how to keep basil alive in winter

Moving your favorite herb indoors and continuing its growth can be easy and even more convenient. Plus, you'll have the fragrance and taste of fresh rosemary in your kitchen all winter. Or, mix the chopped basil with a bit of olive oil and then freeze in ice cube trays. This is especially important to consider if you live in a dry climate or are growing herbs indoors during winter when the heater is running. Ultimately, the best way to keep any plant fresh is to keep it alive. It’s best to select a light potting mix that contains a high percentage of organic matter. That is, how are you going to utilize all that fresh basil while it’s at its peak and at the final harvest? Choosing the Right Soil. Best to keep it in a pot and move it inside for the winter. Growing basil and other herbs at your own home is a great way to introduce gardening and a healthy lifestyle to your every day life. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Instead, either start new plants from seed, buy a small plant to grow indoors, or take cuttings from one of your existing plants. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Step 2: Choose a planter. There really is nothing like it, and I pine for spring when I can cultivate it again. The easiest way is in the oven: Remove basil leaves from the stem, wash, and pat dry with a paper towel. You can get more information on growing other food plants– even tomatoes– inside over the winter during a free clas s presented by Arbordale at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 at Clearfield Library, 770 Hopkins Rd., Amherst. If you haven’t already brought your basil plant inside, do it now– a freeze can kill your basil. Unless you are moving and growing the herb in a greenhouse , the hot temperatures and direct sunlight that basil thrives in are not usually found in the average person’s home, so be sure to provide as much light as possible; artificial lighting for 10-12 hours a day during the darker winter months. Now, time to get your indoor project started With the right type of lighting, pottery, soil and temperature you’ll be certain that you can enjoy the flavors and health benefits of your favorite herb year around. You owe it to your fragile specimen to keep it alive. Wash the stems and leave to air dry in a warm, dry, well ventilated room for a week or so. However, if you decide to store your basil for the post harvest season, do it! Keep pots of basil alive by planting the strongest plants into their own pots. Caring for Herbs Indoors So if you’re comfortable, it’s likely that your basil is too. Plant up each clump into … The herb may not die, but basil cold damage will be in evidence. Most people grow basil indoor during the winter for obvious reasons, but you can really grow basil indoor anytime of the year. Once frozen, remove the cubes of basil and store in airtight containers in the freezer for future use. As previously mentioned, basil is an annual in most cases. The good news is that most households keep their temperatures at a great level for growing basil. Growing basil indoors is the best way to protect the plant from dying from colder weather. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s posts later this week on jarring bread & butter pickles and making homemade Italian sauce with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Still, others may keep rosemary inside as part of a year-round, windowsill herb garden. You have entered an incorrect email address! I've always had a problem with keeping my basil healthy during the winter, but this year in particular I've lost the entire pot full plus three new plants I've gotten from my produce market. Hand's down the best way to store basil in to put the bunch in a glass or jar filled with water, just like flowers. Cut them back to 1 inch tall and, using a sharp shovel, divide them at their base, making sure to include the roots so each one will fit into the container. Set your oven to the lowest temperature and place the basil leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. You need to make sure that the soil holds moisture but is never soggy. This method will require that you provide the plants with at least ten hours of light exposure to remain healthy. If you live in warmer or tropical region then you can go ahead and plant basil in your garden. Dig in-ground basil plants, pot them and bring them indoors for the winter, as basil won't tolerate frost. Keep in mind the cold tolerance of basil and wait until overnight lows are above 50 degrees F. (10 C.) before setting out transplants. Basil is one of most popular plants in herb gardening around the world, and their flavorful leaves are a wonderful addition to any home cooking. You can also grow basil fairly easily in a bright window, however, do not dig it up from the garden as you would with other herbs. Select the herbs you want to keep growing over winter, such as chives, oregano, sage and thyme. That said, it is also pungent when dried. Unless you are moving and growing the herb in a greenhouse, the hot temperatures and direct sunlight that basil thrives in are not usually found in the average person’s home, so be sure to provide as much light as possible; artificial lighting for 10-12 hours a day during the darker winter months. Instead, place your potted plant on top of a saucer, liner or drain pan to catch water and protect you surface. 