Basil plant flowering (Why and What to Do)

flowering basil

You can keep your basil plant from flowering to maintain the leaves’ taste or let it flower and use the basil flowers a number of ways.

Did you know that when a basil plant flowers, its leaves lose their flavor? By following a few simple steps, you can prevent your basil from flowering and keep enjoying those delicious leaves.

If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy basil, why not let it flower and use the beautiful blooms in your cooking? Basil flowers are edible and there are many recipes that call for fresh basil flowers, so get creative and add some flavor to your meals!

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why basil plants flower, and we will also provide some tips on keeping your basil plant from flowering & what to do if your basil plant starts to flower.

Why is my basil flowering?

There are actually a few reasons why basil plants may flower. One reason is that the plant is trying to go to seed. Sometimes called ‘bolting’ because basil is an annual.

This usually happens when the basil plant is stressed, such as when it doesn’t have enough water or nutrients. If this is the case, you should try to give your basil plant more water and/or fertilizer.

Another reason why basil plants flower is because they are getting too much light. Basil plants need about six hours of sunlight per day, so if they are getting more than that, they may start to flower. If this is the case, you should try to move your basil plant to a location where it will get less light.

basil plant flowering

Is basil safe to eat after it flowers?

Yes, basil is safe to eat after it flowers. In fact, the flowers are actually edible and quite tasty. You can add them to salads or use them as a garnish for other dishes.

What to do with basil flowers

Basil flowers can be used in a number of different ways. As we mentioned earlier, they are edible and can be added to salads or used as a garnish for other dishes.

The flower heads may be purple or white depending on the type of basil.

The Kitchen Herbs goes through 8 ways to use basil flowers.

  • Eat basil flowers
  • Make basil flower-infused vinegar
  • Brew some basil flower tea
  • Make basil flower butter
  • Make basil flower pesto
  • Leave them to flower
  • Collect basil seeds
  • Cut and keep them
basil flower vinegar

What to do if my basil plant flowers

Decide if you want to keep the basil plant for the leaves. If you do, then you can try to remove the flowers so that the plant will put its energy into making leaves again.

Pinch off the basil flowers as soon as you see them. Basil plants need to be pruned every two to three weeks.

If you don’t want to keep the basil plant for it’s leaves, then you can let it go to seed and save the seeds for next year. Then use the basil flowers to make something for yourself or as a gift.

How to prevent basil flowering

If you don’t want your basil plant to flower, there are a few things you can do. One option is to cut off the flowers as soon as they appear. This will prevent the plant from going to seed and will also help to keep the basil leaves looking and tasting fresh.

Another option is to try to stress the basil plant less. This means giving it more water and/or fertilizer, and also making sure that it gets the right amount of sunlight. By doing this, you can help to prevent the basil plant from flowering.

flowering basil


Is Basil still good after it flowers?

Yes, basil is still good after it flowers. In fact, the basil flowers are actually edible and quite tasty. You can add them to salads or use them as a garnish for other dishes. Although the taste of the basil leaves changes.

What to do with Basil when it starts flowering

There are a few things you can do with basil when it starts flowering. One option is to cut off the flowers as soon as they appear. This will prevent the plant from going to seed and will also help to keep the leaves looking fresh. Another option is to try to stress the basil plant less by giving it more water and/or fertilizer and making sure that it gets the right amount of sunlight. By doing this, you can help to prevent the basil plant from flowering.
You can also harvest the basil flowers and use them in salads or as a garnish for other dishes. Finally, you can leave the basil flowers on the plant and let them go to seed. Collecting the basil seeds can be done so that you can replant basil in the future.

When should I harvest my basil flowers?

You should wait until the basil flowers are fully open before cutting the stem just below the flower head. You can then store the basil flowers in a vase filled with water or dry them for later use.

More tips for growing your own basil

How to keep basil alive

How often to water basil

Final thoughts on Basil Plant Flowering

So, do you want to keep eating those delicious leaves? Pinch off the flowers. Letting basil flower is a great way to get some free flowers for your home, but it means you won’t be able to harvest any more leaves from your plants.

However, if you have enough plants, this could be a great way to stock up on some beautiful flowers for arrangements or flavored edible delicacies.

How often to water basil

watering basil plant

Basil is a thirsty plant- but this does not mean it is good to overwater it. Learning how often to water basil is part of basil plant care that I love to share here at Herb Growing Guide.

Whether you have indoor basil plants or purchased a supermarket basil pot, being able to harvest basil from your own homegrown organic herb garden is a luxury that can take your home cooking food to the next level with fresh basil leaves. Knowing how often to water your basil is an important factor in growing basil.

Basil watering tips

Basil requires about an inch (25.4mm) of watering per week. I prefer to split between two waterings per week. The soil I have contains pearlite and vermiculite so it is both well-drained and has water holding capacity.

  • First work out what half an inch of water is for your potted basil
  • To do this, find a similar diameter container and fill it until you have half an inch of water.
  • That is how much water to give per watering. Do these waterings twice a week.
  • If you see the basil plant looking wilted, and the soil feels dry, give it more water.
  • If you see the basil plant looking wilted, and the soil is wet, then do not water it.
  • If you struggle to figure out how much water to use, use a self-watering pot.
watering basil plant

I have grown basil for many years and used to make the mistake of overwatering it. This causes root rot and the plant does not thrive.

Getting the right amount of water gives you juicy basil leaves that taste good. Self-watering pots contain a reservoir below the pot and water wicks up to the basil plant. These have many advantages – just don’t overfill the reservoir as it makes a mess on your windowsill.

There are two reasons I grow basil – for culinary use and to attract bees.

If you are growing basil for culinary use, a balcony or window sill garden is ideal. It is a great herb to use in your cooking.

If you are growing basil in the ground in a vegetable garden, basil is also an excellent attractant for pollinators. I use perennial basil for this purpose and plant this all over my garden. It keeps solitary bees such as leafcutter and mason bees healthy.

How often to water basil seedlings

Basil seedlings are quite sensitive to overwatering. If you give them too much water they just do not come up. Use a misting spray for watering your basil seedlings.

My normal go-to choice for herbs and higher-value plants is to use a peat pot. These are biodegradable pots that come with a small highly absorbent coco coir pellet. You place the pellet in the pot, water the pot and the pellet swells to fill the pot with a compost soil-like substance.

how often to water basil seedlings

You then place your seedlings in the pots and they germinate and flourish quickly. For my area, I water these once and the seeds germinate.

This is a nice starter pack that has both the pots, coco coir pellets, and little marker pegs to write on. Ensure you use a permanent marker for this. I say this because I was just planting my spring garden and found I accidentally used a whiteboard marker and now I do not know what any of my seedlings are!!

