Stäng menyn

How to Grow Basil in a Pot

Did you ever try to grow basil in a pot? If you haven't, you definitely should! Simply do a broadcast sowing in a pot and harvest plenty of delicious leaves all spring and summer. Basil can be eaten fresh or frozen and is a fantastic herb to grow a lot of at home.

Grow basil in a pot

Fresh basil leaves is such a delicacy. I often put it on my sandwiches! Keep reading to learn how you can grow basil in a pot.


In my garden, I often try to keep little mental notes of which vegetables are easy or more challenging to grow. If I have a regular repertoire of truly simple vegetables in my beds, then I can save some time and energy needed for the more labor-intensive or demanding plants, and still have a nice mix of vegetables in the garden. It might sound obvious, but it's worth reminding ourselves to have a number of these easy-to-grow veggies. It can overall really make the gardening a lot smoother! In this post, I want to share a ridiculously simple way to grow basil in a pot. This is the perfect little project if you're looking for a quick harvest of a useful, delicious little plant that is easy to grow and store too. Grow basil!


Read more: Get the smart garden tool belt SARA here!


newly sown basil. I grow my basil in a pot.

The seeds are sprinkled on top of moist soil and quickly swell up. The purple little grains on the soil are recently sown basil seeds.


Broadcast sowing

I often grow basil in a pot right in my greenhouse during spring. This is how I do it: You can use plastic or ceramic pots. I usually start by lining my pots with old plant parts from the garden, then I add a layer of bokashi compost and top it off with a layer of compost soil. Then, I water generously until the soil becomes moist, almost to the point of being wet.

Important! Make sure the pot you're using has drainage holes at the bottom, so excess water can drain out.

Now, sprinkle basil seeds on top of the moist soil, quite close together (just not too many in the same spot). You don't need to push the seeds into the soil, just let them rest on the surface. After that, you simply cover the pot with a piece of plastic film or some kind of transparent lid.

When the basil seeds are placed on moist soil, they swell up very quickly and turn almost purple. It actually happens within a few minutes. This is all in order, and the seeds will soon develop tiny sprouts.


Read more: Using mulch and bokashi in pots


I grow basil in pots and cover with plastic.

A simple plastic or fiber cloth over the sowing keeps the soil moist and a little warmer. Basil likes that, and will sprout quickly here.


Basilika som börjat komma upp

The seedlings grow closely together and aren't thinned out. There's plenty of nutrients in the soil from the bokashi compost or other fertilizer, which we put beneath the top layer of soil in the pot.


Kruka full med basilika

Basil thrives in a warm environment, so if it's chilly in the spring, it might be a good idea to place the pot in a warm spot indoors or on a porch or conservatory.


Basilika i kruka

You can start harvesting your basil when the plant is quite small. Pinch off the top of a plant or individual leaves.


Basilika i kruka redo för att skördas

Look at this delicious little basil plant! I put a little drip irrigation system into the pot.


Water, fertilize and harvest

The basil grows quickly in a short amount of time. And the scent is just enchanting! Don't forget to run your hand over the leaves and enjoy the fragrance.

While the basil is growing it the pot, you need to water it regularly. Basil can lose its vigor quickly if the soil starts to dry out, which can cause the plant to bolt. This will in turn make the leaves grow slower or stop growing altogether. Additionally, it's good to occasionally provide a dose of fertilizer in the water, as a little extra encouragement for the plant.


Read more: Gardening for beginners - Growing basil


It doesn't take long before you can start harvesting your first fresh basil leaves! But if you feel very impatient, you can start pinching off individual leaves when they are very small too.

When the plants in the pot grow slightly larger, I usually harvest by snipping the tops of the plants, one or two leaf pairs down the stem. This encourages the basil plant to branch out and you can harvest new leaves later.

You can keep harvesting leaves from your basil plant for quite a long time, but it will eventually start to bolt. When this happens, try cutting down the entire plant as soon as you see the flower bud forming. This can encourage it to create new shoots. If you want a steady and reliable harvest of basil for a longer period, your best bet is to just sow new basil seeds during the summer.

If you get good results growing basil in pots, you can actually freeze some of it and eat later. You can freeze the leaves just as they are, in plastic containers or bags. What I usually do is to blend them into a paste and freeze them in compact little "cakes", layered with parchment paper in-between. It's so easy to just break off a piece for my sauces and pesto.  Very clever, if I may say so myself!


I grow basil in a pot, ready to be harvested in my greenhouse.

I harvest my basil in summer and then freeze it for later. And of course, I use the fresh basil in lots of my dishes. Delicious!

Grow basil in a pot in the greenhouse.

In this little project, the basil doesn't grow thick stalks. The plants are growing so close together, so they will stay delicate and slender until they bolt.

En stor kruka med basilika

Basil is so easy to propagate with cuttings, if you want to create new plants this way. But I actually think it's a lot easier to just sow new seeds in a pot in early summer. Then, you can get a nice harvest after you're done with the first batch.


More: Follow me on YouTube here

Don't you just start to crave basil looking at these pictures? If you can't wait until it gets warmer to sow a large pot outdoors, you can always find a smaller clay pot and do an indoor sowing. I live in zone 3, and most plants grow well in the window from around March. Good luck!
/Sara at Skillnaden's

01. March 2024