Growing Basil Indoors

It may seem strange to talk about growing indoors when the heat index is over 100 outside, but I’ve fallen in love with the simplicity of growing indoors.

There’s no weeds. No bugs. No going outside in the heat to tend to wilted plants. Just constant observation of my little plants in the cool indoors.

A few months ago I cleaned out my office, which had been used for a storage room. I was going to make it my official office to hid from kids over the summer, but it ended up being a mini-greenhouse instead.

Over the last few weeks I’ve attempted growing a few different things with new and old seeds I’ve obtained. I’ve tried potting soil and fancy equipment. I even tried starting my seeds in the Jiffy Plant Starter Kit, which was a complete failure long term. Sure they sprouted nicely, but they all died before the plants were of any use.

What I’ve learned is you don’t need anything complicated, nor do you need to use expensive items from the local Earl May. All you need is the following:

– A cheap pot with proper drainage (like a hole in the bottom). You could even use recycled food/drink containers, as long as they are properly washed out.

– Dirt from the backyard or potting soil

– A few seeds from a reliable source (we’ve been using, which has good prices and reasonable shipping costs).

– Water when needed, but not too much or the roots will rot.

– Plenty of light, even if it’s artificial (my office has an overhead florescent light, as well as a lamp directly above the plants).

The result will be beautiful, tasty basil, or other herbs you enjoy such as dill or parsley.

So why basil? Because I love the taste of fresh herbs. The last batch of basil I grew was used on a salad made with lettuce from farmers market and tomatoes from my backyard. Yum! It was perfect, and has inspired me to grow more herbs and even some flowers (currently trying to germinate lavender…more on that later).

With a little love and attention, growing basil indoors is easy and fun, and has some very delicious rewards!

Update June 23rd, 2013: 

This year I’ve got a FULL garden in the backyard, but still decided to throw some seeds in my ladybug planter. Instead of the office, I’m letting the plants sit in the kitchen window. I’m happy to say after only a week they are THRIVING! The rabbits are attempting to eat all my broccoli in the backyard, but the basil in the window is safe!

The seeds we used this year were older, and I can’t even remember where we picked them up. It must have been a reliable source, though, because they are sprouting beautifully. Growing basil indoors is REALLY not difficult, especially if me and my black thumb can accomplish it!


3 thoughts on “Growing Basil Indoors

  1. I wonder you are growing this in an artificial florescent light environment. I guess placing it next to a window which at least gets sunlight for an hour is a good idea.


    • I am growing my herbs in artificial florescent light, and light from an energy saving bulb. They do sit near a window, but the light from that window is aweful (wrong side of the house, too much shade). I try to get the highest possible light output as possible, or use bulbs specially for growing, so they do get enough light.

      They are looking fantastic so far, and my catnip has started to sprout as well!


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