How often to water basil in a pot

Every 2 days to maintain moist soil. You don’t want the soil to dry out and you don’t want to overwater it. So you must ensure the potting mix is moist to touch especially when growing indoor basil.

As mentioned in how to keep basil alive, basil develops a deep root system so make sure your pot is at least 10″ deep.

how often to water basil in pots

How often to water basil in winter

Basil comes in two broad types. Perennial basil – this does not die in winter if you keep it warm. Annual basil – this dies in winter.

For perennial basil, you need to reduce watering a bit in winter – try the equivalent of half an inch of water a week, and see how the herb plant looks. If it gets a bit dry, you can give a little more water. In winter, the plants are more sensitive to overwatering.

How much water does potted basil need?

Do you water basil from the top or bottom?

This will depend on your pot. If it is a normal pot, with a tray, water from the top.

If you have a wicking pot, then water by filling the reservoir and letting the wick take water to the potted basil. My experience with wicking pots is that they really take a lot of the stress out of growing herbs and many plants. This is a new technology that makes it easier for busy herb growers to water their basil plant.

With a wicking pot as described above, you will find sometimes there is a bit of salt accumulation on the soil surface. If you see this, remove the pots from the reservoir, place them in the shower and give them half a minute of cold shower rain. This washes the salts through the soil and solves that problem.

How much water does potted basil need?

The equivalent of one inch of rainfall a week. This means enough water to cover the surface of your pot in one inch of water. It is ideal to split this into two waterings. IE 2 x half an inch per week.

Do you need to water basil daily?

Herbs need to have a few days to toughen up between watering. If you water them too often, they become very bland tasting. All plants generally benefit from a twice-weekly watering regime as it forces them to develop a deeper root network. Deeper roots find more nutrients, making your plant healthier to eat.

For more herb growing tips on how to keep basil alive read this article.

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How to grow herbs indoors without sunlight

herbs in white pots in the shade, Growing Herbs Indoors Without Sunlight

Growing your own herbs indoors is a great way to save money, and the best part is that you don’t need any sunlight at all! There are many other benefits as well such as having fresh, organic herbs whenever you want them.

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight, especially in winter, can be done with proper lighting and care – which isn’t as hard as it sounds. You can grow all kinds of different types of herb plants in just about anything. Today I’m going to show you how to easily grow 9 different types of herb plants indoors without sunlight!

Here is what you need to know in order to start growing herbs indoors:

Plants need light for photosynthesis which is the process where they convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and glucose. If it is not possible for your indoor herb garden to be near a window with sunlight then you will want to consider artificial light.

Grow lights

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight can be achieved by using grow lights. There are many types of grow lights, including fluorescent lights, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, and LED light panels. My favorite are LED grow light panels. Growing herbs indoors without sunlight can be done by using fluorescent lighting but it is harder because they don’t cover a large growing area.

Herbs just require a little extra care when raised inside. If a grow lamp is being used, a bit of an investment will be needed at the beginning. Once things have begun to move along, however, the herbs can thrive as well as they would outside. The beauty and practical uses herbs provide make the initial effort well worth it.

growing herbs indoors with LED grow light panels

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are a great way to save money, power, and time for your indoor herb garden. They provide bright white light which plants need for photosynthesis while emitting very little heat. LED grow lights allow for a constant, long-lasting source of energy needed for the plant to live – which means you get to skip having to change out bulbs or use a lot of complicated electrical equipment. The best part is that they only cost about $20!

Growing herbs in pots

On a humid day, we like to wear clothes that breathe, and let air through to our skin. Herbs are kind of like people in that way. If the place they will be kept is humid, then herbs like for their pot to be made of breathable material. Except, for plants, breathable clothing doesn’t mean cotton. It means clay or terra cotta pot without glaze.

Herbs don’t like standing around in the water. Their roots can rot. So before starting, make sure all potted herbs have plenty of drainage holes.

And don’t forget you will have water leaking out of those drainage holes, so your pots will need drain plates.

What type of soil are you using to grow your herbs indoors?

Growing herbs indoors without sunlight requires special cacti soil or another light, porous potting mix for optimal growth. Choose a potting mix that drains well and also holds the moisture in. Look for ingredients like perlite, or vermiculite.

Using regular potting soil will make the plant too damp, which can cause root rot; not to mention that it will also pack down easily and then dry out quickly. Growing herbs indoors without sunlight requires well-draining soil, preferably with some sand (to help lighten up the mix). Buying an indoor potting mix such as this indoor miracle-Gro can make it easier to grow herbs inside.

indoor herb garden

What fertilizer is best for herbs

Giving herbs too much fertilizer can be worse than none at all. Some synthetic fertilizers can build up and leave residue in the soil.

A natural fertilizer (like fish and kelp) at half strength once or twice a month is usually sufficient. The best fertilizer for herbs in pots contains nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium to support new roots, leaf growth and strong stems.

The best part about growing your own herbs indoors is that you’ll always know what chemicals went into the growing process.

You may want to make your own organic fertilizer or redirect some of your kitchen waste such as fruit peel, coffee grounds and banana peels into making an easy herb fertilizer.

What are the best herbs to grow indoors in low light?

Herbs to grow indoors include Basil, Chives, Lemongrass, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme & Vietnamese Coriander. Growing herbs indoors is a great way to add flavor to your cooking year-round.


Basil is a delicious fresh herb that can be used on all kinds of dishes including salads, pastas and more. Growing basil indoors is a great way to always have some on hand for your cooking needs. Basil can be grown indoors under a grow light.

growing basil indoors without sunlight


Mint is an easy herb plant to start from seed and will continue to spread quickly so plan accordingly! Mint will do quite well growing indoors. Growing mint also makes for a perfect herbal remedy to help cool off your body and mind in the summertime! Mint can be grown indoors as long as there is a large window with southern exposure or a grow light nearby.


Chives are another easy herb plant to start from seed and will continue to spread quickly so plan accordingly! Chives are an excellent natural food preservative since they have antiseptic properties! They are a elative of garlic and onions, with a much milder flavor. Used in sauces, eggs, sandwiches-anywhere a light onion flavor is desired.


Lemongrass is a fragrant plant that can be used in teas, vegetable dishes, and rice. Growing lemongrass indoors can be a little tricky but once you get the hang of it is easy to maintain. Lemongrass likes indirect light and moist soil so make sure to water every day or every other day.


Oregano is a delicious herb that is great for seasoning meats, soups, and more! Growing oregano inside is not only easy but also saves money since buying fresh herbs at the store can be expensive! Oregano can grow up to 2 feet tall with good care-so space accordingly! To grow oregano indoors start from seed or buy an established plant.


