It's harvest time and a few weeks ago, I was given an amazing bouquet of basil, from someone's garden. I pulled of a leaf. I recognized it for what it was, absolutely gorgeous and mouthwatering. I couldn't wait to taste it, in a yummy dish. I knew if I put it in the fridge, it would disappear forever and besides, it was so beautiful and fragrant, I wanted to have it around to look at and enjoy. As usual, I was without time to tend to it properly, so I shoved it into a glass of water. I didn't even clear away the bottom leaves; I just crammed it in the glass, leaves and all. I think I was hoping, a bit on a wish and a prayer, that placing it in the glass of water, would keep it alive long enough, for me to figure out how I was going to enjoy it.
Well...one day extended on into the next. At some point I realized, that as I was passing that beautiful bouquet of basil, it seemed to remain beautiful. It had not died off. After about 2 weeks, some leaves did fall off, but I noticed, it still looked glorious sitting in my kitchen. I decided to use it to make some vegan pesto, and as I took the bouquet out of the glass of water, I saw that it had begun to take root.
This was amazing. I never knew that basil was one of those plants that could be grown from clippings.
At that moment, I decided that I would not prepare my vegan basil and instead I would conduct a biology experiment.
I changed the water and allowed the basil to sit in the water a little longer. I pinched off the dead leaves and flowers and returned it to its spot in the kitchen.
feed me silly!
As I waited for the roots to grow a bit longer, it did become spindly. I reckon it needed nutrients from soil, but it was still alive!
I decided to plant it. I grabbed an old, pretty pot of my mom's
...wadded up some old netting from a vegetable bag and placed it in the bottom of the pot, to help with drainage.
I then, placed the basil bouquet in the small pot with soil and nutrients (in my case I had kelp water).
Can Do vs. No way
There is an ongoing debate, about whether basil can actually be grown indoors. There are definitely herbs that are a more solid bet, for surviving the winter indoors. There are people that have amazing success with basil but there are others that swear it cannot be grown inside. I believe it depends on the area you are living in (the amount of sun you get daily in the area where you have placed your plant), and the type of basil you are growing. Outdoors basil requires about 6-8 hours of full sun each day. Basil likes warmth and this means, if you are bringing it indoors, it needs to be in a window, that gets alot of sun and in a room that is fairly warm. Paired with warmth and sun, basil also likes moist, well-drained soil. Regarding the type of basil you are growing, apparently, basil with smaller leaves tend to do better than the sweeter varieties with larger leaves.
After you have transplanted your bouquet and it is beginning to grow, don't forget to pinch the flower heads when they appear. Doing this step will encourage the leaves to continue to grow. In fact, once a branch has about 6 or more leaves, prune it back. This will keep your plant bushy! If you have a yard, once Spring rolls back around, you can just plop the plant back in the ground! If you are lucky and play your cards right, pesto change-o, you'll be rollin' in it (Pesto that is!).