How to grow basil at home

Basil is one of the most popular herbal plants in Western cuisine and is sold fresh as a whole plant in almost every supermarket. However, the basil plant usually only lasts for a few dishes and is thus quickly used up. So if you cook with it often, you will have to dig deep into your pocket in the long run. Basil offshoots are very easy to grow at home. Anyone can do it and they taste at least as good as those from the supermarket. Usually, home-grown vegetable plants and herbs taste even a little better.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how easy it is to grow basil offshoots so you'll never have to buy a new plant from the supermarket again.

Cut off a few shoots of basil

To grow your basil, of course, you first need to buy a fresh basil plant. Once you have it ready, simply cut off a few shoots with scissors and place them in a large glass of water. It is helpful if you do not cut them exactly straight, but at an angle (e.g. 45°). This way your cut edge has a larger surface and can absorb more water.

Basilikum Blätter
Basil plant. Source:

Place the shoots next to a window

Of course, by cutting the basil shoots, you do a lot of damage at first. Therefore, it is important that they get extra light in the next few days to have enough energy for healing and root formation. If you have enough space in front of your kitchen window, this is the optimal place for the popular herbs. Just be careful not to leave them in blazing sun for hours on end. This can harm the leaves due to the large amount of heat generated and dry out the water glass faster.

Plant the offshoots in a small pot

After a few days, the offshoots of your basil will already have formed roots. When they are a few centimeters long, you can carefully remove them from the water jar and place them in a small pot with ordinary potting soil. Or feel free to just collect some soil from outside. Scoop a small dip in the soil and carefully place the roots in it. If the roots are too long for the hole, you can spiral them. Now a little soil over the roots, a little shot of water and we're done!

Alternatively, you can grow your basil shoots outside in the garden. The ideal place for this is, of course, a raised bed, ideally with a cover that ensures windlessness and some warmth. Basil does not really grow below 10°C (50°F). In winter you should rather continue your cultivation indoors.

Basilikum Pflanzen Zucht im Gewächshaus
Many basil plants in a greenhouse. Source:

Care for your basil offshoots

Basil plants die shortly after they have formed their flowers. However, you can counteract this by cutting off the flower shoots as soon as you notice them. At the same time, this will also lead to the formation of more leaves, which you can use for cooking! Of course, you cannot stop the aging process completely. But if you cut off new shoots in time, you can keep your basil growing forever.

I wish you the best of luck growing your own basil! Next you can read how to use pumpkin as a fertilizer. Or you can find out how to grow oregano and rosemary yourself.

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