Parsley is a delicious green herb that can be used in salads, sauces and much more. Growing parsley indoors can be done easily as long as you provide the right amount of light! Parsley likes indirect sunlight so make sure to keep it away from any bright lights or windows. If kept too hot parsley will go into shock resulting in yellow leaves. Growing parsley indoors can be tricky for this reason! Read how to take care of a parsley plant here.

how to grow parsley indoors


Rosemary is another delicious herb that holds up well when dried but tastes better fresh. Growing rosemary indoors requires bright light which makes southern exposure the best option. Rosemary needs good drainage so don’t forget to include some sort of tray underneath your pot with holes to prevent water from building up around the roots. Other


Growing thyme indoors can be done easily as long as you provide the right amount of light! Growing thyme indoors requires bright indirect sunlight. Thyme likes dry soil so make sure to keep it away from any excess water which will rot the roots.

Vietnamese Coriander

Used in fresh rice paper rolls, spring rolls, salads & curry. Growing Vietnamese coriander indoors is done best in a pot with southern exposure.

Growing herbs indoors provides fresh flavors throughout all seasons making it easy to maintain year-round! Growing herbs also allows you to save money since it’s super affordable to use an indoor growing setup instead of always buying fresh herbs

Growing herbs under artificial light means there’s no waiting for spring or summer, or even winter in colder climates, just easy access to fresh flavors any time.

growing vietnamese coriander indoors


What wattage is needed for growing herbs indoors?

You’ll need at least 50 watts, but 100 watts is recommended if you intend on growing them for longer than two months. For example, 100-watt bulbs are generally recommended for greenhouses during the winter.

What type of lighting do you need to grow herbs indoors?

Generally speaking, you’ll need either natural or fluorescent lighting; however, there are plenty of other options depending on what type of setup you choose to go with. There are fluorescent lights, metal halide lights, and high-pressure sodium lights (which can get quite expensive).

If you’re looking for something that’s cheaper, then simply opt for fluorescent lighting; however, these will only work best in areas where you can keep them at least six inches away from the plant.

And if your area isn’t lit well enough, be sure to make it up with natural lighting (by having your windows uncovered). Growing herbs indoors without sunlight is possible, but it does require a slightly different setup.

Growing herbs indoors how many seeds?

When growing herbs indoors, one seed per container between 7-10″ apart is a great rule of thumb to stick with. If you’re Growing basil in a small pot then only plant 2-3 seeds per pot and thin out the others after they’ve sprouted.

How many hours of lighting do herbs need indoors?

When growing herbs inside make sure they get at least 20 hours of bright light from Fluorescent lighting and supplement with Natural Sunlight from a window during the day if possible.

Check out our other growing guides.

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The ultimate herb gardening for beginners guide

herb gardening

Do you want to start a herb garden at home? Do you enjoy planting things in your garden and watching them grow into something beautiful that brings joy to your kitchen?

Growing herbs is not only easy but also very versatile when it comes to preparing meals. For this reason, herb gardens are becoming increasingly popular. Herb gardens are great for first-time gardeners who do not want to go through the hassle or expense of maintaining a larger garden plot. In this herb gardening guide for beginners, we go through the essentials you need to get started.

To start a herb garden at home you need to know a bit about the different types of herbs, what they need to grow and how to take care of them once they are planted.

Growing herbs indoors or outdoors depends on your particular needs and preferences. Many herbs can also be grown in both an indoor and outdoor garden with a few exceptions. Let’s look at a few different types of herb gardens and what they require.


Herb gardens require good, quality soil that has been enriched with nutrients to ensure optimum growth. Herbs can either be planted in the ground or in pots.

You can purchase a special mix or make your own at home using compost and other ingredients such as food waste from your kitchen. You will want to check on what particular herbs you are growing to see if they have any additional needs when it comes to the soil. Some plants require more acid soil while others prefer alkaline conditions.

Herb plants also need good drainage, so be sure to add stones or other material into the soil to help with this. Over time, soil becomes depleted of nutrients so it needs to be replaced with fresh soil every few years.

herb garden for beginner


Indoors or outdoors? The best option is usually determined by where you live because some plants need lots of sun while others do well with partial sun – there are also plants that will grow just fine indoors. It’s very important to consider what the herb needs and plant accordingly.

If you’re planting indoors all you will need is a sunny corner for your seeds or young plants to sit in once they sprout – otherwise you can grow them under fluorescent lights. Make sure there’s plenty of room between the little seedlings so they don’t compete for nutrients and space.

Temperature and humidity

Herb gardens are also very sensitive to temperature conditions, so if you live in an area that stays below freezing during the winter months, where your herbs may freeze, you will need to make sure they are protected with mulch or some other material that retains heat.

When growing herbs from seeds they should be planted in a little bit of moist soil – not dry or overly wet – and then covered with a thin layer of mulch material such as straw to retain moisture. Once your seedlings have started growing, remove the mulch to prevent overheating and grubs from becoming an issue. In the event that it gets too hot, you can always shade your herb garden with a piece of plywood or another lightweight object.


If you are starting your herb garden from seedlings, seeds that have sprouted, they need the same treatment until they are big enough to plant outside near their permanent homes (if they will be staying).

Before this process begins, you will want to acclimate your young plants to outdoor conditions by having them spend a few days outside during the day and bringing them inside at night to protect them from harsh weather conditions.

If you are not experienced in the art of herb gardening, growing from seed is your best bet. Starting with young plants can be expensive and require a more skilled hand on some herbs such as basil.

young herb plants

Pots and containers for your herbs

Herb gardens can also include various types of container plants such as hanging pots, outdoor woven baskets with holes in the bottom for drainage, and other similar options.

Herb plants that grow well in containers do not like spending time in wet soil, so be sure that the potting soil is porous enough to allow excess water to drain out after you give it a good watering.

Indoor herb garden

Container gardening can be used for growing herbs indoors or outdoors. Some people set up a sunny windowsill herb garden in the kitchen so it is eas also be grown in a vertical wall garden. You can even buy herb garden kits with everything you need to get started. This one comes with a LED grow light.

Indoor gardening is fun and great to get the kids involved. Just ensure you have well-drained soil to keep your herbs happy.

Watering your herbs

Herb gardens should be kept constantly moist but not wet. This allows the roots to grow freely and does not cause any type of disease from fungi or bacteria.

Do not let your potted herbs dry up completely between waterings either – this will cause root rot and kill your plants.

Watering every day or two is good practice if the weather is dry, but most importantly, your herb garden must be fertilized regularly.

Fertilizer for herbs

A herb plant will last longer when fertilized about once a month using fertilizer specially made for vegetables and herbs. You can purchase fertilizer at any nursery or home improvement store or make your own fertilizer.

I prefer to use organic fertilizer in my herb garden because it has no chemicals to damage plant roots or leave residue on the leaves that could become poisonous if consumed.

indoor herb garden

Herb gardenning for beginner tips for planning your herb garden

When deciding where you want to place your herb garden:

– Find out how much space you have available and the amount of sunlight. This will help you pick your herbs and varieties.

