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Growing Basil Indoors

Smachnoho Sep 27, 2009 08:22 AM

I live in Toronto and the nights are getting cold. I had to bring my new basil plant indoors. I bought it 3 weeks ago. I have put it in a south facing window. How long will it last indoors.
Last year I was able to keep my rosemary plant alive over the winter in the same southern window.
I also have 3 basil bush plants. Will they last indoors over the winter or do they just produce and die?

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  1. pitu Sep 29, 2009 06:06 AM

    I bring basil in every year, with varying results - sometimes it just gets pale and sad. I find a grow light to be very helpful - my window is not sunny enough.

    Basil is very susceptible to aphids inside too, so be ready to spray with dilute soap, wipe down leaves, etc. at the first sign of white stickiness.

    Keep pinching it back/using the leaves, as you would an outdoor basil. Nothing like having a few fresh leaves in the dead of winter to throw in the salad.
    : )

    1. Gio Sep 29, 2009 06:14 AM

      Agreeing with everything Pitu has said and adding.... make sure the plants have plenty of air circulation around them... Don't place them close together. That will help to deter aphids, rosemary mealybugs, and any other unwanted pests. In fact when I was overwintering plants indoors I had a small electric rotating fan gently wafting the air.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio
        pitu Sep 29, 2009 06:26 AM

        ahhhh, thx Gio! You've just diagnosed my problem -- too many plants jammed in the very tiny sunny window spot.

        Fantastic old thread on indoor herbs here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/606792

        1. re: pitu
          Smachnoho Oct 3, 2009 01:16 PM

          Thanks for all the great advice. I will be on the look-out for pests. I like the idea of having a fan for air circulation.

      2. RetiredChef Oct 14, 2009 08:21 AM

        I grow indoors all winter long, you need a grow light, fans warm temperature and humidity.

        I accomplish this with a 4 tier grow light system that has a plastic zippered cover, and 4 small circulating fans that are run on timers.

        I grow lettuce, cherry tomatoes, basil, mint, oregano, chives, parsley, thyme, beets, and radishes and a few other items very easily.

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