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Growing basil indoors.

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It's easy to grow basil indoors.

I've grown basil (Ocimum basilicum) indoors, no problem. All you need is a south-facing window (well, perhaps not in Florida...) and daily watering.

I'd had trouble germinating other Lamiaceae (like lavender and rosemary), so I thought that only 1 in 100 basil seeds would germinate, too. So I sprinkled one pot with all the seeds in a seed packet.

And they all sprouted.

That gave me a forest of 50 or so tiny basils. Culling them as they grew (using the culls in the kitchen of course), I ended up with 3 very large plants. It said on the seed packed, "max 50 cm tall" (about 1 1/2'), but these went over a meter. Could be the fertilizer, could be the sunny south-facing window. That was normal "genovese" basil, the simple, large-leaf, light green stuff.

Basils are short-lived perennials if you snip the flowerstalks as they appear. They did get ratty-looking in winter, with insect damage and such, but after a severe cut in spring and a change of dirt they grew back, lush and big, when the light came back in spring.

They did need daily watering, even though they were in a 10-liter (2.5 gallon) bucket at the end.

These three basil plants produced a lot of leaf, partly because I kept snipping them, partly because they were basils. They produced so much that I grew tired of basil at one point (it started to taste of soap, to me) and cut them down. Drying the leaf off those plants gave me 3 liters basil leaf... they were simply huge.

Comments

Ahh... isn't fresh basil just the most divine? I've not had a whole lot of luck growing it indoors... we don't have a good south exposure and my plants grow but are gangly with tiny leaves that quickly yellow and fall off...

You ever tried using the fresh plant for those folks who've smoke too much dope? Pretty good for that... dispels brain fog...

Haven't tried it for that, but I'm told miso soup works nicely, too.

I use everyday culinary herbs to pull people down out of the clouds. Salvia, peppermint, chamomile and the like.

Is this a typo? You say:
Basils are short-lived perennials if you snip the flowerstalks as they appear.

No typo. They're annuals, except if you snip the flowers - and keep the plants from all frost.

So if i keep it inside it should stay alive?

If 1) your house is half a dozen degrees above freezing, and 2) you keep on snipping off all the flowerstalks: yep.

My mother does have basilplants indoors that are clones of a plant that she bought years ago.
Yes, she always snips of the flowerstalks, and in late summer she takes cuttings to slip (is that the correct English word? My dictionary says so, but is sounds weird to me).
I never tried... I like waiting during winter for the new fresh herbs, and in spring I sow different kinds of basil in our greenhouse...



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