– look for an area that gets plenty of sun (but not too much)

– consider the soil conditions and if you need to improve them

– do not plant in areas with extreme heat or cold unless you are prepared for your plants to die

– find an area that is protected from wind gusts – this will keep your herb garden looking fresh and prevent damage

– It all starts with proper research and planning before planting anything. Knowing which herbs do well together will help keep your herb garden healthy and looking good.

– Keep in mind that many herb plants need a lot of room to grow, so do not plant them too close together or they will compete for nutrients from the soil. They can always be pruned or thin

Herb gardens can easily be expanded by just planting more herbs! It’s important to note that whatever type of herb gardening method you use, it will require regular care.

What is your intention for growing a herb garden?

Do you want to grow culinary herbs or a medicinal herb garden? Do you want to grow herbs for their aroma? Some people plant a fragrant herb outside to enhance an entertaining area?

Depending on your intention will determine which herbs you plant, where to plant them, and how to take care of your herb garden.

drying culinary herbs

What culinary herbs do you want to plant?

If you love cooking, it’s time to think about what culinary herbs you want to plant in your garden. Herbs are a great addition to any outdoor or indoor space because they add beauty and flavor all at once! Here is a list of some of the best culinary herbs that will be sure to please:

1) Parsley – This one is a classic herb with an earthy flavor that pairs well with almost anything. Not only can it spice up salads, soups, and stews but it also makes for a healthy snack on its own when harvested young. In fact, parsley contains more vitamin C than oranges! It also helps eliminate toxins from the body so this is definitely one herb worth growing if you have children or pets around your home.

2) Basil – This aromatic herb can be used to add a burst of flavor in any dish from pasta sauce, pesto, and salad dressing! It’s also great just to add a sprig here and there because it smells so good. Basils come in many varieties ranging from purple to green or even striped. Grow this one near your tomatoes for a natural repellant that keeps the pesky insects away. It will also repel mice too so if you have a problem with them in your garden, then grow basil!

3) Oregano – This herb is what gives Italian dishes that classic flavor. It’s great for marinara sauce, soups and stews, and spaghetti. If you find yourself eating a lot of Italian food, then growing oregano is a no-brainer. It’s also great for teas and sachets so if you want to add another herb in your garden that doubles as decoration, try growing oregano.

4) Thyme – This delicate and flavorful foliage can be used in most dishes with white meats like chicken, fish, and pork. Many people use thyme for pickling vegetables too! This is another herb that can be used to make delicious teas or sachets so consider adding this herb to your indoor or outdoor garden if you like cooking with herbs.

coriander cilantro

5) Cilantro – This fresh herb is commonly used in Mexican cuisine to enhance the flavor of tacos, egg dishes, and salsa. However, this herb has an intense taste but it is very good for you! Cilantro is actually great at detoxifying the body so if you have any heavy metals or toxins in your system then growing cilantro is a must.

6) Rosemary – This fragrant and beautiful herb smells like pine and pairs well with meat, bread, and cheese. It can also be used to make lovely tea or sachets if you want another herb to grow indoors or out. Plus, it attracts butterflies so this would definitely be a great addition to your herb garden.

7) Mint – This herb is very versatile in the kitchen because you can add it to many different dishes like salads, soups, sauces, and even desserts! It may be invasive though so don’t plant mint near any other herbs or flowers unless you want them all to smell great. You can also use mint for tea or sachets for natural air fresheners like these ones.

Which herb do you use in the kitchen the most?

Many people have a favorite herb they use the most in their cooking. I love to use cilantro because it is so versatile and can be added to almost any dish. I love using it in guacamole, scrambled eggs, stir-fries & curries. It’s also very healthy which makes it even better!

Have a think about what herb you buy the most at the grocery store and start your herb garden growing that herb. Before I started my herb garden I used to find myself buying bunches of cilantro and parsley all the time. Now I can snip them off from my herb garden whenever I need them.

medicinal herbs for tea

What plants do you grow or hope to grow in your medicinal herb garden?

Some people might think this is a silly question, but I love to grow medicinal herbs in my garden for health purposes. They are great to make herbal tea.

Some are more popular than others but they all have their own unique properties and attributes.

– Dandelions

– St. John’s Wort

– Chamomile

– Lavender

– Echinacea

– Lemon balm (useful when someone has insomnia or anxiety),

– garlic chives (they’re great if you don’t want your family members near you when they have a cold)

The list goes on! You can grow these herbs in separate containers or mix them into your garden together. They will still look great and you’ll be amazed at how much they benefit your health. What medicinal herbs do you hope to plant in your herb garden?

There are all sorts of reasons why people like growing herbs- it can be fun, you get fresh air and exercise, and it’s good for the environment. I hope you feel more confident after reading this herb gardening for beginners guide. Herb gardens are beautiful and practical additions to your home. Give them a shot, you won’t regret it!

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links.

How to keep basil alive

basil plant

My basil graveyard was growing so in my Fawlty Towers I knew I had to learn how to keep basil alive. I have never killed a basil plant outdoors – this is a tough herb. However, growing a basil plant indoors is another story. Especially supermarket basil.  

I’ve now learned how to keep basil alive. I know what basil needs to grow indoors or outdoors and what kills basil. Now my basil plant is bushy and I have it readily available for my kitchen adventures. 

Fresh basil is bursting with flavor and takes a pesto or pasta to the next level. I have developed these basil growing tips to help you ensure your supermarket basil, potted basil or backyard basil thrives too.

Seasonal Versus Perennial Basil

Something really, important to understand with basil is that there are different types; seasonal basil or perennial basil.

Seasonal basil grows on a lengthening day from spring to mid-summer – as the days begin to get shorter, it will flower and eventually die.

What is a lengthening day? 

After the winter solstice, the days get longer, and the result is that this reduces the trigger for flowering in many herbs. Basil is one of those – as the days get shorter, it just sort of gives up. So in spring, your days are getting longer, and the plant figures it has a good run ahead of it, so it invests in leaves, and then as the days start to get shorter, it pushes more and more energy to flowers and seeds so it can die and know its babies are waiting in the soil for spring.

Perennial basil will grow year-round as long as you keep it sheltered from extreme cold. It will flower more as the days get shorter, but it will not die.

Perennial basil is best bought from a nursery – I have had little luck growing it from seeds (It is often a hybrid and does not form fertile seeds). Another place to get a perennial plant is from a friend – take a cutting, stick it in soil, remove most of the leaves and leave the growth shoot. You should have a rooted cutting in a week or two.

I have grown Basil of various types for nearly twenty years. I started with sweet Genovese basil. This is an extremely easy-to-grow perennial basil. I enjoy snapping leaves off and eating them when I am in the garden, but I keep a pot or two close to the kitchen so I can nip out and get a sprig or two for cooking.

