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Basil Cultivation: A Complete Guide to Grow Tulsi at Home

Basil is one of the simplest herbs to grow at home. With right planting, upkeep, and harvesting techniques, you can have this medicinal herb throughout the year.

Sonali Behera
Basil can be readily multiplied by cutting a little piece from an established plant
Basil can be readily multiplied by cutting a little piece from an established plant

Basil is a flavourful, adaptable and incredibly well-liked herb. It grows well in warm climates, is simple to cultivate, and tastes great. It is a lovely accent to a variety of gourmet meals and is almost exclusively associated with salads and pasta served throughout the summer. It thrives in both in-ground and container gardening. Basil tastes much better than it smells.

Basil Description

Common Name

Sweet basil

Botanical Name

Ocimum basilicum



Plant Type 

Perennial or annual herb


18–24 in. tall and wide

Sun Exposure

Full sun (likes some shade in very hot climates)

Soil Type

Somewhat rich soil

Soil pH

5.1–8.5 (acidic to alkaline)

Bloom Time

June to frost

 Basil Planting Season

Basil can be planted as early as two weeks after the last frost when the soil temperature is between 50° and 70° F — the warmer, the better. It can also be sown in the summer.


Put basil in a location with lots of sunlight. The recommended amount of sunlight is between six and eight hours.

Propagating Basil from Roots

Basil can be readily multiplied by cutting a little piece from an established plant. Put the cutting simply in a transparent glass of water with the cut side facing up, and place it somewhere sunny. Root growth will rapidly occur as long as the water is changed every other day. The basil is ready to be planted when the roots are at least 2 inches long.

Growing In Containers

Use a fairly large pot when planting basil in a container. A developing basil plant can suffer if a little container of soil is dried out during a hot summer day. The plant will require watering more often in a smaller container.


Basil prefers rich, wet soil that drains well and has a pH between 6 and 7. Compost, cottonseed meal, or blood meal can be used to enrich the soil with a sufficient amount of organic nutrients.


If planting multiple basil plants, place them approximately 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for growth.


Large beds or planting boxes can only require watering every three to four days or so. You might need to modify how frequently you irrigate depending on the hot or rainy days throughout the summer.


Basil should be routinely picked, so fertilization isn't something you need to worry about too much.

Harvesting and Storing of Basil

One of the best things about basil is that there is no true, set harvest season; you can just pick what you need when you need it. The wonderful thing is that basil plants produce more the more you harvest. Harvesting often will maintain full, rounded plants. Harvest the plant before it "bolts," or goes to seed. The leaves of basil can taste bitter as it goes to seed.

How to Harvest?

When the basil plant is between 6 and 8 inches tall, you may start harvesting it. Snip as much basil as you like just above the intersection of two larger leaves. To guarantee uniform growth, harvest the entire plant in an even circle.

How to Store for Later Use?

You can use basil straight from the plant. Additionally, it can be kept for later use. Basil leaves may be kept fresh for a long time by drying, freezing, or preserving them in vinegar. Oil can also be used to provide flavour. Naturally, don't forget to make pesto as well. If kept in the refrigerator, fresh basil leaves will keep in water for a few days.

Care and management

Tip 1: Irrigate frequently and consistently. Maintain soil moisture for optimum development. For optimal outcomes, drink water first thing in the morning. Mulch around the plant might assist keep moisture inside if you live in an area that gets more heat or are experiencing a heat wave.

Tip 2: Harvest frequently to promote fresh growth.

Tip 3: When a basil plant begins to blossom, the basil leaves lose flavour and the plant stops growing. The delicious basil flavour will reappear in a few days after the blooms are removed, though.

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