basil plant care tips
Organic Gardening

How to Grow Basil from Supermarket Plant

Growing from seed can be challenging. When I started growing a garden, we always bought our seedlings from local garden centers. We shopped around since each garden center may offer different types of plants. For example, big box stores like Home Depot, sell the most known plants. Little mom and pop garden centers may have varieties that aren’t widely sold. It’s a great way to learn about different varieties and try different types of plants that aren’t commonly sold.

But did you know that you can grow basil from a supermarket plant? It’s another way to start out with a small basil plant and continue to let it grow. Plus this method may even be cheaper than buying it at some garden centers. I recommend always trying to buy organic, if you can. 

Whether you’re a first-time homesteader looking to start growing your own produce or an experienced gardener always on the hunt for new fruit and veggie varieties, basil is an ideal plant to add to your home garden. Not only does it have a delicious flavor, but it’s also incredibly easy to grow. It can be used in all sorts of ways, like making a yummy basil infused oil. With just a bit of knowledge on planting and ongoing maintenance, you can learn how to easily propagate basil from the supermarket-style plants found in almost any store – no matter how small your space might be! 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss various methods of growing and propagating basil along with tips and insider secrets that will help you successfully grow fresh herbs year round in your home garden.

This post is all about growing basil from supermarket plant.

[RELATED POST: 6 Easy Herbal Recipes to Make at Home]

Growing Basil From Supermarket Plant

So you purchased a basil plant from the supermarket. Now what do you do??

You’re definitely not going to want to keep the basil in the packaging that it comes in from the store. Sometimes the plants are just in a plastic bag with water. Other times the plants come in little containers. The plant needs a container (I suggest repotting your new plant if you want to keep it in a container) or needs to be planted in the ground. I’ll review both processes for repotting and getting your plant in the ground.

How to Grow Basil in a Pot: How to Repot Your Store Bought Basil

Let’s re-pot the basil step-by-step. 

What you’ll need

  • New home for your plant: container or pot
  • High quality potting soil
  • Trowel
  • Basil plant
  • Watering can

Step-by-Step Repotting

  1. If you’re planting the basil in a container, make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the growth of the plant. Basil can grow up to 12 to 24 inches tall and can reach 18 inches in width.
  2. Use high quality potting soil. It’s imperative that you don’t use soil from your garden. Potting soil is specifically made for proper drainage and nutrients for plants. It’s best to use organic soil and fertilizer for growing herbs. 
  3. Make sure your container has adequate drainage so that you don’t end up with root rot from soggy soil. Check the bottom of the container or pot that there are holes to allow excess water to exit. If you happen to place a plate underneath the pot or container, keep an eye on excess water collecting on it, particularly after heavy rains. Again, the roots shouldn’t sit in water.
  4. Fill the new container or pot with some soil. I always use the old container as a guide for how deep the plant needs to be planted. You can do the same by placing the old container in the new container to see how far to fill it with soil. Leave space to put the plant in.
  5. Now that you have everything set and ready to go, gently remove the basil from its original container or the plastic bag. Check the roots to see if the plant was root bound. Root bounding occurs when a container is too small for a plant and the roots become entangled.
  6. Gently loosen the roots and soil.
  7. Place the plant in the new container and fill in the remaining soil around it. Gently pat down the soil around the plant.
  8. Water the container well.

Planting tip: If you plan on growing it in a container or pot, it would be such a cute idea to create a mini herb garden in it like the picture below. In the container, I planted Thai basil, an Italian basil, parsley, and thyme.

[RELATED POST: A Basic Guide for How to Start an Herb Garden]

Since the basil is being kept in a pot or container, keep an eye on soil moisture. Containers’ and pots’ soil dries out quickly in comparison to a raised bed or in-ground garden.

How to Grow Basil Outdoors: Planting Basil in Your Garden

The process for planting basil outdoors in your garden is similar to the repotting. 

What you’ll need

  • Basil plant
  • Trowel
  • Watering can

Step-by-Step Planting

  1. Choose a sunny spot to plant your basil and dig to the depth of the container that’s holding it.
  2. Gently remove the basil from its original container or the plastic bag. Check the roots to see if the plant was root bound. 
  3. Gently loosen the roots and soil. Place the plant in the hole you dug.
  4. Backfill the hole with soil and then water your plant thoroughly.

Planting tip: Plant your basil with your tomato plants. Tomatoes and basil are companions. Basil deters pets like thrips and tomato hornworms for the tomato plant.

Basil Plant Care Tips: How to Care for Basil Plant Outdoors

Basil isn’t a difficult herb to take care of. It’s one of the most easygoing plants that I’ve grown that doesn’t require anything special to keep it thriving, which makes gardening so much easier. Like every plant, basil requires some basic care.

When to Plant Basil Outdoors

Basil doesn’t like it when it’s cold outside and thrives in warm to hot conditions. If you haven’t already done so, find out your planting zone so you know exactly when to plant it. The weather has to be clear of the threat of frost and temperatures shouldn’t be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius (during the day and night). The soil must be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit as well.

For example, in my area basil is ready to be planted towards the end of May.

[RELATED POST: USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Microclimates]

Sunlight Requirements

Basil loves sunlight, like most plants do. It prefers to be in a sunny spot and get full sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. It can do well in partial sun, but I would recommend always preparing to put it in a spot that gets sun most of the day.

Watering Requirements

The soil must be moist. Basil doesn’t particularly like dry conditions so keeping the soil moist is important. Using some type of mulch helps to keep moisture in the soil so place mulch around the plant.

How to Prune Basil

It might seem counterintuitive but basil likes to be pruned. By frequently pruning your plant, it will signal the more vigorous growth. Pruning can start earlier in the plant’s life. After it’s grown its first set of 6 or so leaves, prune the branch. Continue to do this on each branch every time it grows about 6 leaves, even if you don’t need them. If you don’t need the leaves after they’ve been pruned, consider saving them for later. My favorite way to preserve basil is by drying them in a food dehydrator and placing them in a jar.

If you begin to notice flowers sprouting, pinch them off. Although basil flowers are beautiful, they cause the leaves to have a bitter taste. By pinching off the flowers, the flavor returns to its leaves.

As a side note, pollinators love basil flowers.

When to Harvest

Basil is ready to be harvested once the plant is 6 to 8 inches tall. Always harvest the leaves in the morning. Leaves tend to be wilty if they’re harvested in the middle of the day or the evening. Basil plants like to be harvested regularly. Regularly harvesting leaves encourages growth.

Recap of Growing Basil from Supermarket Plant

•Growing basil from a supermarket plant is an easy and cost-effective way to start growing your own produce.

• Repotting or planting the basil in the ground are two methods for getting started with this herb.

• When repotting, use high quality potting soil that has adequate drainage and make sure the pot is big enough for growth.

• Planting outdoors requires digging a hole, filling it back up with soil, and watering thoroughly when done.

• Basil needs plenty of sunlight (at least 6 – 8 hours) as well as moist but not soggy soil to thrive outdoors; mulch can help retain moisture levels if needed.

• Pruning encourages vigorous growth while pinching off flowers helps maintain optimal flavor in leaves. Harvest regularly once plants reach 6 – 8 inches tall early in the morning.

This was a post all about growing basil from supermarket plant.

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