How Many Basil Plants Per Pot?

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Last Updated on October 28, 2022

Whether adding to your pizza or pasta, basil makes a wonderful addition to many meals. It is a great herb to grow in your garden, whether you live in an apartment or house. However, if you plan to grow it you will want to know how many basil plants per pot.

Basil is a great herb to grow no matter your gardening experience. If you don’t have land for a garden, you can grow it in a pot instead and you will have just a much success. You simply can’t beat the taste of fresh basil either.

Brief History of Basil

Basil, or as it is officially known by its botanical name, Ocimum basilicum, is a member of the large mint family, Lamiaceae family. Other members of this herb family include lavender, rosemary, and sage.

Experts believe that basil’s origins lie in India, but it has been cultivated all over the world for over 5,000 years. There are even some indications that it could have been used in China as early as 807 A.D. in the Hunan region. It then began to spread westward and adapted to growing in colder climates and indoors as well.

Though basil has commonly been used in food, it has had other uses as well throughout history. In ancient Egypt, the herb was used for embalming and preserving mummies. In Greece, it was a symbol of mourning and in India, it was used for medical purposes.

Learn more about Is Sweet Basil A Perennial?

Basil is also believed to add strength while fasting in the Jewish community. In Portugal, basil is given as a gift to a lover and sweetheart on certain holidays.

Varieties And Health Benefits

There are many different kinds of basil you can grow. Sweet basil is the most commonly grown and it is what is used in Italian dishes. Other varieties of basil include Christmas, Sweet Thai, Purple Ruffles, Lime, Lemon, Cinnamon, and Holy.

Studies show that basil has many different health properties including reducing stroke damage, blood pressure, chronic stress, and memory loss. In addition, it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can even be used to keep ticks and mosquitoes away.

Proper Pot Size For Basil

A single basil plant needs a container that is at least two gallons and 8-10 inches deep. If you are planning on growing two plants together, you will want a pot that is at least four gallons. For window planters that will grow multiple plants, look for one that is at least 8” high x 6” wide x 3’ long.

Fabric Smart Pots are also a great option for growing your basil plants. If you plan on using one, get one that is at least three to four gallons in size. In addition, be sure to choose a container that has drainage holes.

Avoid using a container that is too large for a single basil plant, as this may cause the roots to rot. On the other hand, if you notice that the soil is densely packed with roots, it is time for a new, larger basil container size. You want to avoid overcrowding the roots, as this can cause several problems for the plant.

How Many Basil Seedlings Per Pot?

If you have a pot that is three to four gallons you can start with one to three basil seedlings. If all three successfully grow, you can keep them all in the same pot, unless they begin to show signs of overcrowding. In that case, move one to two of the plants to a bigger pot.

If you are growing basil from seeds, you can start with four to six seeds per pot. Once the seedlings have their first true set of leaves, you transfer two to three plants to new pots.

Herb Garden

Proper Care And Growing Needs

The best time to start growing basil is in May, as it is sensitive to the cold. Before planting, the soil should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, though 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. You want the soil to be well-drained with a neutral pH level.

It should get at six to eight hours of sun a day, so if you are growing it inside, you will want to have it in an east-facing window. When the soil becomes dry to the touch, water your basil plant. If growing in a garden, plant them at least 10-12 inches apart and 1/4 inch deep.

Read more about How Often Do You Water Basil Plant?

How To Harvest And Store

When harvesting basil, wait for your plant to be at least six to eight inches tall. To harvest, carefully pick off a leaf and wash it before adding it to your meal. It is best to harvest leaves from the top of the plant first, as this leads to bushier, fuller growth.

It is best to use your basil right after picking it. However, you can store fresh basil leaves for up to one to two weeks.

After harvesting, wash your leaves and carefully dry them with a paper towel. Then, place your dried leaves inside a plastic bag or jar and place them in your fridge.

You can also freeze basil as well by first blanching it for two seconds in boiling water. Then, place the leaves in ice water and next dry them off thoroughly. You can then store your basil in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one year.

Pot size for basil


Can you grow multiple basil plants in one pot?

No, you can't do this. Plants need to have their roots isolated from other roots in order for them to properly absorb nutrients and to produce healthy leaves.
By planting your seeds together, you're basically creating a root-bound ecosystem with only a few of the roots actually touching the ground. This creates an imbalance in the soil's pH and causes it to become compacted. In addition, all the roots are competing for space and nutrients. You also want to ensure that you don't plant seeds too close together. If they're within 3 inches of each other, the roots won't have enough room to grow and they'll end up stunted. To keep your basil plants healthy and strong, make sure they have a good amount of space between the roots.

How many basil plants can I plant together?

As a general rule of thumb, try to plant at least two basil plants in the same pot. But if you only have room for one, try to keep it near a window, where it will get plenty of sun. The more sun your plants get, the more basil they'll produce.

How much water does basil need?

The most important thing is to water regularly, but not so much that you drown the plants. When you water, gently pull back the soil to avoid damaging the roots. If the weather is hot and dry, water less often, and keep an eye on your plants. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Does basil grow back after you cut it?

No, it won't. The leaves of the basil plant are made up of an outer "sheath" or leaf called a "petiole" and an inner "blade" that contains the actual leaves of the plant. The petiole is where the basil's stem is attached to the plant. Cutting the stem at the base will prevent any growth from the root end.
After the first season, you can cut basil stems back by about half to encourage new growth.

How can I grow basil indoors?

For best results, you need a sunny window, so choose plants that will do well in full sun. Try growing your plants in a pot that's at least four inches deep. Basil also needs plenty of water, so don't let the soil dry out. You can grow your plants in a pot with a saucer of water in the bottom to help keep them from getting too dry. When you water, gently pull back the soil to avoid damaging the roots. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

When should I repot basil?

If your basil plant is growing well, then it does not need repotting. Basil is very forgiving and will adapt to many conditions. I would recommend a 10-15% increase in the pot size if you are using a pot that is smaller than 20 cm diameter. In general, it is best to repot basil every 3 years. However, this can be done more frequently if there are signs of disease or pests.

Understanding How Many Basil Plants Per Pot

Whether you grow your basil in your garden or house, it is a wonderful herb to have on hand. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also tastes great in so many different dishes. In addition, you don’t have to be an experienced gardener to grow your own basil.

If you have a two-gallon pot, you can grow one basil plant in it. If you have a four-gallon pot, you can grow two basil plants in it. Avoid overcrowding your basil plants and if the soil becomes too densely packed with roots, move them to a new pot.

Do you have any questions regarding how many basil plants per pot? If so, please ask any questions regarding planting basil in the comment section below.

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