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How to Grow Basil

Growing Basil in pots, containers, gardens and allotments

Latin Name Ocimum basilicum
Type of Plant Annual
Suitable for Pots, Growbags, Hanging Baskets, Garden beds, Allotments

 Companion Plants      In the Kitchen


Plant Dimensions

Height up to 45cm/ 18"  - Spread up to 20cm/8"

Where to Sow

Indoors in small pots 7.5cm/3" diameter

Sowing time

March/April - temperature   +16C/61F

How to Sow

Very thinly. Cover lightly with compost, water well then place in sealed polythene bags or cover with glass. Water from beneath. Keep compost moist but not very wet.

After Germination

Remove from bags or glass. Place  in light position (out of direct sunlight). Thin to 3 plants per pot when the plants are about 12mm/1/2" tall. This is most easily done with a pair of tweezers.

Growing on -  in Pots

Harden off plants which have been raised indoors and finally move outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Once the plants are established with a good root system, divide into separate plants and pot each up into 15cm/6" pots or 1 per hanging basket. Pinch out growing tips regularly to produce bushy plants.

Growing on -  in open ground

As above but plant the divided plants in growbags, beds or borders 30cm/12" apart. 


Leaves can be picked about 6 weeks after planting. If harvesting for drying, cut the leaves just before the flowers open.

Outdoor grown plants can be potted up in Autumn, before frosts, for use indoors during the winter.

Companion Planting

In the Kitchen

Plant near tomatoes.

Repels Flies and Mosquitoes

Goes particularly well in tomato dishes,  pasta and salads. Use sparingly.

For lots more culinary  information and recipes visit our sister site



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