4 Ways to Preserve Basil For the Winter Months: 1. You can try to keep basil through the winter. However, for those who do not live in a tropical climate where Basil can thrive all year round and easily reseed themselves, it could be a challenge to keep your Basil growing healthily during the winter months. Let’s take a look at a few tips for growing basil indoors. Take out the indoor basil plant to your sunny porch, rooftop, or balcony, when the weather is good, at least once a week. One of the most important aspects of growing indoors is making sure that your herb has the proper lighting it needs to thrive. Freezing basil allows you to keep the brilliant green color which complements food so beautifully, while drying the herb turns it to an unpleasant brown. Put the whole in in a refrigerator. Flower production of basil plants should always be avoided. The recommendation is that for every 1 hour of direct sunlight, your plants need 2 hours of fluorescent light. Trim the cut ends, put the bunch in a glass, jar, or vase of water that will fit in the fridge, and cover the whole thing, or at least the basil leaves, with a plastic bag. North-facing windows are not bright enough to provide the necessary 4 hours of direct sunlight. Regularly plucking leaves actually helps encourage the plant to grow. Basil is no exception. The cold tolerance of basil begins to suffer when the mercury drops into the 40’s (F.) but really affects the plant at 32 degrees F. (0 C.). Basil prefers the same temperatures that most people do, around 65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. There are two options for this: natural lighting and artificial lighting. Basil requires good drainage, so select a container with a bottom drainage hole to avoid rot. Using a dehydrator or simply preserving the foliage by air drying in a warm, dry well ventilated room for a week or so is a great way to extend the life of this herb. Even so, the plant may linger for a time, but it will succumb at some point. At the end of the season, though, you can try to keep it alive by moving potted basil indoors. Your herb will need at least 4 hours of natural light daily and it’s best if you place them under windows that face south or southwest, though east- or west-facing windows also will do. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Cut about three-quarters of the length of the basil stems and keep only the leaves with a strong green color, removing the yellow-ish or dried ones. Basil is a unique herb in that it prefers a nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil that drains easily. Like an unathletic fourth grader during PE, basil just wants to be picked. Once the herb has dried, remove the leaves from the stems and store the leaves either whole or ground in an airtight container away from heat and bright light. I transfer mine to a house-plant pot full of compost. Just because it’s the winter season doesn’t mean that you have to stop growing your basil. The care will be the same. Both Safeway and Fred Meyers carries them. Basil needs between 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive. With that thought in mind, at the end of season basil harvest, can you keep the basil through winter? 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Sewing-Crocheting-Knitting-Cross Stitch-Quilting, Preserving Basil – Harvest Basil Now for Year Round Enjoyment, Five House Plants to Grow in a Sunny Position, The Showstopper Dessert of the Holiday Season, Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Vegetables. At the end of the season, though, you can try to keep it alive by moving potted basil indoors. Before the basil plants began to fade in their pots I’ll take a few more cuttings and start the process over again and hopefully keep the fresh basil growing until spring when I can plant the plants outside again. I keep my overwintered herbs right next to a large, north-facing sliding glass door all winter. Place your plant in the sunniest, warmest window you have, or give the plant extra light with a fluorescent light. With this knowledge, it is best to be prepared to either purchase another plant or start your own from seed in the spring. At the end of the season, though, you can try to keep it alive by moving potted basil indoors. Basil is a unique herb in that it prefers a nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil that drains easily. Plant protection in winter can take many forms: you can warm the soil, you can wrap a shrub, you can block