Ever felt like your kitchen’s missing a dash of fresh, home-grown basil? It’s not just you—gardeners and foodies alike yearn for those perfect aromatic leaves to jazz up their dishes.

Good news: growing that lush green herb is quicker than you think! This guide will sneak you into the gardener’s secret timeline, making sure those fragrant basil plants go from seedlings to your plate in no time flat.

Ready to dig in?

Key Takeaways

  • Basil seeds start to grow in 5-10 days in warm soil and it takes about 3-4 weeks for seedlings to develop true leaves.
  • The plants grow rapidly into bushy herbs during the vegetative phase, which lasts 4-6 weeks. After that, some basil types might flower.
  • For best results, plant basil in spring after the last frost and give it lots of sunlight—at least 6 hours a day.
  • Basil prefers warm weather between 70°F to 90°F and needs moist but well – drained soil.
  • Mature basil requires about one gallon of water per week. Don’t overwater; keep the soil moist without making it too wet.

How Long Does It Take for Basil to Grow?

Basil, a popular culinary herb, undergoes distinct growth stages from seed germination to maturity. Understanding these stages is crucial for successful cultivation.

💡 Below is a table outlining the key growth stages of basil, from initial germination to the flowering stage, along with their respective durations:
Growth Stage Description Duration
Germination Period 🌱 Basil seeds germinate in warm, moist soil. 5 to 10 days
Seedling Stage 🌿 Seedlings grow and develop true leaves. 3 to 4 weeks
Vegetative Growth Phase 🍃 Rapid growth and development of a bushy appearance. 4 to 6 weeks
Flowering Stage 🌼 Some basil varieties start producing flowers, indicating maturity. After about 8 weeks

I. Germination Period

Basil seeds typically germinate within 5 to 10 days when placed in warm, moist soil.

II. Seedling Stage

Once the seeds have sprouted, the basil seedlings will require about 3 to 4 weeks to grow and develop their true leaves.

III. Vegetative Growth Phase

During this stage, which lasts for around 4 to 6 weeks, the basil plants will grow rapidly and start developing a bushy appearance.

IV. Flowering Stage

After about 8 weeks of growth, some varieties of basil may begin to produce flowers, signaling that they are reaching maturity.

What Is The Best Month to Plant Basil?

Basil grows best when planted in the spring, after the last frost has passed. This gives it enough warm weather to flourish and produce plenty of fresh leaves all summer long. In most regions, this means planting basil from late April through May for a successful growing season.

It’s important to consider your specific location and local climate when deciding on the best month to plant basil. If you live in a warmer area, you can start planting basil earlier.

However, if your region experiences lingering cold temperatures into spring, waiting until late May might be more suitable for optimal growth.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Basil?

Basil thrives in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil and requires full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day. It prefers warm temperatures between 70-90°F and needs to be watered consistently to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

💡 If you’re keen to perfect your basil watering technique, explore our guide on How Often To Water Basil.


Basil likes a soil that drains well and is kind of fertilenot too rich, not too poor. It doesn’t want to sit in water; it wants to be just damp enough. The right temperature for the soil when you plant basil seeds is between 75°F and 85°F.

And if you’re planting indoors, start sowing the seeds about six weeks before the last frost for faster germination. Remember to give your little basil plants some space – they don’t like crowding.

When choosing soil for growing basil:

  • Go for moderately fertile, well-draining soil.
  • Aim for a soil temperature of 75-85°F during seed germination.


Basil loves the sun – it needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily to thrive. When planting basil indoors, choose a sunny spot near a window where it can soak up those rays. If sunshine is limited, consider using grow lights to supplement its light needs.

In hot climates, be mindful that excessive sun can scorch basil, so providing some shade during the hottest parts of the day might be necessary. Keep an eye on your plant’s behavior; if it starts looking stressed or wilted despite adequate watering, it might be getting too much direct sunlight.


Basil plants need warmth to grow well – they thrive in temperatures above 50°F. If you’re planting basil outdoors, make sure the soil temperature is around 70°F for the best growth.

In most regions, it’s best to plant basil in the spring after the last frost when the temperatures are consistently above 50°F. Also, remember that basil loves sunlight but may need some protection from hot afternoon heat in warmer climates.

Given that basil thrives best in temperatures over 50°F, knowing how to care for it in different climates is vital; for more information, see the article about Basil Heat Tolerance.

how long does it take to grow basil2

How Often Should You Water Basil?

Basil needs about one gallon of water per plant every week when it’s mature. Don’t overwater; it’s better to underwater. If you’re growing basil in a container, the soil may dry out faster, so you might need to water more often.

During establishment, make sure to water regularly for good growth and development. Give your basil about 1½ inches of water each week, and consider using liquid fertilizer every 14 days for fast leaf growth.

Remember not to overdo the watering – too much can do more harm than too little. Keep an eye on the soil moisture, especially in containers where it dries out faster. Ensure that young basil plants are well-watered to help them establish good roots and grow healthy.

FAQs – How Long Does It Take To Grow Basil

1. How Quickly Can Basil be Grown from Seed?

When sown in fertile soil and avoiding frost, basil varieties such as sweet basil or Thai typically germinate within a quick span of 5 to 10 days. Proper care and attention are crucial for their growth.

2. When is the Appropriate Time to Transplant Basil Seedlings Outdoors?

It is advisable to transplant the basil seedlings once they have developed robust leaves, usually after 3-4 weeks. Choose a day after the last frost to safely move these young plants to your garden or containers.

3. Where Should Basil be Planted in the Garden for Optimal Growth?

Basil requires ample sunlight for optimal growth. Select a spot in your garden that receives plenty of sun, similar to a plant’s version of a beach holiday.

4. Do Basil Plants Require Special Care for Healthy Growth?

Basil benefits from occasional fertilization, but overfeeding should be avoided. They are less demanding compared to herbs like cilantro or parsley.

5. What are the Common Pests and Diseases that Affect Basil, and How to Prevent Them?

Be vigilant for signs of grey mould and other diseases. Remove any affected parts promptly to maintain the health of your basil plants.

6. How Long Does it Take Before Basil is Ready for Harvesting?

Typically, 3-4 weeks after transplanting outdoors, basil will be ready for harvesting.

George Brown

George Brown

I’m George Brown, a keen indoor gardener, passionate about helping beginners grow fresh herbs and indoor plants. My guidance focuses on the essentials of plant growth and the pleasure of cultivating greenery indoors. In my blog posts, I share practical tips on how anyone can transform their home into a thriving space for indoor plants and herbs.

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