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Growing Sweet Basil Outdoors (11 Pro Tips)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 01:25 pm

Sweet basil is the most popular variety of basil. It is used anywhere and everywhere, in almost any meal.

Also, many people have reported planting basils in their homes. Therefore, there is a need for detailed tips on how to go about the entire process.

You can plant sweet basil both indoors and outdoors. Growing basil outdoors is one of the most accessible gardening-related actions. Some tips for growing basil outdoors include adequate sunlight, adequate water, fertilizer application, and a few more. We shall be treating 11 of them.

Does Sweet Basil Need Full Sun?

A basil plant can not survive without a quality amount of sunlight. This plant, sweet basil, thrives under sunlight.

Does sweet basil need full sunlight? Yes, sweet basil growing outdoors needs full sunlight.

If a basil plant is getting enough sunlight, it will grow healthy and produce healthy leaves. However, if basil is not getting enough sunlight, it will tell in the plant.

Its growth becomes stunted, and the leaves start to lose color. A basil plant needs at least six hours of uninterrupted sunlight.

11 Tips for Growing Sweet Basil Outdoors

To grow sweet basil plants outdoors in your garden, you can follow these steps. Simple steps that will give you a quality basil plant. Some of these tips include:

1. Growth

You can grow your basil indoors first, then transplant the seedlings into your garden. Growing basil indoors enables the plant to grow under your conditions.

Nevertheless, you can plant sweet basil as a seed into the garden directly or as cuttings. When planting your basil seeds, get quality seeds that will germinate into healthy basil plants.

You can buy sweet basil or Genovese basil seeds at gardening stores or nursery stores. Or you can use the red from your other basil plants if you have any.

2. Soil

Basil requires adequately porous soil. A porous soil will permit the flow of water and air into the roots of the plant. This is very vital to the plant.

If the soil is well-drained, the basil roots will not have to suffer from root rot when you start watering the plant. Make sure the soil is adequately moist before planting the basil seeds.

3. Planting

Ensure to leave enough space when placing basil seeds in the soil. You can leave an equal one inch in between every basil seed.

If you want your basil to grow to its fullest, you need to provide it with enough space so it can spread out.

This action ensures that each basil plant has enough nutrients within its area and excessive competition is avoided.

When plants over-compete, some will eventually lose and due to lack of certain nutrients. Avoid overcrowding.

4. Post-planting

After planting your basil seeds, you need to cover them with a thin layer of soil. You can achieve this by sprinkling some soil on top of the basil seeds.

After covering the seeds up, water the soil to moisten the ground for the seeds to germinate.

Since you can not move basil planted outside frequently, you have to choose a perfect warm spot for your basil to grow.

5. Care

You need to take proper care of your basil to grow. So, how do you care for an outdoor basil plant?

1. Make sure that the plant is getting adequate sunlight from where you planted it.
2. Water the basil plant as often as is required.
3. Avoid overwatering the plant to prevent root rot.
4. Prune the plants occasionally once they start developing leaves to prevent overcrowding.
5. Inspect the leaves for chlorosis (chlorosis often signifies a lack of nutrients, disease infection, and other negativities) and try to find a solution to the cause of the chlorosis.
6. Cut off infected leaves.

There are many other ways to care for your basil plant, but these are the major requirements.

6. Sunlight

Make sure that the basil is getting enough sunlight: the more sunlight, the more leaves of higher quality.

However, try to control the amount of sun your basil gets. Once in a while, get shade over the plant, especially if you notice wilting or color change.

This occurrence could mean that the plant is getting dehydrated. You need to increase the amount of water in the soil.

After a few hours, the basil should begin to recover.

7. Pruning

After a week or two, your basil plant should have developed its first set of leaves. This process only means that it is ready for pruning. First, you need to thin the garden.

Remove plants and replant them in another section of the garden or shift them farther away to provide more space between the plants.

At this stage, basil seedlings require a lot of space and ‘privacy.’

8. Transplanting

If you were growing your sweet basil indoors, you could transplant them to your outdoor garden.

Transplanting is done after the plant has developed its first pair of leaves. When it is still a seedling, be careful not to damage the plant when removing it from the soil to transplant.

For transplanting, remove the plant from the ground by the roots. This statement means you will remove the plant as a whole.

If you planted your basil outdoors from seed level, then this step doesn’t apply to you unless you wish to change the position of the plant.

9. Trimming

Trimming basil leaves is somewhat reasonably essential for basil leaf development despite its seeming unnecessary.

As your plant grows, you are to pick bad leaves to avoid contaminating other leaves. Also, trimming leaves encourages the growth of different leaves.

When looking for bad leaves to pluck off, pick the ones that are losing color (to white, brown or yellow), the floppy ones, and the ones that seem stunted.

Also, pick leaves that have signs of fungal infection.

10. Harvesting

Start harvesting basil once the leaves develop up to three pairs. The earlier you harvest, the more leaves the plant can grow.

When harvesting, leave a few leaves on the plant so that it can produce more leaves. Never pick all the leaves of a basil plant.

Harvest leaves before the basil starts to flower. If you are still harvesting and notice any flowers, you can remove them.

11. Replanting

If your basil plant is ready for harvest, you can make one stem by cutting from it to grow in another part of the garden or water it as an entirely different plant.

You can also plant the seeds of the developed plant as soon as possible. That way, you always have basil throughout the year and never run out of pesto.


Sweet basil is one of the easiest herbs to cultivate, especially outdoors. Once you follow the proper steps, you can establish a sweet basil garden with zero former experience.

It may need a lot of care as it is a very fragile plant, but the result is always worth it. Basil can serve you in different ways in your kitchen.

Having basil all year round will never be a problem if you follow these tips, and taking care of the plant will not be too hard.


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