Basil herb plant is a green leafy one that is hard to kill and can spread almost like wildfire. This, like most of the others, has been around for centuries, and because this herb is so versatile, there are many different kinds of Basil.
A few of them are Sweet Basil, which we will be talking about now, Cinnamon Basil, Genovese Basil, Purple Basil, Spicy Globe Basil, etc…
How to Grow Basil Herb Plant
- You can grow basils from seeds indoors or outdoors or buy already started ones from a store. It can also be transplanted which will be covered below shortly.
- Wash your pots or containers properly which you’ll be using and ensure there are holes to allow for proper drainage. You don’t want to have waterlogged plants.
- Make sure the soil’s pH stays between 6.0 and 7.5.
- Fertilizing can help with this as you’ll need to possibly do this regularly to maintain your pH levels.
- Also, the soil should be moist for basil, but not diluted to allow the water to pool. Let the dirt be too wet and you’ll get root rot.
- The herb basil grows faster than most, so keep this in mind when growth begins.
- Make sure it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
- Prune your Sweet Basil (aka the most common type of Basil) regularly. This promotes growth and allows you to have more Basil for use and who doesn’t want that?
- This plant can reach up to 6 inches or taller when fully grown!
Basil herb plant care
You can start new Basil plants with cuttings. These cuttings should be made from the upper part of the plant. Some will remove any leaves off the stem, leaving the top 3 leaves before soaking them in a jar of water to raise new roots. This water may need to be changed daily, so I found a second way to enhance the roots that could be done easier with less maintenance:
Purchase yourself a package of cheap 1 dollar plastic cups. Or you can use pots, but the cups are disposable, so if you fail with cutting, you can just pitch it; no cleaning required!
You’ll need a dish or something to place these cups inside. It’s also recommended that you use a plastic, roster chicken container that you can buy from a store as it already has a cover and is generally the right size for the plastic cups.
If you use a container without a lid, you can set up something on each corner and cover the dish with plastic wrap.
Pruning Process for Basil:
Have yourself a knife or scissors to make clean cuts of the stems. If you damage the stems that will have at least the top three leaves, possibly other leaves farther down, then root rot is more likely than root growth.
Next up, you’ll need to stab holes into the bottom of your plastic cups before filling your tray or container with the cheap cups. You’ll need to make sure you do this, or you won’t have proper draining. Fill the glasses with moist dirt. Make sure it’s moist and not too wet, or you’ll have yourself some rotting Basil. You could also get mold if it’s too wet.
Stick your Basil herb plant cuttings into the dirt securely. If you have left the lower leaves on the stem, then you’ll have a higher chance of roots forming, so don’t be afraid to bury them some.
Cover the container and place it in a spot where it can get enough sun but not too much. You don’t want a cooked Basil before it gets growing. The lid should be on it lightly so it can get air but also maintain moisture. Add water when needed to ensure the soil stays moist.
Remove the basil from the plastic cups once you start to see new growth or continued growth on the plant. When successful and able to transplant it to a permanent pot or spot for it to grow and flourish. If it looks like it has died, then just pitch it and try again.
Now onto the general care for any healthy growing Basil! You’ll want to prune this plant not only because it can promote growth; taking off mature leaves for use will spur this growth to continue. Also, taking off the flowers is important. If you don’t prune off the flowers, you’ll have bland tasting Basil, and no one wants that.
Watch out for root rot. If you have this, you most likely have too much water, or somehow the roots became too moist. Mold is another problem to watch out for. Not likely, but it can happen. If it does happen, treat it as recommended by your plant professional.
Medical Uses of Basil:
Like most plants in the past and even today, this has its own positive side for medical benefits. Here’s a few of them and how to use them:
This herb is used as an ingredient in some medicines such as pills or capsules, so just read the label or ask the pharmacist. A few sicknesses these medicines can help relieve are:
- Improving circulation of the limbs and body.
- Increasing your immune function which is always a plus.
- Reduction in inflammation
- Heart protection
- Blood detoxification
- Stomach cramps
- You can also drink Basil Tea to help with these ailments including these others:
- Blood clotting
For the clotting of the blood, it was proved to work for some people that eating basil after they got a cut helps to decrease the bleeding. If you have a serious and deep cut, you can eat some Basil leaves but should probably go to the ER to get evaluated though.
How to Cook Basil:
This basil herb plant is most often used as an additive for taste and for its health benefits. Here are a few ways to use this versatile green leaf:
- Mix it in with tomato base cooking towards the end for light added flavor.
- Most commonly is done with spaghetti or tomato soup.
- Take several leaves inside of cloth and boil to make homemade Basil tea. You can buy teabags that already have the leaves dried inside and ready to go.
- You can also take bundles of Basil, tie them together at the stem, and hang them upside down for them to air dry. Doing this will allow you to freeze the Basil for later use. You also can give some to friends and family.