Basil, a luxuriant, fragrant plant, adds flavor and spice to your yard and kitchen. Although there are numerous varieties of Basil, each with its unique traits, they all love the sun, heat, and water. This is the first plant I plant every spring because it adds great flavor to my cooking and also because of its herbaceous nature.
The difference between a healthy, fruitful basil plant and one wilting, discolored, and suffering may be seen by maintaining the proper watering frequency. This article will review everything you need to know about watering Basil.
Where to Grow Basil?
Before taking you through the basics of watering, I have to make you understand where to grow your Basil. Also, you should know the best conditions for its growth. Doing this is crucial since, no matter how well you water, it will only matter if you grow this herb in the right circumstances. No amount of water will help a Basil if it doesn’t have the conditions it needs to survive.
Basil loves the sun and warm temperatures. Basils cannot endure cold weather. Even a tiny dusting of frost causes the foliage to turn black. I must wait until the threat of frost is over before I plant it outdoors. Basil will not thrive nor grow well in excellent conditions if grown in shades. At least 6 hours of sunlight and high temperatures are best.
How Often to Water Basil?
Before establishing a schedule, you must know the watering requirements for various planting scenarios. On average, you will likely need to water your basil plants every three to four days, but keep in mind that there are some variables to consider. It includes sunlight, heat, rainfall, and the substrate your Basil is planted in.
At certain stages, not all basil plants will require the same quantity of watering. Due to its simplicity, Basil can be a great plant to cultivate with children, but you don’t want to overwater it to the point of destroying it.
- Watering Seedlings
You must maintain a close eye on your young basil plants until they get hardier. This is irrespective of whether you’ve just planted your basil seeds in the ground or just seeded them in a plug tray. After planting, lightly mist the soil to aid in hastening germination. Basil seedlings that are still young need far less water than mature plants.
You should carefully water the Basil transplants that you recently planted. Per plant, a half gallon of water is sufficient. When there hasn’t been any rain in a few days, water basil seedlings with an additional quarter to half a gallon of water. If too much water is applied all at once, the tiny shoots will quickly drown.
Keep the soil moist after the seedlings have emerged, but avoid flooding the area. The plant may be uprooted because the roots are still highly few.
It is usually better to bottom water when growing seeds in a plug tray (a plastic tray with separate cells or even a small pot). Here, you pour water into the tray positioned beneath the cell sheet. The water will draw into the potting or seed-starting mix through the tray’s bottom. By doing this, you reduce the possibility of uprooting young basil plants. Additionally, you want to avoid taking a chance that the newly placed seed will drift away.
When the seedlings are big, you can delay watering until every two days. When ready to transfer them into the ground or a larger pot, ensure to water your seedlings thoroughly. For the coming week, you should also water your plants every day to help the roots take root.
- Watering Basil Growing In Pots
Depending on the weather outdoors, water your basil plants every one to two days if you grow them in pots. To determine whether it is necessary to water, stick your finger into the pot’s soil. It’s time to water if the pot’s top 1–2 inches are dry.
Avoid waiting until your Basil wilts before watering. Additionally, if your pot goes outside, make sure it has a drainage hole. You don’t want your plant to be drowned out by a heavy downpour flooding your container.
- Watering Indoor Basil
If your Basil is indoors, you won’t need to water it as frequently. The temperature inside the house doesn’t usually change throughout the day, and let’s face it, not many of us keep it set over 75° F. Make sure you don’t overwater your Basil when you water it once every four to five days. If you water your plants from above, be careful to drain any extra water once it has soaked through entirely in the plant saucer.
Signs your Basil Needs Watering
Basil, like the majority of plants, shows apparent signals that it needs to water. The entire plant appears weak as the leaves wilt and the stalks sag. Unfortunately, a basil plant is already stressed when it shows these symptoms. Stress makes plants more vulnerable to illnesses like Basil downy mildew and pest infestations.
They also have the propensity to blossom prematurely (bolt). I try my hardest to keep my Basil from flowering because the flavor of bolted Basil differs slightly. In that sense, keeping the plant well-hydrated and relaxed is beneficial. Nevertheless, most of the time, I also pinch off the flower buds as soon as they begin to grow. Knowing how frequently to water basil will help you develop gorgeous, well-hydrated plants by preventing stress on the plants in the first place.
As a responsible gardener, I choose to water my basil plants in the morning. Watering Basil in the morning also gives the foliage time to dry out before dusk. Basil suffers greatly from moist foliage at night because spores of numerous fungal diseases grow there on summer nights.
Evenings are the second-best time to water Basil. However, aiming the water directly toward the soil surrounding the plant’s root zone is crucial. That is especially when I water in the evening. Make every effort to keep the foliage as dry as you can.
Should I Water With A Watering Can Or Hose?
The ultimate goal is moist soil, and as long as you can achieve that, your basil plants won’t mind whether you water them with a watering can or a hose nozzle. Always keep the foliage as dry as you can to avoid disease. Don’t water Basil with overhead sprinklers because there is no way to use them without getting the foliage wet.
If you have an option, water the plant’s base with a watering can, drip irrigation, a soaker hose on the soil surface, or a hose directed at the soil level. You have no control over the rain, but you can try to influence how irrigation water is delivered.
Which Type Of Water Should I Use When Watering My Basil?
You should pay attention to the frequency and volume of watering Basil than the type of water used. Tap water is suitable. Collecting rainwater in a cistern, barrel, or bucket is also fantastic. You don’t need to use any “special” water to water your Basil.