Indoor Basil

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by illsstep, Sep 27, 2016.


    PlantLover300 Member

    I like to top them when they get two sets of true leaves. This will produce two shoots. And it will go from there.
    calliandra likes this.

    illsstep Member


    I'm a little bit worried about overcrowding, so I topped half the plants (on the right) and left the other half alone for now.
    calliandra likes this.

    illsstep Member


    It's hard to appreciate how much they have grown until I look at the comparison pictures - wow!

    Growth is, however, slowing down, and I think it is due to temperature. Because of the cold outside, the temperature indoors is a bit cooler than it had been. The grow area is currently running about 70°, which is down from the 80° it had been (and I've read that basil thrives at 80° - 90°). The humidity, at least, is still holding above 50%, despite the heat being on indoors.
    calliandra and wsntme like this.

    cordongreen Member

    This is looking amazing! I am doing a similar basil grow right now, but I'm using two plants in the same net pot (growing hydroponically) and I am pruning strategically to create a huge, horizontal basil bush. I want to see how big I can get a single bush without letting it bolt to flower or degrade in quality or taste at all. Your system is looking amazing though and I have to be honest, going soil + multiple plants is an approach I'd like to try :)
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    illsstep Member

    I'd love to see pictures of that. A horizontal bush is a fascinating idea. Are you growing outdoors, or under lights?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016

    illsstep Member


    Starting to get a bit crowded. The lower shoots on most plants are stretching a bit, but all lower leaves are still doing very well. I've only had a few of the very lowest/smallest leaves yellow and drop - everything else is green. A lot of light seems to be making it to the lower canopy despite the crowding.

    I've had to start watering more often, which makes me think that I am getting closer to the limit of the 5.5" pots I am using. I'll wait to see if they start showing any symptoms of being root bound.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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    calliandra Well-Known Member

    when are you going to start harvesting?
    My fingers kinda start itching seeing them hehe
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    illsstep Member

    I'm going out of town in two weeks to visit family for the holidays. My roommate already offered to water them while I'm gone, but I've been thinking about doing a total harvest before I go and starting something new when I get back. Decisions, decisions..
    calliandra likes this.

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    well that's the whole beauty of basil, it can be harvested multiple times, it'll come back bushier :D

    illsstep Member


    First flower buds have appeared - right at day 70, on the ones I did not top. You can also see what i think is light bleaching on the upper leaves - I raised the light, and hopefully I won't see it on any new growth.


    I topped the group that had not been cut back yet to delay flowering. Nice even canopy now. My current plan is to let these continue for a couple more weeks, and then harvest them all before I go out of town. When I get back I am thinking of starting a pepper grow - probably jalapeños - which will take me through the rest of the winter.
    calliandra likes this.

    farmerfischer Well-Known Member

    Nice basil

    illsstep Member



    Last few days before the harvest. I'm seeing the beginnings of some more flower buds, but since they're all getting cut down in a few days anyway I'm not worried about it.

    The temperature outside has dropped quite a bit, down into single digits. The heat in my apartment has been running more often, and drying out the air. I'm down to 40% RH at 70° with the light on.

    I discovered "vapour pressure deficit" recently, and it's fascinating. It has to do with the best balance between temperature and relative humidity, as far as growth is concerned. At 40% RH and 70°, I'm outside the recommended range for fast growth (too dry for that temperature), but within the range used to purposefully stress plants to get certain responses (for example, increased essential oil production in basil). So it may actually be a good thing as this grow finishes.

    For the rest of the winter, though, I am going to have to add moisture back into the air. I have a fairly powerful humidifier on the way to humidify the whole room this grow area is in, so that I can keep the good air exchange but also keep the humidity up.
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    Alexroller Active Member

    Is basil the same as weed when growing... i mean ph temperatures humidity and stuff...????

    illsstep Member

    Someone else will have to chime in on this.. anyone?

    mechanicritter Member

    That setup is producing some fantastic looking plants! Do you think basil would do that well under LED lights? (I have a 100w cool white and a handfull of 5w full spectrums I was thinking of trying on some purple italian basil.)

    illsstep Member

    Thank you! To be honest, I haven't tried LEDs yet. But that sounds like it would do the trick.

    illsstep Member



    Final shots before the chop. Going to go visit family for the holidays; I'm going to bag up the chopped plants and take them with me to make pesto in the next day or two.


    The humidifier arrived, and it is making a huge difference. If we get another extreme cold snap, it may not be able to keep up quite as well as it is now, but I certainly won't be facing 35-40% RH any more. The range I am at right now is supposed to be almost perfect for good vegetative growth, at least as far as vapour pressure deficit goes. I'm around 0.9 kPa, and 0.85-0.95 is supposed to be ideal.

    Since the humidity is back under control, I plan to start jalapeños when I get back. I estimate I will need 54" clearance under this light for a 2' plant; I have 51". Hopefully it will be close enough to work out.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016

    illsstep Member


    Just a little bit root bound..


    The haul. 1-gallon ziplocs. I left a lot of stems on because it's going to be a day or two before I get a chance to make them into pesto and I figured that might help prevent the leaves from wilting.
    farmasensist likes this.

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