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How Often To Water Basil? Must-Know Facts!

How Often To Water Basil? Must-Know Facts!

The herbaceous plant, basil, not to be confused with the comedy character from Faulty Towers of the same name, lacks the woody structure that many plants have which lets them stand on their own and support their growth.

You typically need to stake basil similar to the way you would stake tomatoes to ensure its positive growth.

You also need to water it on an appropriate schedule to maintain the plant’s turgor pressure.


How often to water basil?

The basil plant requires watering every three to four days so that the soil retains enough moisture. You can water up to every five days, except in harsh weather conditions. You need to provide the plant with enough moisture to saturate the soil without making it boggy.


Watering Frequency For Basil: The Basics

Basil really wants the perfect water balance to thrive. The plant needs to conduct persistent transpiration and to do this, it needs a constant soil moisture supply.

This allows it to maintain its structural support, so it does not experience leaf or basil stem droop. When the soil dries out, basil droops.

This means if the temperature rises or your plants spend more time in the sun, you need to provide added water.

You cannot let the soil get boggy though. This increases the likelihood that your basil will develop root rot.

How often you water basil depends on how you plant it, so you water the herb more frequently if you potted it and planted it outdoors than if you planted it in a pot indoors.

When you plant basil in a container that you keep outside, you can get away with watering it every three to four days.

Water it until the water trickles out of the bottom of the planter. This soaks the soil enough.

If you bring your pots of basil indoors though you only need to water once every four to five days just enough to keep the soil moist.

Planting basil in your garden requires only once per week watering. If it doesn’t rain for 3-4 days, add some water to keep the earth moist.

Add some mulch to retain the soil’s moisture. Also, do this if the temperatures rise into hot summer digits.


Watering Basil When the Weather Changes

Since basil needs precise amounts of water on a consistent basis, you need to adjust your watering frequency when the weather turns hot, cold, or overcast.

During hot weather or drought, your garden planted basil need watering every other day or every three days.

Even potted plants need a different watering frequency because when temperatures increase outside, your air conditioning unit might find it tough to keep up.

You should water every day or every other day in these conditions. You need consistent soil moisture to finger depth so that your basil doesn’t wilt.

If the weather turns cool with rain, you only water the basil about once per week. If your basil is in cool or overcast weather without rain, increase this to twice per week.

Check the soil moisture to finger depth and if it only feels slightly moist, soak the ground.


Baby Basil Care

When your basil is just a baby seedling, you need to provide it water every two days only in the morning.

However, when temperatures spike or if drought occurs, you need to soak the soil each day, so your basil can feed itself.

It needs the water most at this time to develop strong roots and grow up to provide you with succulent herbs for cooking and garnishing.

When you plant it in established soil, you increase your basil’s chances of growing hardy and resilient.

Always ensure that your basil plants receive morning watering. This provides the plant with an early “breakfast” that prepares it for the rest of the day.

If the temperatures rise and the day turns hot, the herb will have plenty of water on which to rely to beat the heat.

You need to adjust the amount of water based on the size of the pot, the depth of the planting, and how much mulch, if any, you used.

Mulch helps your soil retain moisture. You need it to remain moist but not boggy until the next time you water.

This allows the plant to continuously feed which keeps it from wilting.


Frequently Asked Questions About How Often To Water Basil


What makes a good basil pot?

You can choose any roomy, deep pot that provides your herb ample room and height to grow. Most gardeners use ceramic pots or planters for this plant. Clay or terracotta pots also work well for planting basil while metal or plastic do not work as well.


Why should you avoid using metal pots?

A metal pot conducts heat efficiently, making the soil temperature increase quickly. Since these plants need full sun, they can quickly metal pots can run your basil dry, ultimately harming them. Instead, the ceramic pots heat evenly throughout the day, providing a safer environment for your tasty herb.



Your plant needs full sun and consistent soil moisture to thrive. Keep its soil moist by checking the soil to finger depth in warmer weather.

Ensuring it remains moist but not oversaturated provides your basil with the sweet spot between wilting and root rot.

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