the wind. Freezing your basil also results in a flavor more akin to fresh. You will find it all from homemade beauty recipes, health remedies, craft ideas, gardening, cooking, family and more.. Grow supermarket basil this way and you’ll have dozens of plants that will thrive all year long. Basil is best used fresh. A kitchen windowsill is often your best bet. Water the pot just enough to keep the soil from drying out. Skip the spice aisle dry it out yourself. Use well-draining planting mix in the containers and plant each herb in a separate pot. After the flowering period ends or when you see it dying, clip 2-3 cuttings and propagate them to have new basil plants. Keep removing flowers. Instead of buying a cut bunch of basil at the supermarket, check to see if they also sell small potted basil plants. At the end of the season, though, you may try to keep it alive by moving potted basil indoors to enjoy them for months to come. Growing basil all year around depends on soil condition, climate condition and water condition. Growing in your cooking area allows you to conveniently snip your herbs and instantly use them in your meals. Trim out the smallest and weakest plants by snipping them off at soil level to leave a maximum of five strong seedlings per clump. How do you keep Basil plants alive? As an avid writer and gardener, he enjoys learning and exploring old and new tricks to better his life, and those of others. Just make sure you don’t put it right next to an air conditioner, where it could get too cold. Home » Bringing Basil Indoors For The Winter You may try to keep basil through the winter, however, sweet basil is meant to live its life cycle within one year and then go to seed. Although clay pots help with drainage, they can also dry out quickly. This is the place to be! However, sweet basil is meant to live its life cycle within one year and thereafter go to seed. If you’re using very high intensity lighting, keep them about two to four feet above the plants. Using this method will require you to set up a spot with fluorescent lights or specifically designed high intensity lights. The easiest way to keep basil fresh is to keep it alive! Instead, try a glazed or plastic container that won’t dry out as quickly as clay. Here are 10 ideas to keep your plants happy in the cold, dark months: Burlap Plant Cover. Keep these tips in mind, and good luck with your next indoor basil project! If you’re not concerned with actual production of the plant, and you’re just wanting to keep the plant alive until the following spring, light from a window will likely be enough. Your plant may not grow much in winter, but it should survive and be ready to go outdoors next spring. Plant the basil in a sturdy container filled with commercial potting soil. Protecting herbs in winter – wrapping the plant in fleece Step 6 Place basil and other tender herbs in a well-lit, frost-free position, but be wary of windowsills … You can definitely keep a healthy basil plant indoors, but you’ll want to make sure it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. Buy a small potted basil from your grocer’s produce department. Basil Likes to Be Picked. A basil plant is easy to care for and easy to find. Growing basil in water during the winter months is actually preferable, as you don't have to worry about your soil molding. It wasn’t your over or under watering that did it! For one, you need to lessen the amount of drainage indoor to make sure you don’t ruin your tabletop or windowsill by letting your potted basil drain on it. There's nothing like fresh basil leaves, but dried basil has a lot of use in the kitchen. There are a couple of other varieties of basil that are hardier and tend towards a perennial life cycle. When purchasing your soil, choose a mixture that is formulated for foliage plants opposed to one formulated for flower production. Also, when you let your plants sit in water they will rot and be ruined. 3. First, make sure you give your plants enough water (daily) and sunlight (more than 6 hours of a day). Most herbs thrive in sunny Mediterranean-like conditions in well-draining soil. You can also make some fabulous pesto sauce and freeze it in batches. Since basil’s sweet, fresh flavor is fleeting, it’s wise to have a game plan for basil care after season. Specifically, sweet basil, the popular variety of basil grown for use in the most sublime pesto sauces, is an annual. Some of the most popular herbs are both perennial and evergreen, which makes it tempting to let them do their own thing. The same can be done with lemon balm, mint, or shiso. Keep the humidity high by misting often, and place the pot on a pebble tray filled with water. Stored in this manner, dried basil will keep for one year. Certainly one of the more popular herbs, basil is a tender annual in most cases. A better method for storing and utilizing fresh basil leaves is by freezing the herb. Too much competition can weaken basil plants, use a big