soil for the plant. Basil favors light, sandy, loose and fertile soil. If the soil turned out to be scarce, you can correct the situation by a regular top dressing of the plant.
  • Basil needs regular watering. Dirt should be able to penetrate really well and wetness is not bad. Stagnation or excess moisture can cause plant damage. The good water circulation will be ensured by light structured soil or a good drainage layer in a container or flower pot. Fine gravel, crushed stone, or expanded clay is suitable for drainage.
  • Soil composition may vary. Suitable ready-made, purchased, soil mixture or self-prepared substrate. For him, take equal amounts of peat, humus (or compost), and garden soil. Nursery workers - Ground keepers are encouraged to take land for germination of basil, after which it is calcined in a broiler and in this way its germination is guaranteed.
  • A place for growing heat-loving basil in a house is chosen sunny, warm, well-heated, and protected from drafts.
  • Made from basil seeds or cuttings (twigs).

Planting time for basil at home
  • You can grow basil in a pot all year round. The main thing is to create the necessary conditions for the full development of the plant. The most optimal will, of course, be the springtime, when there is an increase in daylight hours and it becomes noticeably warmer. 
  • During this period, it will not be necessary to organize additional lighting and warming of the plant. The sun's rays become more intense and warm well through the window glass.


Rules for planting basil in a pot
  • Basil can be grown directly in a room pot (seeds or cuttings) or transplanted from a vegetable garden (greenhouse).
  • To transplant a plant into a pot, they take a young, non-blooming basil bush and, preserving the natural clod of earth as much as possible, plant it in a prepared flower pot.
  • The plant quickly takes root and blossoms. Experienced flower growers recommend picking flowers so that the bush actively grows green mass.
  • Given the well-developed root system of basil, flowerpots or pots are voluminous and deep.
  • If the indoor basil does not have enough sunlight during short daylight hours, the plant will have to arrange additional lighting. And with a lack of heat - you can wrap the pot in a film.

Reproduction and planting of basil cuttings at home
  • To propagate basil, young shoots or the tops of adult basil bushes are cut with cuttings.
  • The shoots are placed in a container with water for germination for 1-1.5 weeks. The appearance of roots indicates the readiness of the shoots for planting.
  • Sometimes, they practice rooting cuttings directly into the soil substrate, without keeping them in water. Then, the planted cuttings are covered from above with cans or cut plastic bottles. It will speed up the process of survival by watering with a root formation stimulator.
  • The cuttings planted in the ground quickly take root and after 2-3 weeks actively increase the green mass, delighting others with fresh fragrant greens.
  • Plants grown this way will last about 3-4 months. After flowering, the leaves, unfortunately, become unusable and lose their fragrance.

Propagation and planting of basil seeds at home
  • Sowing basil seeds is considered a longer process, but also more productive. Whereas, plant propagation by thin, delicate processes often does not have a positive result.
  • Grown basil bushes from seeds are fully formed only after 8-12 months. But, the lifespan of such a plant will also be much longer.
  • When planting basil seeds in containers or pots, it is important to pre-prepare the soil and drainage.
  • A layer of drainage is laid out at the bottom of the container, about 2 cm thick. Then the soil mixture is poured (humus and peat in a ratio of 1: 2). The soil can be additionally watered with liquid mineral fertilizer
  • Before sowing, the seeds are soaked for 1-2 days in warm water and disinfected in a solution of potassium permanganate for 2 hours. Water should be changed every 10-12 hours.
  • Seeds are placed on leveled moistened soil and covered with a small layer of soil (1-1.5 cm), not reaching the edge of the container by at least 3-4 cm. The distance between the seeds should be about 3-5 cm. thin out.
  • The pot with seeds is covered with a film until the first shoots appear. This greenhouse effect stimulates faster seed germination. It is important not to forget to ventilate the container (lifting the film) and moisten the soil.
  • Basil is a heat-loving plant, so the temperature in the room should be at least +20 - 25 0 ะก.
  • Subject to all conditions, after 1.5 weeks the first shoots will appear. In this and the subsequent period, it is important to provide seedlings with the most favorable conditions: heat, light, loosening, and watering.
  • When the basil bush is large enough, you need to pinch off the top of the basil bush so that it grows in width, not in height.

Basil at home, plant care

Planting and caring for basil requires patience and constant attention. Indeed, if a pot of basil is in a draft, it will stop growing and “wither”, and if the ambient temperature is below +20 C, the plant will begin to lose its valuable spicy aroma.

The winter period of growing spices also requires a special approach. Light day, less than 12 hours, will require additional artificial lighting for the basil, otherwise, the plant simply will not be able to actively develop.

Otherwise, caring for basil includes the usual agricultural activities: watering, loosening, fertilizing, and protection from diseases or pests.

Watering basil at home
Water the plant regularly as the soil dries out. Moderate humidity has a positive effect on the growth of green mass by the plant. Stagnation of moisture is also undesirable, as well as drought. Watering is best done in the morning. Water for irrigation should be separated and warm. Along with watering, you can spray the basil bushes from a spray bottle or watering can. After watering, the soil must be loosened so that a crust does not form.

Feeding basil at home
It is enough to apply complex fertilizers once a month to stimulate the growth of basil foliage. The first feeding is carried out during the period of active vegetative growth of the plant, before flowering. For these purposes, a solution of nitrophoska is used, at the rate of 2 tbsp. fertilizer for 10-12 liters of water.

Diseases of indoor basil
  • Basil is a fairly disease-resistant plant. In rare cases, the culture can be affected by fungal diseases such as black leg, fusarium, and gray rot.
  • Often, these diseases are the result of improper care of basil: excessive and frequent watering, high acidity and poor aeration of the soil, and dense plantings.
  • TThe name of the disease "dark leg" completely reflects the signs of infection, when the stem at the base turns black and the plant kicks the bucket.To cope with the trouble, basil bushes are shed with a solution of manganese, and the affected plants are removed along with a clod of earth. In the acute phase, fungicides (Fitosporin, Topaz, Fundazol) cannot be dispensed with.
  • With Fusarium disease, the stem becomes thinner and darker, and the top of the plant dries up. The presence of light earthy spots on the leaves and various parts of the plant shows a faint rot, basil is treated with an infusion of onion skins or, if unsuccessful, with fungicides.
  • As for pests, there is practically no danger for indoor basil.

Cleaning basil
  • As much as you can expect, you want to constantly remove the blooming basil twigs to get rid of the basil's existence and save every odor of the plant. In addition, the system triggers the expansion of the bumblebee.
  • Similarly, the proper arrangement of the bush depends on the ideal and standard extract of the highest place of basil. The procedure begins to be carried out in the phase of the appearance of 4-6 true leaves and continues as the plant further develops
  • Basil leaves can be dried and ground into powder to make it convenient to use seasoning for cooking various dishes. You can harvest when the plant reaches at least 10-15 cm in height.
  • Tearing a few leaves from a basil bush, you need to choose the oldest, side leaves first. It is important to ensure that there are always at least 4 lower leaves on the plant, otherwise, the basil will stretch upwards instead of bushing properly.
  • Thus, knowing how to properly plant basil and how to properly care for the plant, there will be no difficulties in growing this valuable spicy crop.
  • The main thing to remember is that light and heat-loving basil does not tolerate cold, drought, and, conversely, stagnant moisture. Otherwise, the requirements are similar to many other vegetable crops.
  • For those who will be cultivating basil for the first time at home, it will be appropriate to view a photo of how healthy, well-developed basil grows and looks.
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