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Growing Basil from Seed

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Growing basil from seed is simple. Basil is an easy-care plant and makes a great addition to any indoor or outdoor herb garden, or just a kitchen windowsill.

Basil growing in a pot
Growing basil from seed

How to grow basil from seed

Basil is one of my favorite fresh herbs. It is wonderfully fragrant, attractive, and so versatile – I use it in salads, as garnish, stirred through pasta sauces, to top pizza, and to make dips! 

As an annual warm climate herb, basil must be planted anew each spring, but luckily it is easy to grow from seed. It is a sun-loving plant that needs regular moisture and will die off if left to dry out.

It needs well-drained soil, and monthly feeding with a weak organic fertilizer (such as compost tea) for best growth. In the vegetable garden, basil makes a good companion plant for tomatoes, and is also a good border plant.

You can also grow basil from cuttings very easily if you have a healthy parent plant.

What do you need to grow basil from seeds?

Standard seed cultivating equipment is all you need to grow basil!

  1. Basil seeds
  2. Seedling pots – I like to use cardboard ones, or you can make your own by cutting up old cardboard egg cartons
  3. Seedling potting mix
Basil seedlings growing in a pot
Basil seedlings

Growing Basil: Frequently Asked Questions

Is basil easy to grow from seed?

Yes, basil is very easy to grow from seed. One of the easiest herbs to grow, and grows very quickly.

How long does it take to grow basil from seed?

It takes around 7 days for basil seeds to sprout, 4-5 weeks before they are ready to report, and the basil plant should be ready to harvest or start to use after around 8 weeks after planting seeds.

What month do you plant basil seeds?

If you want to grow basil indoors, basil seeds can be planted at any time of the year. If you are planning on growing your basil plants outside, the plant the seeds in mid-late spring, or early summer.

Should I soak basil seeds before planting?

You don’t need to soak basil seed before planting. However if you wish to get your basil seedlings off to a quick start, soaking the seeds for 12 hours or so before planting will encourage them to germinate faster.

How big should basil seedlings be before transplanting?

Basil seedlings should be around 2-3 inches tall before being transplanted.

Growing Basil from Seed: Step-by-Step Guide

Yield: Basil Plant

How to Grow Basil from Seed

Basil growing in a pot

Step-by-step guide to growing basil from seeds.


  • Basil seeds
  • Potting mix or seed raising mix
  • Seedling pot(s)
  • Water


  • Gardening gloves


  1. Fill seedling pot to around 1 inch below the top.
  2. Place seeds on top of the soil – you can put more than one seed in each
    seedling pot, but be sure to space them out around 1/4 inch between
  3. Use more potting mix to cover the seeds and fill the seedling pot almost to the top.
  4. Press down gently so the soil feels secure.
  5. Pour a small amount of clean water over the surface so that the soil is damp.
  6. Place seedling pot on a saucer and in a place with bright light, but not in direct sun.
  7. Check the soil every night. If the soil feels crumby and dry pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.


  1. Sprouting time is approximately 7 days.
  2. The basil seedlings should be ready to repot after 4-5 weeks after planting seeds.
  3. The basil plant should be ready to harvest or start to use after around 8 weeks after planting seeds.

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