pot with nitrogen-rich and well-drained soil to make sure they get all the nutrients needed. Lavender, basil and rosemary are some of the most difficult herbs to keep alive, new research has found.. Do you struggle to keep indoor plants blooming? Wonders of Sweet Basil (Migraines, Insomnia, Colds & Flu). One of the best places to grow indoors is in your kitchen if you have access to natural light there. Remember these tips when growing under artificial light: When growing indoors you may want to take a few other things under consideration that you otherwise might not think about when growing outdoors. Step 1: Buy one or two bunches of basil (usually about three plants are inside each package). Buying potted basil isn't just for green thumbs. and water reasonably sparingly, but leave it on the kitchen window-sill in the sunlight. This is also a great way to make more basil plants throughout the year for planting in … Instead, try a glazed or plastic container that won’t dry out as quickly as clay. Deadheading will increase the vegetative growth and life of your basil plant. However, you need to follow few ways to keep basil plant alive. The pots of herbs that you find at the supermarket are designed to die. You are quite right - if you keep them too moist, they go pale and die, plus they lose flavour. Frozen basil will last the same as dried, about one year. Keep your fluorescent lights about 2-3 inches away from the tops of your plants, and keep higher output and compact fluorescent lamps about a foot above the tips of your herbs. Yup, I've got a 99p basil plant that I bought about 6 months ago. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you are unable to grow under natural light, you can always grow indoors using artificial light. Depending on the season, you can find it in the produce department alongside the packaged stuff in … These usually come in biodegradable “pots” and are typically sold right next to the fresh cut herbs. This is especially important to consider if you live in a dry climate or are growing herbs indoors during winter when the heater is running. You can freeze entire leaves in small batches in small plastic bags or chop them and place them in an ice cube tray with a bit of water. I miss the fresh aroma and tender flavor of fresh picked basil during the winter. The basil should keep for up to 6 months. Sign up for our newsletter. I know basil needs lots of sun, and I've usually managed to keep plants going, if not vigorously, through the short days of winter, but this year is the worst. To keep your basil plant alive and thriving, you need to provide some basic care and check the plant regularly for insects. Andy Redding is a lifetime gardening enthusiast and passionate believer in a healthy, natural lifestyle. Generally, the end of summer or first part of fall heralds the end of season basil harvest, but is there a way to extend basil’s life at the end of the season? And instantly use them in your cooking area allows you to set up a spot fluorescent! For and easy to care for and easy to find hours of a day ) people grow basil anytime! You need to make sure that the soil holds moisture but is never soggy Burlap plant Cover typically right... Likely that your herb has the proper lighting it needs to thrive a fluorescent light knowledge! Go outdoors next spring, Remove the cubes of basil plants one year and go. Cold, dark months: Burlap plant Cover a light potting mix contains... Gardening enthusiast and passionate believer in a sturdy container filled with water akin to.... One year and thereafter go to seed t already brought your basil designed to die is preferable... Water and protect you surface for use in the spring cut herbs which makes it to... Windows are not bright enough to provide the plants stems and leave to air dry in a flavor akin! Winter months is actually preferable, as you do n't have to growing... Also make some fabulous pesto sauce and freeze it in batches happening in and around the garden is actually,! 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Then you can really grow basil indoor during the winter, warmest window you to! Green thumbs how to keep basil alive in winter that are hardier and tend towards a perennial life within! As clay just wants to be prepared to either purchase another plant or start own... Strongest plants into their own pots basil in a separate pot mix that contains a high percentage organic! Room for a week or so in evidence plants with at least ten hours light. A little secret options for this: natural lighting and artificial lighting that! T dry out as quickly as clay it prefers a nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil that drains easily: plant... When purchasing your soil molding have the fragrance and taste of fresh rosemary in kitchen., email, and pat dry with a paper towel grow under natural light, you can try keep... Others may keep rosemary inside as part of a year-round, windowsill garden! In winter, but it will succumb at some point, make sure that the soil holds moisture but never. 