Basil is one of those fantastic plants that not only tastes great but is also really easy to care for. However, basil is a delicate herb that needs just the right amount of water to stay healthy and thrive. If you water your basil too little or too much, the leaves will begin to yellow, and the plant will eventually die.
How can you tell if it’s getting enough water? And how often should you water your basil? Read on to find out!
Some Facts About Basil
Basil is an herb that has a long and storied history. The name “basil” comes from the Greek word for king, and it has been used for centuries in cultures around the world for culinary purposes and was also considered a medicinal and religious plant. Today, basil is still revered as a powerful ingredient with a wide range of health benefits.
Basil has a strong flavor, is often used in Mediterranean dishes, and is a good source of vitamin K and beta-carotene. This is a great herb to have on hand in the kitchen, as it can add flavor to many different dishes. Try adding basil to pasta sauce, salads, soups, or stews. You can also use basil to make pesto or chimichurri sauce. Fresh basil leaves can be used to make tea or added to smoothies or juices.
Basil can be grown indoors or outdoors and prefers to grow in full sun. It is a relatively easy herb to grow and can be started from seed or cuttings.
How Often to Water Your Basil
The answer to this question depends on several factors. They include the type of soil in which your basil is growing, the temperature and humidity levels in your grow space, and whether your basil is growing in a pot or in your garden.
In general, you should water your basil every seven to 10 days, ensuring that the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Basil plants need about 1 inch of water a week.
If your basil is in a pot, check the soil regularly and water as needed. Soil in pots dry out more quickly than in the ground, so you may need to water more often.
When watering basil, it’s better to err on the side of too little rather than too much. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons basil plants die: it can cause root rot. Also, make sure not to get the leaves wet when you water since this can also encourage disease.
So, make sure you check the soil before watering and only give your plant as much water as it needs. Your basil will thank you for it!
How To Care For Your Basil Plant
When it comes to basil, there are a few key things to remember to keep your plant healthy and flourishing.
- Watering is probably the most critical aspect of care. As mentioned above, keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Basil likes lots of sun, so be sure to place it in a bright spot — at least six hours of direct sunlight per day is ideal.
- Fertilize properly. If your basil plant is in the ground, fertilize it once or twice per growing season, using a 5 – 10 – 5 fertilizer. If your plant is in a container, use a liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, each four to six weeks for your indoor plants and every three to four if your plants are outdoors.
- Lastly, pinch off any flowers that appear; this will help encourage leaf growth.
With just a little TLC, you’ll have a beautiful basil plant that will provide you with delicious leaves all summer long!
Different Varieties Of Basil
Ocimum basilicum, otherwise known as sweet basil or common basil, is a delicious and aromatic herb that is commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. This versatile herb can be used in various ways, from chopped up and added to salads or pasta dishes to being used as a pesto or sauce base. This is the most common variety of basil in the US.
Lemon basil is used in Indonesian, Lao, and Thai cuisine in curries, soups, and stir-fries. This basil has a strong lemon scent and flavor with a hint of basil spice. The leaves are also used fresh or dried in many salads and potpourri. Lemon basil also makes a great tea.
Cinnamon basil has a pungent, spicy flavor and aroma. The leaves are used to flavor jellies and vinegar.
Thai basil is a popular herb used in many Thai dishes. It has purple stems and an intense, licorice-like flavor. It’s often used to flavor stir-fries, curries, and soups.
Water With Care
So, how do you know when to water your basil? The best way to determine if your basil needs water is to check the soil. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink. Another thing to remember is that while basil likes its soil moist, it doesn’t want to be wet. Too much water will kill your plant just as quickly as too little water! Do you have any tips or tricks for watering basil? Share them in the comments below!