As time progressed, I learned about all the weird and wonderful basil types out there and began growing perennial basil. As mentioned the best place to get perennial basil is from a nursery, or take a cutting from a friend’s plant.

basil growing tips

How to keep basil alive – Basil growing tips

  1. Buy good potting soil. Basil needs soil that retains moisture but does not get soggy. It needs to be healthy soil, but not too rich. This is good soil
  1. Grow seasonal basil at the start of the season in spring. Perennial basil can be purchased and grown at any time of the year irrespective of the season, as long as you can keep it in a frost-free environment.
  1. Do not overwater basil. This is a herb. It needs to struggle just the right amount to bring out its flavor. If you overwater it, you will either make it grow too fast and taste bad or kill it. A simple soil moisture meter can help you learn the amount of water to give your plant. For Basil, you want your soil at the lower end of the moist reading. Basil does not like to be drowned.

How do I keep basil alive indoors?

To keep basil alive indoors you need to ensure you have the right pot, light, temperature, water, and space.


If you are keeping basil indoors remember this is a plant that develops an extensive root system. I have grown basil in deep compost soil, and when I dug the plants out – after nearly two feet, I could still find roots. In my experience, a pot that is 10” or so deep will be fine for basil.

Therefore, when growing potted basil indoors you need to ensure that the basil plant has a deep pot to grow in. Basil is a beautiful plant and an elegant pot highlights this – this pot is similar to a pot I have used in the past for growing purple basil. If you are not looking to spend a fortune on a pot you could try these fabric pots. I prefer a fabric pot for herbs as it gives a lot of oxygenation to your soil. Basil thrives in these fabric pots You can place them on a big tray to prevent water from getting all over your house or apartment.

how to keep basil alive indoors


Your basil plant needs a few hours a day of direct sunlight – these are herbs from sunny parts of the world, and if they do not get enough sunlight they just give up and die. Find a windowsill where they will get at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight.


Temperatures below 50 °F will lead to your plants getting stunted and failing to survive. Ideally, if your plants get a few hours in the 80-90 °F range per day you will have the best-tasting leaves. These temperatures allow the roots to work optimally transporting minerals to the leaves.


As mentioned above, ensure you do not overwater your basil. It is easier to ensure that you do not overwater with the fabric bags, as these bags regulate moisture well. However, if you do water excessively you can wash nutrients out of your soil.


Basil likes a bit of space. Plant a few plants in a pot and then thin these to one plant as they grow. A single basil plant can get very large, hence giving it a bit of space will result in more basil to harvest than having a few plants fighting with each other in one pot.

how to keep basil alive outdoors

How to keep basil alive outdoors

If you are growing basil directly in the soil, and your minimum temperatures are above 50 °F with daytime temperatures in the 80-90 °F range then there is very little you can do to kill basil.

Trim the basil plants frequently, and cut off flowers when they develop – this will encourage the plant to bush out.

Do not overwater. Naturally digging a bit of compost into the soil will help. If your soil is very high in clay, a raised bed will help.

What kills basil?

If your temperatures are too low (50°F or lower), and your daylight hours are short (winter) basil will die.

If you overwater your basil it will die. This plant needs its roots to have oxygen. If you overwater the plants, the roots drown and die. See above about soil moisture meters. If the leaves look dry and wilted, and the soil is wet, you have overwatered your plant.

If you underwater your basil plant it will also die. If the leaves look dry and wilted, and the soil is dry your plant is underwatered. Give it a little bit of water. It is easy to add water, but difficult to remove.

Shade – basil is a photosynthetic plant – it uses sunlight to make sugar, and sugar to run its metabolism. If it does not get enough sunlight, it will starve and die. It needs at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day, and a few more hours of indirect sunlight.

growing basil


How do I make my basil plant last longer?

I have often had kind friends bring me these little supermarket herb plants when they come to supper. This is normally a basil plant planted in nutrient-free coco-coir, which has been fed hydroponic nutrients. This makes the plant look great. However, a week or two after you have it in your house it runs out of nutrients and dies.

SOLUTION >> Transplant these plants into a bigger pot as they need space for their roots. Basil, once it has enough soil and light, is a very difficult plant to kill.

Why are my basil leaves turning brown?

Too dry – if the plant has insufficient water, the leaves will turn brown.
Nutrient deficient – transplant into a bigger pot with nutrient-rich soil.
Not enough light – Place the plant in a spot where it gets a few hours of light a day, and where the temperature does not stay below 50 °F at night.

Why do my basil plants keep dying?

If you are killing your basil plants, you need to pay attention to giving them what they need.
Soil – transplant to a bigger pot with good gardening soil 
Sunlight – move them to a sunny spot
Heat – Basil does not thrive if temperatures go below 50°F
Moisture – Too much or too little will cause leaves to die

These are the most important things to keep basil alive. You may also wish to consider fertilizer to give your basil plant the essential macro and micronutrients it needs to thrive. Read more on the best organic fertilizer for herbs here or how to make fertilizer from kitchen waste.

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Best Herbs To Grow For Tea

Wooden plate of herbal tea, best herbs to grow for tea

There is no denying it: Herbal tea is the best. Nothing in the world is quite like sitting down with a cup of herbal tea. Unless it is a tall glass of iced herbal tea.

No one will talk you into ever going to a store and buying tea again, once you know the best herbs to grow for tea, how to grow them, dry them and prepare them to make your own fresh herbal tea.

When growing herbs for tea, you will have the satisfaction of having done it all yourself, from beginning to end. You will know for a fact that if you want your tea to be organic, it definitely is organic, with no recalls or uh-oh’s.

You will have the money in your wallet that would otherwise have gone to something that sat on a store shelf for months. You will have the convenience of walking out your back door and grabbing the makings for tea, rather than having to get ready, then go to the store. And, as said before, you will have flavor!

Interested? Of course!

How To Grow Your Own Tea Herbs

Herbs are one of the easiest plants in the world to grow. In fact, some tea herbs need to be grown in a restricted area, like a raised brick bed, or a pot, just because they are liable to spread too much. We call these kinds of herbs “excitable”, because they simply love life. Also because it’s a lot shorter than “liable to spread too much”.

Are You Starting Your Tea Herbs In A Cold Climate?

If there is still frost outside you will need to start your herbal tea garden indoors. You can do this from seeds or seedlings.

If you are starting your herb plants from seed, and doing so during a cold time of year, this is what you will need and the steps required:

  • Starter pots-about 2″ diameter
  • Potting soil
  • Grow light
  • Seeds

Put potting soil in the starter pots.

Add seeds. The number of seeds will vary, so please read the seed packet. Usually about 5-7 seeds per pot.

Push seeds down to twice their size. Since herb seeds are tiny, that means press them down as if pressing a button on your favorite remote. Water lightly.

