How Often Do You Water Basil: A Complete Guide


Greetings, herb enthusiasts! Basil is a popular herb that is used in various dishes around the world. It’s a versatile plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, growing basil requires some care and attention, especially when it comes to how often you should water it. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how often you should water basil to ensure it grows healthy and strong.

Basil is a tender herb that requires consistent moisture to grow well. However, overwatering can cause the roots to rot, leading to plant death. Therefore, finding the right balance is essential. In the next sections, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about watering your basil plant.

How Often Do You Water Basil?

The frequency of watering your basil plant depends on several factors, such as the climate, soil type, and container size. Here are the most crucial factors to consider:


Basil thrives in warm and humid conditions. In hot weather, it may need to be watered every day, while in cooler weather, it may only need watering every three days.

Soil Type

Well-draining soil is best for growing basil. If the soil is heavy and retains water, you may need to water less frequently. On the other hand, if the soil is sandy and dry, you may need to water more often.

Container Size

If you’re growing basil in a container, the size of the container will affect how often you should water it. Smaller containers dry out faster than larger containers, so you may need to water them more frequently. Additionally, if the container is in direct sunlight, it will dry out faster.

Watering Techniques

When watering your basil plant, make sure you do it thoroughly. Water the soil around the base of the plant until it’s moist but not waterlogged. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can cause fungal diseases. Additionally, water in the morning or late afternoon to avoid water evaporation in hotter weather.

The Finger Test

An easy way to determine if your basil plant needs watering is to stick your finger into the soil 1-2 inches deep. If the soil feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water your plant. If it’s moist, wait a day or two before watering again.

Signs of Overwatering or Underwatering

Overwatering or underwatering your basil plant can cause it to wilt and die. Here are some signs to look out for:


– Yellowing leaves

– Foul odor from the soil

– Root rot


– Drooping leaves

– Dry and crispy leaves

– Stunted growth

How Often Should You Water Basil?

Based on the factors we’ve discussed, here is a general guideline on how often you should water your basil plant:

Climate Soil Type Container Size Watering Frequency
Hot and humid Well-draining Large container Every day
Warm and humid Well-draining Large container Every other day
Cool and humid Well-draining Large container Every three days
Hot and humid Heavy soil Small container Every other day
Warm and humid Heavy soil Small container Every three days
Cool and humid Heavy soil Small container Every five days

Advantages and Disadvantages of Overwatering or Underwatering Basil

Advantages of Properly Watering Basil

– Encourages growth and yields

– Prevents root rot and other fungal diseases

– Provides essential nutrients to the plant

Disadvantages of Overwatering Basil

– Drowns roots and causes root rot

– Promotes fungal diseases

– Stunts growth and causes wilted leaves

Disadvantages of Underwatering Basil

– Causes dehydration and stunted growth

– Can cause leaves to turn yellow and fall off

– Lowers yields and quality of the plant

FAQs about Watering Basil

1. Can you water basil in the evening?

A: Yes, you can water basil in the evening, but it’s best to do it three hours before sunset to allow time for the leaves to dry before nightfall.

2. Can you water basil from the top?

A: It’s not recommended to water basil from the top as it can cause fungal diseases. Water at the base of the plant instead.

3. How much water does basil need per day?

A: The amount of water basil needs depends on various factors, but as a general rule, it needs about an inch of water per week.

4. Can you water basil too much?

A: Yes, overwatering basil can cause root rot and other fungal diseases.

5. How do you revive wilted basil?

A: Water your basil plant thoroughly, and it should revive in a few hours. However, if the plant is severely wilted, it may not be salvageable.

6. How often should you fertilize basil?

A: It’s recommended to fertilize basil every four weeks with a balanced fertilizer.

7. Should you mist basil?

A: Basil loves humidity, so misting it can be beneficial. However, make sure you don’t mist it too often, as this can promote fungal diseases.

8. Can you water basil with tap water?

A: Yes, you can water basil with tap water, but make sure it’s not too cold or too hot, as extreme temperatures can shock the plant.

9. Can you grow basil in water?

A: Yes, basil can be grown in water, but make sure you change the water every few days to prevent bacterial growth.

10. Can you underwater basil?

A: Yes, underwatering basil can cause the plant to wilt and die.

11. Can you water basil every day?

A: Yes, if the climate is hot and humid, watering basil every day may be necessary.

12. Can basil grow in full sun?

A: Yes, basil can grow in full sun, but make sure it’s well-watered and not allowed to dry out.

13. Can you water potted basil too much?

A: Yes, overwatering potted basil can cause root rot and other fungal diseases.


In conclusion, watering basil is a crucial aspect of growing this herb. It needs consistent moisture, but overwatering can be detrimental to its growth. Understanding the factors that affect watering frequency, such as climate, soil type, and container size, can help you provide your basil plant with the proper care it needs to thrive. We hope you found this article helpful and that your basil plants grow healthy and strong!

Take Action Today!

If you’re a herb enthusiast, consider growing basil in your garden or indoor pots. It’s a versatile herb that can add flavor and aroma to various dishes. Follow the guidelines provided in this article to ensure your basil plant grows healthy and yields excellent crops.


This article is intended to provide general information only. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided. We are not responsible for any damages resulting from the use of information in this article.

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