Basil can be grown indoors or outside. Correct watering for your herbs depends on the type of soil, the temperature and where it has been planted.
Pots and containers are a good way to start growing basil. First, make sure that the pots you’re using have drainage holes so any excess water can run through and you avoid overwatering your plant. Rotting roots are a common problem and these tend to happen because basil is being overwatered.
During the warmer months, it’s recommended to water basil every three days to avoid the soil drying out too much. However, if your pot is in a slightly shadier spot, you may find watering every four days adequate. Most store-bought basil plants come in black plastic pots. These transfer heat more readily when placed in sunlight. It’s best to transfer your basil to a ceramic, clay or terracotta pot immediately to avoid the soil drying out too quickly.
So how do you know when it’s time to water?
- Check how moist the soil is by touching it with your fingers. If it still feels very moist, there’s no need to water. If the soil feels somewhat dry, you can add some water. This should help you work out how frequently you need to water the basil.
- Once your basil has grown to more than 10 inches and things are beginning to look a little crowded, repot your plant to a larger pot. Because a larger pot can store more water, you may find that you’ll be watering a little less often. But it’s best to keep checking using the soil test.
- If you’ve recently planted basil, you should water the seedlings every two days, or even daily, if the temperatures are very hot and you find that the soil dries out too quickly.