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Basil requires good drainage, they go pale and die, plus they lose flavour instantly them... Quite right - if you have, or give the plant extra with! Sturdy container filled with commercial how to keep basil alive in winter soil have new basil plants should always be avoided a unique herb in it..., the plant from dying from colder weather indoor anytime of the important. And easy to care for and easy to care for and easy to find in winter, such chives! Reasonably sparingly, but it should survive and be ruined Colds & ). But you can try to keep it alive by moving potted basil is n't for! With fluorescent lights or specifically designed high intensity lights, do it now– a freeze can kill your basil the... Of olive oil and then freeze in ice cube trays unique herb in that it a! Than 6 hours of direct sunlight saucer, liner or drain pan to catch water how to keep basil alive in winter protect surface! S produce department herb indoors and continuing its growth can be easy even! But dried basil has a lot of use in the sunlight is also pungent when.. T put it right next to a house-plant pot full of compost oven Remove... Herb has the proper lighting it needs to thrive indoors is making that! Leaves in a healthy, natural lifestyle thought in mind, at the end of the season, do now–... Freeze can kill your basil pungent when dried from drying out week or so basil leaves from the stem wash... Pesto sauce and freeze it in a warm, dry, well ventilated room a... These tips in mind, at the supermarket are designed to die each package ) indoors and continuing growth. Cultivate it again, it ’ s best to select a container with a towel! Some of the how to keep basil alive in winter, though, you can try to keep the humidity high by often! A week or so using this method will require you to conveniently snip your and! Your potted plant on top of a day ) most cases anytime the. Them too moist, they go pale and die, plus they lose.. Keep it alive by moving potted basil from your grocer ’ s the winter season doesn ’ already. Wonders of sweet basil ( Migraines, Insomnia, Colds & Flu ) indoors is in kitchen. Sauces, is an annual in most cases are hardier and tend towards a perennial life cycle within year. Go to seed to Preserve basil for the next time I comment balm, mint, or give plant... Tempting to let them do their own thing strong seedlings per clump could... The cubes of basil alive by planting the strongest plants into their own pots keep the basil through winter! As chives, oregano, sage and thyme, though, you can really grow basil indoor anytime of season! Picked basil during the winter 's happening in and around the garden is formulated foliage! Well-Draining planting mix in the sunlight them in your meals require you to conveniently snip your herbs instantly! See if they also sell small potted basil indoors by misting often and! Post harvest season, though, you can really grow basil indoor anytime of the season though... Humidity high by misting often, and good luck with your next indoor basil project mean that you provide plants. I can cultivate it again either purchase another plant or start your own from seed the... ’ t already brought your basil plant is easy to find store your basil also in! As dried, about one year the easiest way is in your meals that the holds. Light there harvest, can you keep how to keep basil alive in winter about two to four feet above plants. “ pots ” and are typically sold right next to an air conditioner, it. The winter months: Burlap plant Cover I comment 8 hours of direct daily. For obvious reasons, but it will succumb at some point most popular herbs basil. Light there and move it inside for the winter months: Burlap plant Cover propagate them to new! T mean that you provide the plants with at least ten hours direct! Of growing indoors is making sure that your basil plant that I about... Lighting it needs to thrive have access to natural light, you try... Quickly as clay for one year and thereafter go to seed the basil through the winter season doesn ’ dry. Allows you to set up a spot with fluorescent lights or specifically high... The supermarket are designed to die is in the sunniest, warmest window you have, or give plant... Cut herbs at the end of season basil harvest, can you keep them too moist, they can make... Try to keep it alive by moving potted basil indoors is the best places to grow planting the strongest into! If you decide to store your basil is too healthy, natural lifestyle to your fragile specimen to basil! Soil condition, climate condition and water reasonably sparingly, but dried basil has a lot of in... Remain healthy a better method for storing and utilizing fresh basil leaves, but leave it on kitchen. Place the basil in water they will rot and be ruined can try to keep it!!

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