Turn the grow light on for 4 hours a day UNLESS you get enough sunlight through a window to give your seedlings light for 4 hours a day. Then the grow light won’t be necessary.

How to grow your herbal tea garden outside in pots

Get a plant pot, put planting soil in it, put it outside in a sunny spot, after the last frost. 

Sprinkle herb seeds around in the soil, press them down and water them.

After the seeds sprout, give one or two seedlings their own spot. Usually, a 6″ pot will do. 

But, again, it varies with the herb.

growing tea herbs in pots

What Is The Easiest Way to Start a herbal tea plant?

Buy a seedling! Yes, it’s cheating and costs a little more. But it’s faster.

Transfer each seedling to its own pot with a mix of potting soil and compost. 

Water the soil so it is moist to touch. 

Best herbs to grow for tea

You know how to grow your own tea herbs. Now, which herbs do you wish to grow? Do you have a favorite herbal infusion or blend you usually buy?

Many of the herbs you are already growing in your herb garden may be suitable for your herbal tea blends. Chamomile, a medicinal herb, is also a great tea herb.

Here are some popular tea herbs you may wish to grow in your herbal tea garden. 

Chocolate mint

This is our favorite of all time. Remember those mint candies covered in chocolate? Or the yummy cookies sold every year? This smells and tastes just like those. It is ‘excitable’, but behaves pretty well if kept in its own container. Mint dies back in Winter and then grows back every Spring.

best herbs for herbal tea


Another excitable plant and a culinary herb. Mint can boost the immune system and relieve aches and pains. It also protects the other herbs in your herbal tea garden because it is a bug repellent. Mint tea tastes like fresh mist, with hints of vanilla and fruit. It is cooling in summer and mixes with other flavors quite well. Try blending with Lavender.

Lemon Balm

A relative of mint. Lemon balm tastes like lemon and mint. It can boost mood and help with relaxing. Because it’s related to mint, it is excitable and needs its own pot.


Helps with sleep & reduces inflammation. Lavender, a medicinal herb, tastes like mint and rose with a touch of rosemary. Try blending with rose and chamomile.

herb al tea blends with rose hips

Rose Hips

Not the first thing one might think of when herbal tea is mentioned. However, rosehip tea tastes like apples and plums and is rich in antioxidants. Try infusing rose hips with lemon.

Simple Method To Turn Your Herbs Into Delicious Tea

Firstly start by washing your herbs to ensure you don’t get any dirt in your tasty tea. Select about a quarter of a cup worth of fresh leaves. Use more or less based on your taste. For ice tea double the amount used.

Heat your water to boiling point and tip over your herb leaves. This can be in the bottom of a teapot or strainer. Leave to steep for 5 – 10 minutes depending on your liking. Rosehips only needs half the time.

How to prepare your herbs for tea

As with most herbal preparations the basic steps are the same: cut, dry and store.

Use fresh herbs as they offer the most flavor. If you don’t plan on using them within a few hours, consider storing them in the refrigerator or placing them in a cool, dry location.

A few tips:

– Make sure your herbs and equipment are clean and sanitary. Wash your hands before starting to help prevent the spread of bacteria or mold which can ruin the flavor of the tea.

– It’s best to use freshly-cut herbs, especially if you’re making an herbal blend for boiling water. Unfortunately, fresh herbs are at their peak of flavor only for a few hours after they’re cut. If you buy them in bunches or plan to keep them on hand for more than one day, the best way how to dry herbs for tea is to place the bunch in a glass jar with an airtight lid and store them in the refrigerator.

– Tie the herbs with jute twine or thin cotton string into small bundles, leaving about 2 inches of stem on each piece to help them dry evenly. Tie tightly so they don’t come loose during the drying process – but not so tightly that you bruise the leaves or stems.

drying herbs for tea

How to dry herbs for tea

To dry herbs for tea, clip or snip the herbs in small bunches and place them on a tray in a well-ventilated space. If you’re drying only one herb, keep it in a smaller bunch since there’s less surface area to expose to air.

In general, dried herbs will need about 1 inch of space between each other. An ideal situation is when there is lots of airflow from an overhead fan or cross breezes from a window open at both ends of a room with the pan holding the bunched herbs sitting nearer to the cool draft blowing through it. It’s also best if there aren’t any objects that might obstruct airflow (like table lamps or other heat sources like the stove) in the area where you’re working.

How long do I need to dry the herbs for my tea?

The drying time will depend on how much moisture is still in each herb, how much surface area it has for exposure to air, and how dry your climate is. It can range from a few days to 2 weeks.

Can I dry herbs in the oven or a microwave?

Yes, if you prefer using a microwave or conventional oven, tie the bundles of fresh or dried leaves in a loose bunch and cut off the stems. You can also remove the leaves from their branches.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray. Dump the leaves on top of it and use your fingers to spread them out as evenly as possible.

How to dry herbs for tea in a conventional oven

Bake the leaves at 250 degrees F (120 C) until they’re dried out, or until their color is relatively uniform and bright – usually after about 1 hour of baking time.

Use a cookie sheet or cake rack placed on top of a baking sheet in case there’s any liquid that drips off; this will keep your oven clean.

How to dry herbs for tea in a microwave

Cook the leaves on high heat for 1 minute, then turn them over and cook again on high heat for another minute. How many times you repeat this process depends on your oven’s wattage; check your microwave’s instruction manual for details.

How to store dried herbs for tea

Once your herbs are dry, they will crumble easily between your fingertips and be crisp or break into coarse pieces when you bend them – but not powdery. Store dried herbs in a sealed glass jar away from sunlight and use them within a year for best results.

How to make sun tea

Herbs added to cold water steep like tea, releasing their flavor and important nutrients into the liquid. The best time-honored way is to make sun tea, which harks back to colonial times when the world was a much larger place. Make water hot by heating it in a pan on the stove or in an electric kettle until bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pot where steam is trapped.

– Put a covered jar of herbs, water and sugar into the sunniest spot in your backyard or on your patio. Place it somewhere where it won’t be disturbed by curious children or pets who might knock it over. Some people leave their jars up high by hanging them from tree branches or posts. Others place them very low to the ground by putting them on a table or bench. The idea is for the herbs, water and sugar to be in direct sunlight with lots of airflow around them.

– Leave the jar outside in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours or overnight, but keep an eye out that it doesn’t sit too long in one spot – the same spot – and that the sun doesn’t start to bake it. Bring it inside as soon as you see condensation begin to form on the jar (you can also check by placing a finger over its opening and feeling how cool or warm the air is).

– If you plan to make your herbal blend an ingredient in something else, like If you want it as-is – perhaps you’ll mix it with lemonade or honey, for instance – it’s best to strain the finished mixture through cheesecloth or a fine sieve.

