Growing Basil Indoors – $3 dollar herb garden

Aug. 4, 2013

August is my FAVORITE time to go shopping for plants. Much better than spring, you find such great deals! Often, they go straight into the ‘plant hospital’ where they’re nursed back to health. Sometimes, just enough of the plant is alive to do some bonsai magic. This time, I got lucky, everything was half off and the leftovers were super healthy.

I honestly wasnt interested in buying anything at all during this trip, we’re so out of space. But one whiff lured me back for a closer look and immediately I was imagining an indoor herb garden. They had two licorice type basil plants Ive never seen before, I couldnt resist.

growing basil indoors - siam queen

Siam Queen is traditionally used in thai cooking. Its spicy anise flavor and can be used all types of dishes including pasta and salads. The flowers are edible as well. Wouldnt that look great in a salad!? Oh and did I mention the scent? Its musky clove scent reminiscent of licorice is just Heavenly.

growing basil indoors - licorice basilLicorice Basil is similar and smells a lot like the Siam queen, with a different flowering habit. The two work well together.

growing basil indoors - silver thyme 'hi ho'Silver Thyme ‘Hi Ho’. A beautiful spiller accent, thyme really goes well in this container and can be used in so many dishes.

Heres a great link to learn how to use your herbs in cooking”

Growing Basil Indoors:

Basil is one of the easier plants to grow. so Ok, basil needs a well draining potting soil, but you knew that. Basil needs regular watering, but you knew that. The biggest hurdle indoors is light. Successfully growing basil indoors requires 4 to 6 hours of sun. You really need a big bright window to grow basil indoors. Alternatively they live under 12 hours of grow lights. I want mine in the kitchen where i can grab some fresh and throw it on the plate.

Basil likes to be pinched and pruned. Cutting the plant back helps it grow more bushy rather than tall and lanky. Normally, letting basil go to flower effects the taste. The taste of licorice basil isnt quite as affected by the flowers, so I’ll let it be for now, but heres a video on how to prune sweet basil.

I am absolutely in LOVE with my licorice basil, they’re so beautifully ornamental its almost a crime to cut it. I do want it a little bushier in order to fill in the pot nicely, so I’ll prune just a little. The flowers also work well in dried arrangement and can be used in all sorts of scented craft type applications for the home.

The weather has been perfect the last week, so I will leave this container outside for a while to get the most of summer and bring it into the kitchen window when the temperature starts to drop below 50.

growing basil indoors

One last thing. Storing basil is easy. You can freeze it, or dry it. To dry it, Lay it flat or hang it upside down for a day or two, then strip the leaves and flowers off the branches and store.
Tip: cut the branches in the morning because the oil content is at its highest point. youll have the most flavorful dried basil.

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4 Responses to “Growing Basil Indoors – $3 dollar herb garden”

  1. Jon says:

    and who didnt want to go shopping for more plants?

    • Trisha says:

      sometimes it pays to be dragged along. doesnt take much dragging to get me to go to the nursery though 😀 thank you.

  2. Jonathan says:

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this
    topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

  3. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my
    own blog and would like to know where u got this from. cheers

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