Grow basil in pot

Growing basil in pots indoors, our tips

If there is an aromatic plant to have absolutely in his kitchen, it is basil! With its great variety of taste and fragrance, this small indispensable plant is also easy to grow in pot. What should I know about basil? How to plant basil in a pot? What are the good gestures to maintain it? When is the right time to harvest the leaves? What other varieties of basil should be discovered? We tell you everything!

What should I know about basil?

Basil is an aromatic herb native to south-east Asia that particularly enjoys sunny areas. Its cultivation invades the Mediterranean lands to satisfy the typical scented recipes of this part of Europe.

Originally from the lamiaceae family, basil grows annually. Its thin stems can reach a height of 50 cm, with a dense and generous foliage composed of small edible green oval leaves. Depending on the variety, the plant reveals pretty white or purplish flowers throughout the beautiful spring season.

Basil is certainly used in the kitchen, to colour a beautiful summer salad or to give a warm scent to delicious gratin dishes, but this aromatic herb, as well as its flowery tops, is also perfect for decoction or herbal tea.

Potted basil
Potted basil

Plant basil in pot, shade or sun?

In order to produce as much gasoline as possible, potted basil needs to be located in a sunny location. 

So, if you have a balcony or terrace with a south-facing exposure, in this case, your potted basil will have its place. Then choose terracotta pots that are more aerial and porous than plastic pots. The ideal is to use smart pots in geotextiles that promote the growth of roots and therefore of your plants.

How to maintain the basil in pot?


Watering of the basil in pot is done regularly, but moderately. Although the plant likes to be exposed in full sun, a water intake in fine rain once a week is enough in summer.

During the winter, it is best to put your herbs inside your home to preserve them from winter frosts, unless you live in the southern regions. During this period, the plant requires only one watering per month, always in very measured quantities.

Also, it is important to bring them a special vegetable garden fertilizer from the beginning of spring to prepare your basils and provide you with the best flavors in summer! 

Diseases of basil

  • Fusarium head blight is a common disease found on basil leaves that turn brownish. This is due to the proliferation of a fungus following too much watering. The solution is to remove the plant and get rid of the soil.
  • Downy mildew is a phytopathology that is characterized by the yellowing of the leaves of your basil. The most effective treatment to stop downy mildew is to brush the plant with a mixture of bicarbonate and warm water. Also remember to clean your gardening tools after each use.

How to harvest and store basil?

The harvest of basil in pot is done as and when you need it throughout the vegetative period, that is from March to October. To do this, simply cut the leaves at their base, this allows you to preserve the fragrance and flavors of the rest of the plant until the next harvest.

When it comes to preserving your basil, there are several options :

  • You can dry the leaves and reduce them into sequins so you can use them throughout the year. To do this, clean the leaves perfectly by cutting the stems at their base. Dry with paper towel and leave in the air for one hour. Then place your sheets on parchment paper and bake at 70° for 30 to 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the drying time, which varies depending on the power of your appliance!
  • You can also freeze your basil leaves in a jar. To do this, cut your leaves and place them in the ice cube tray with a little water. Once the cubes are formed, you can store them in a larger freezer bag. Our tip: make your own herbs! Add garlic, parsley, thyme and olive slices to your cubes and replace the water with tomato sauce. This promises quick and easy pasta dishes for hungry gourmets after a long day of work!

The different varieties of basil

Lemon Basil

Lemon basil has the particularity of having a powerful citrus scent. This intense flavor fades during cooking, which is why it is better to use it in your salads or to flavor your salmon sandwiches.

Cinnamon Basil

Cinnamon basil is ideal for adding a touch of plant colour to your desserts. Chopped on a fruit salad, or just delicately placed on a chocolate fondant, you can also surprise your guests with a cinnamon basil sorbet!

Liquorice Basil

Licorice basil is delicious in herbal tea. Specifically to keep you warm during the cool evenings of autumn and winter. Accompany the aromatic plant with a chamomile or lemon verbena to offer you a delicious moment of relaxation.

Sacred Basil

Also called Tulsi, sacred basil has antioxidant properties that help the body fight anxiety, stress and oxidative aging. Consumed in herbal tea, also helps to find a restful sleep.

The essential points to remember: Pot basil is one of the essential aromatic plants in a kitchen. Its multiple varieties allow you to choose the ones that inspire you the most, whether it is to season a salad, perfect a dish in sauce or sublimate a dessert. And to finish your meal in style, let yourself be tempted by a good hot herbal tea to transport you to the most absolute serenity.