– If you’d rather use your homemade herb concoction as an ice pack for picnic hampers or car coolers, leave out the sugar.

I hope you enjoy making some delicious homegrown herbal tea with your own organic herbs.  So kick back with your herbal infusion and check out our other growing guides.

Oregano Growing Tips: How to Grow Oregano 101

Vibrant Oregano Plant. Oregano Growing Tips

Aromatic and a real treat for almost any vegetable and/or meaty concoction that might come to mind, the now-famous oregano originated in Greece. But it isn’t only a plant that looks good in any garden and tastes delicious when used in dishes. Oh no — it is also a wonderful starter plant for first-time gardeners. Want to know some remarkable oregano growing tips? Let’s start at the very beginning — learning more about it and its varieties.

The Superstar Herb: Oregano and Its Varieties

We can identify two main classes of this perennial plant: Mediterranean and Mexican. The former is the one most of us are familiar with and belongs to the mint plant family Lamiaceae (and thus has more minty undertones). The latter, however, belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family and has a rather famous relative — Lemon Verbena. Naturally, it resembles its cousin when it comes to flavor, as it has more of a citrus undertone.

There are a few varieties to consider that may become a true staple in your garden. Depending on the aroma you’re looking for, you can opt for:

Common Oregano

Origanum vulgare, which has low moisture needs and loves full sun. As its name says, this is the most common variety that sports pink, white, and purple flowers, square stems, and fragrant, ovate leaves.

Greek oregano (also known as European and Turkish oregano)

A variety of common oregano that’s a staple in most grocery stores and their spice and herb shelves. It’s the one we mostly use on pizzas, in casseroles, and other similar dishes. It is a gorgeous plant as well, as it has dark green foliage and white flowers.

Ornamental Oregano 

We don’t have to plant oregano just to, later on, use it in cooking. Ornamental oregano isn’t suitable for that purpose, as its leaves, though edible, lack its distinct flavor. Most people use it for its alluring fragrance and ornamental impact. With dense foliage and pink, white, and purple flowers, it’s an incredible plant to have on walkways, in pots, and around the garden in general.

Oregano lable in oregano plant

Sweet Marjoram 

Marjoram is a part of the mint family, just like oregano, and it is synonymous with it in some countries of the Middle East. However, it has a more delicate flavor that becomes fairly obvious when used in the kitchen, though it’s best not to process it with heat. The flavor is better when it’s used raw or at the very end, once most of the dish has been cooked. Plus, it doesn’t disappoint as an ornamental plant either; it has a sweet fragrance, gray-green ovate leaves, and small pink and white flowers.

Apart from these, there are also:

  • Italian oregano
  • Golden oregano
  • Syrian oregano
  • Cuban oregano

The good news is that, despite the number of varieties it has, oregano is fairly low-maintenance and won’t pose a challenge to newbie gardeners. Let’s start by going over where and when we should plant it, and then learn how to actually keep it alive and thriving.


Oregano Growing Tips From Start to Finish 

Planting Oregano 

Garden shovel in dirt

Before learning how to grow oregano, we have to know how and when to plant it. In general, it’s possible to grow this plant from seeds, root division, and cuttings.

Using Seeds 

If we decide to grow it from a seed, it is best to start it indoors approximately six weeks before the last frost. Once they germinate, we can transfer the seedlings outside when the temperature is above 45 °F. When using cuttings or root division, we should wait for the last frost to pass and the soil to be at around 70°F. A perfect time for dividing plants would be spring or the start of fall.

Using Cuttings 

To get plantable cuttings, we can use sharp pruning shears, knife, or garden scissors to cut a few pieces off (roughly four to five inches long) diagonally. Make sure to cut above a node. Once cut, we have to remove the leaves from the bottom two inches of the stem and keep the cuttings in water until the roots are long enough for planting.

It’s also possible to use potting soil and some powdered or liquid rooting hormone. We only have to dip the stems in it and then plant the cuttings in a container that has a drainage hole. We can place a few of them in the same one, but it might be better to use a separate container for each. Otherwise, the leaves may touch, which may make them rot.

Bright light is necessary, but there’s no need to keep the cuttings in direct sun. After about four to five weeks, they should be ready to plant outside. It’s best to wait for them to reach a healthy size and have well-established roots.

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Using Root Divisions 

And yes — in case we’re looking to plant root divisions, the process is even simpler. All we have to do is dig up a plant and cut it through the root ball into a few sections. We can then plant those sections somewhere else in the garden or perhaps in containers.

When planting, we should keep the plants about 12 inches apart and the rows 18 to 24 inches apart. If we’re using a container, it should be at least 12 inches in diameter and six inches deep.

Soil and Sun Requirements 

Gardening spade on fertile soil. Oregano Growing Tips

Since it’s so low-maintenance, there’s not much we have to do in order to grow oregano well. For starters, the plant isn’t too fussy about the soil. It prefers loose, well-drained soil with a pH level of 6.0–7.0. The soil should be moderately fertile, and there’s no need to use fertilizers or compost unless you’re using containers. In fact, large amounts of some nutrients (nitrogen, for instance) may change the flavor, so it’s best to leave it to do its own thing.

As for how much sunshine it needs, it’s possible to grow oregano indoors, but the results may be better if we live in a sunny area. In general, oregano performs well in partial to full sun, but it will definitely thrive if it gets a full day’s worth of sunshine and warmth. It will also tolerate partial shade, especially if you’ve planted golden oregano. That variety needs some shade so that it doesn’t burn in the sun.

How to Grow Oregano and Take Proper Care of It 

Those asking themselves how to grow oregano will be happy to know that they won’t have to time the watering at all or worry about the plants, for that matter.

As far as its water requirements go, oregano prefers drier soil. Touching the soil should give us a hint as to whether the plant needs any water. If it’s dry, we should water it thoroughly.

Moist soil may make the plants lose their flavor, so make sure you’re not overwatering yours. It’s best to moisten only the top five inches.

We may need to trim the plants occasionally to ensure proper bushy growth (when they’re about four inches high). We should keep the flowers pinched back for a better aroma and growth. It’s best to trim excess growth once the flowers start to fade in the summer. In midsummer, we can cut them completely to encourage new leaves or let them flower so that the bees can have enough nectar and pollen.

How to Grow Oregano in Winter or Cold Climate 

In colder regions, we should divide the plants once fall rolls around and overwinter them (keep them in a sheltered place, like our basement, garage, or inside of our home) until spring. Once spring comes, we can replant them. Alternatively, if we cannot overwinter them inside, we can protect them with a mulch of leaves once the temperature plummets.

