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Can Basil Grow Well in Clay Soil? (Must Know Before Planting)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 02:49 pm

Soil is considered one of the essential criteria necessary for growing plants. Due to this fact, selecting the ideal soil to grow your basil plant is essential.

Basil cultivators are no exception. They always raise questions about the type of soil their plants do well in.

So, Can basil grow well in clay soil? Definitely. Your basil plant can grow well in clay soil, provided the soil has a high drainage capacity. Nevertheless, clay soil generally has everything a basil plant requires to do well.

Does Basil Grow Well In Clay Soil?

Generally, plants prefer moist and nutrient-rich soils, which increases their growth. As a result, gardeners usually consider loamy soil as the ideal soil to grow their plants.

Many plants flourish when grown in loamy soil as it supplies the fundamental nutrients it requires.

However, your basil plant prefers well-drained soil and does not grow well in clay soil. Therefore, it will only grow well in clay soil if the soil is well-drained.

That said, your basil plant grows immensely when the right conditions are available. Below are some of the conditions necessary for the growth of your basil plant:

1. Soil:

The soil should be moist, rich, and well-drained.

2. PH:

The PH must be within an acidic to a neutral range of 6.0-7.0.

3. Sunlight:

Your basil plant grows well in a mild environment receiving at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

4. Temperature:

Temperature of 70°F(21°C) is perfect for your basil plant.

5. Water:

Moderate amounts of water should be supplied daily as your plant does not like too much water supply.

6. Spacing:

Grow your basil plant at a maximum distance of 12-24 inches apart to allow free passage of air.

7. Nutrients:

Add organic nutrients like blood meal, cottonseed meal to improve the fertility of your basil plant.

Furthermore, your basil plant yields a lot of benefits. From the leaves and the flowers.

Some of its benefits are as follows;
1. It is used to treat snake and insect bites.
2. It helps in blood circulation during pregnancy.
3. It cures warts, kidney conditions, and worm infections.
4. It relieves loss of appetite, indigestion, and intestinal gas.
5. It is rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B and minerals such as manganese(55%), iron(24%), copper(19%), calcium(18%).
6. The leaves are edible and are used to prepare soups, meat, and sizzling dishes.
7. The oil extracted from the leaves has antifungal and repellent properties, which wards off harmful insects.
8. The seeds are also valuable for making tea.

There are numerous benefits of your basil plant. I’d advise gardeners and farmers to grow this plant in their gardens and farms.

In addition, growing your basil plant close to vegetables such as tomatoes and parsley will be beneficial to both plants.

Are Clay Pots Good For Basil?

Growing Basil plants indoors typically requires providing favorable conditions for their growth.

Clay pots, also known as “terracotta,” are often the best place to nurse your plants indoors. It is very safe and healthy to grow your basil plant.

Clay pots also facilitate the growth of your basil plant by preparing a suitable environment for it.

The porosity of the clay pot creates a lot of room for free passage of air and adequate moisture to enter the sides of the pot.

Therefore, if you’re planning on growing your basil plant indoors, I’d highly recommend clay pots.

What Kind of Soil Does Basil Prefer?

It is well known that many people use nutrient-rich soils (loamy soil), which promotes the growth of plants.

Nevertheless, some plants prefer dry soil and can grow well without water due to their ability to store water (plants like cactus).

Your basil plant prefers soil that is rich in nutrients and has high drainage capacity.

The soil you want to use in planting your basil must be well aerated and must be able to drain out water.

There are different species of your basil plant; sweet basil, Thai basil, holy basil, lemon basil, purple basil, African blue basil.

These species have different adaptations and serve different purposes.

You could wake up one morning only to stumble across your basil plant deteriorating, and you begin to wonder what exactly is causing it.

The reason is as a result of harmful insects and diseases such as;

  • Aphids
  • Powdery mildew
  • Bacteria and fungi

These agents could cause significant damage and loss to your basil plant.

Notwithstanding, these pesky insects and infections can be prevented by;
1. Exposing your basil plant to enough sunlight.
2. Avoid overwatering your plant and growing them in water-logged areas.
3. Prune your basil plant regularly to avoid the multiplication of aphids and powdery mildew.

The suitable soil should be considered when growing your basil plant to avoid reducing its quality and size.

Does Basil Like Poor Soil?

A lot of plants do not fare well in poor soils which lack the necessities it needs. But, on the other hand, they usually enjoy nutrient-rich soils and will find it very difficult to grow in poor soil.

However, basil can grow in poor soil, provided it has a high drainage capacity. It likes that condition, but if too much organic matter is added, it will reduce its flavor and fragrance.

If you must use poor soil to grow your basil plant you should give organic manure/matter in minimum quantities.


When growing your basil plant, you should consider certain factors. Some of them are; Soil, Sunlight, Temperature, Spacing, Nutrients, Water, PH, etc.

Also, we had earlier established that there are different species of basil; sweet basil, African blue basil, and many others. Different adaptations characterize all these.

Nevertheless, your basil plant, no matter the species, need soil with high drainage capacity. It can also grow in poor soil if this demand is met.


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