When and How to Harvest Your Gorgeous Plant 

Gardening Shears on log

One of the best parts about growing oregano is that it’s possible to harvest it as needed, even when the plants are only about four to six inches tall. We can remove sprigs (two to four-inch pieces) and use them for cooking. It’s also good to harvest the outside leaves as the plant grows to encourage it to grow even more and become bushier.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the leaves will have more flavor before the flowers bloom. Because of that, we can either time our harvest or keep removing the flowers.

We can snip each sprig at the shoot with scissors or garden clippers but leave some leaves (a set, for instance) on the stem to encourage regrowth. If we only need the leaves, an even easier method is simply running our fingers along a stem (but only about ⅔ of length). The leaves will end up in our palms, all ready to use, and we’ll only need to trim the stem.

Preservation and Storage 

Since oregano is a plant that actually tastes better when it’s dry, we can also cut all of our plants at once and dry them in a dehydrator. If we don’t have one, some common house appliances can be of use too.

We can place the leaves on a cookie sheet and leave them in a barely-warm oven to dry out. Alternatively, we can take all the stems, place them in a paper bag, and hang them upside down. The leaves will dry and fall at the bottom. To preserve them, crumble them up and keep them in an airtight container.

When using fresh oregano, we can keep unwashed leaves refrigerated for a few days. However, it’s best to keep them in a sealed bag.

We can also freeze leaves for later use, in tomato juice, for instance. Of course, ice cubes are a popular alternative as well.

Pests and Disease to Look Out For

A huge part of knowing how to grow oregano is being aware of the pests and diseases that may discourage the plants’ growth. Fortunately, they don’t pose much of a threat here, as oregano is generally pretty resistant.

Stem and root rot is the most common “disease” we have to be on the lookout for when growing oregano. Wet weather or wet soil may make the plants too damp. To prevent this, we ought to make sure the soil is dry before watering the plants. We should also remove any brown or spotted leaves whenever we notice them.

The two most common pests to attack oregano plants are aphids and spider mites. However, as much as these are annoying, we can easily fight them by spraying them down with some water every other day until they’re gone. In case of a more extensive infestation, we may need to use some insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. In general, though, we should keep the foliage around the plants under control so that there are no pest crossovers.

Aphid, Insect on white flower. Oregano growing tips

Black flies, or rather, their larvae (leaf miners), could be another problem. These can feed inside the leaves and leave behind spots, blotches, and trails. To fight them, we cannot use insecticides, though, since the problem is on the inside. We have to pick the infected leaves off before the larvae mature.

Finally, mold is another issue, often in winter, and when there’s lots of rain (wetter seasons). The easiest way to resolve the problem is to cover the soil with mulch or straw to keep the ground dry.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know these oregano growing tips, nothing can stop you from enhancing your garden with its gorgeous foliage and having it on-hand for a variety of delicious dishes. Plus, since it’s so low-maintenance, there will hardly be anything to worry about. If anything, oregano thrives on pure neglect, though we wouldn’t ignore it completely. Just keep watering and trimming it when needed — it will be grand!

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How To Take Care Of A Parsley Plant: Seed To Herb

How to grow parsley. This is curly leaf parsley

Learning how to take care of a parsley plant is the first step for many in their journey with herbs. It is an easy herb to grow. Check out this recommended reading for more detailed information on herbs.

Fun Facts

  • Parsley stems are more flavorsome than the actual leaf.
  • Parsley is a biennial herb. This means during the first year it establishes itself and produces flavorsome leaves. Then, during the second year, it begins to seed and die off.

How To Take Care Of Your Parsley Plant

What you will need

  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer 5-10-5 (optional)
  • Soil mix (optional)
  • Pots, 10 inches in size (optional)
  • Manure compost (optional)

Pot Vs Open Soil

Parsley grows best in rich well-drained soil. This soil can be from a potting mix or simply the soil from your yard. If you use yard soil it is best to mix with compost. Parsley can be grown both in pots and garden beds.

Growing In Open Soil

In an open soil configuration, plants will generally grow better as there is no restriction to their roots. But if you wish to move a plant there may be damaging effects to the roots. So always be careful and vigilant when rehoming your plants.

Growing In Pots

Pots on the other hand are quite convenient in terms of being able to move them around your home. As well as adding a nice touch of green to your spice up your interior design. But always bear in mind that your plant will be limited in size due to being in a pot for the entirety of their life (unless replanted in open soil).

How To Take Care Of A Parsley Plant. Parsley next to shovel outside.

How To Grow In Pots

To be grown in a pot it needs to be well-drained and big enough to support the roots. About 10 inches (25cm) wide and deep will give the best results. Fertilizing is more important in pots as the soil can run out of nutrients and the plants are constricted to the same small amount of soil. 

Planting Guide

To speed the lengthy germination time of parsley you can soak your seeds in water for 24 hours. After this time plant your seeds as normal and you will see the results quicker.


  1. Simply spread seeds over a moist paper towel.
  2. Fold the paper towel a few times over the seeds.
  3. Place the paper towel with the seeds inside, into a zip lock bag and seal.

Plant the now germinated seeds about 1-2 inches (3-5cm) apart and 1/4inch (6mm) seed depth.

Once the seedling has sprouted to about 2 inches (5cm) high, spread the plants out about 1 foot (30cm) apart. This is done to give the parsley more room to grow.

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Soil Care

It is completely optional to fertilize your herbs however there are benefits in doing so. The best type of fertilizer for herbs is the 5-10-5 mix. Parsley enjoys a well-fertilized soil. First, fertilize when planted and then weekly until a height of 10 inches (25cm) is reached. After this height is reached you can fertilize less frequently (every 3-6 months is best).

Which Type Of Parsley Should I Grow?

The two common options of parsley are Flat leaf (Italian parsley) and curly leaf. The how to take care of a parsley plant guide will work for both flat leaf and curly leaf varieties.

Flat Leaf Parsley 
  • Recognizable flat leafs
  • Strong flavor
  • Useful in various types of cooking
Curly Leaf Parsley
  • Dense looking curly leafs
  • Mild bitter taste
  • Used more for decoration due to taste

What Conditions Does Parsley require?

Parsley likes to be watered regularly to ensure good growth. The best way to check how much water is best is to look at the soil. It is best to have damp soil. Dry soil will stump growth however too much water will make plant roots rot.

Depending on where you live, keeping the soil damp could be as much as every second day or as little as once a week. You will simply need to judge it.

Flat-leaf prefers to be in full sunlight. Curly leaf, on the other hand, enjoys being in a small amount of sun throughout the day (4 hours of sunlight is optimum).

When And How To Harvest Parsley

Take cuttings of the herb when the plant reaches about 6 inches (15cm) in height. This is because the plant is growing vigorously and will continue to grow. It is important to take cuttings from the outside of the plant as new growth tends to be in the center. Cuttings should be made toward the bottom of the stalk.

Now you know how to take care of a parsley plant!

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Check out the Home Page or our other growing guides