How Long Does Basil Plant Live

How Long Does Basil Plant Live? 4 Amazing Discoveries!

How long does basil plant live is a frequently searched query. Since basil is a tropical plant, it doesn’t have a very long life cycle, especially in climates that fluctuate between seasons.

However, you can get more out of your basil plant if you move it indoors because you can control the temperature and protect it from the elements. Taking into account the necessary care, such as watering, light exposure and temperature, can help you extend the life of your basil plant even further.

How Long Does Basil Plant Live?

Basil plants’ life cycle depends on the climate they grow in but generally only lasts about five months. However, a basil plant can live for closer to a year by growing the plant indoors when it is safe from the weather, and you can control the climate. 

Basil Growing Cycle

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Basil only lasts one season, and you must replant it each year. However, you can use cuttings from your previous plant to grow the next plant or use seeds depending on what you prefer. 

Basil is a tropical plant, so you will need to plant it during the warm season, usually starting in early spring, to give it time to mature and flower in time for the summer. You should see your first sprouts within 5 to 8 days of sowing your seeds or cuttings. 

The growing portion of the life cycle should continue for anywhere between 4 to 6 months if you grow basil outdoors. This period will be closer to 8 to 12 months if you grow basil indoors or bring your plant inside before autumn.

You will know when your basil plant is mature, when it starts to flower and produce seeds. This is when you can collect seeds and cuttings for the next basil plant and get ready to start the cycle over again. The basil plant will die off before the first frost.

Can Basil Survive All Year?

While you can get your basil plant to survive for an entire year, it isn’t an easy task. Even bringing your plant inside doesn’t guarantee it will last longer than a few weeks. You will need to pick the correct type of basil plant and take extra care to prevent it from flowering within six months as it naturally would.

If you buy perennial basil, it may still flower within six months and hibernate until spring, but you won’t have to replant yearly. Perennial basil prefers partial shade and sandy to loamy soil. It will grow to about 2 feet or 30 cm tall, so consider carefully where you’re going to plant it beforehand if you want it to thrive.

Does Basil Grow Better in a Pot or a Garden?

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Basil can grow well in a pot or a garden, but where it will grow best depends on your climate. If you live somewhere with warm temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees celsius, then growing your basil outside in a garden will be fine. 

If the temperature dips below those, you might want to plant your basil in a pot so you can relocate it inside when the weather is too cold.

The pot needs to be at least 8 inches deep for basil to grow correctly. Also, consider whether there are other fluctuations in the weather, like wind and rain, that might damage your plant. 

Best Growing Conditions for Basil

To get the most out of your basil plants, you want to maximize their preferred growing conditions. Basil requires specific soil, amounts of sunlight, and regular watering to thrive and have a longer lifespan. 

Some growing conditions to note are:

Soil: Basil preferred moist soil with good drainage. You can add a light compost mix to your garden to help growth but be careful because basil doesn’t like rich soil. Organic blends are best for potted basil. The pH level should be around 6.5.

Water: You should water basil 2 to 3 times a week to ensure the soil stays moist. If your basil is in a pot, it will need more frequent watering. You should water basil in the morning and aim directly at the base. Watering deeply at least once a week will ensure healthy root growth. 

Light: Basil thrives with lots of sunlight and will need about 6 hours of it daily. However, a place with partial shade will be better if you’re in a hot climate. 

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Nutrients: Basil doesn’t do well with fertilizers and will not grow as well with overly rich soil. Adding some simple compost or a little cottonseed meal will be more than enough. Potted basil will only need a light nitrogen fertilizer once a month but ensure that any fertilizers you use on edible plants are organic. 

Temperature: Since basil is a tropical plant, it prefers warmer temperatures. The best temperature for growing basil is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 and 32 degrees Celsius during the day and above 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees celsius overnight. 

Pruning: pruning the leaves on your basil plant is an excellent way to ensure it’s growing properly. You can start harvesting the leaves as soon as they begin to grow. Once there are 2 to 3 leaves, you can start pinching them off from the top of the plant. After the basil plant is 6 to 8 inches tall, you should prune it weekly. Your plant will become bushier the more you harvest. 

Keeping these growing essentials in mind will help you grow a healthy basil plant that will have a longer growing season and hopefully grow the next year again. 

How to Grow Basil from Seed

Maybe you’re a beginner planning to grow your basil from seed; it’s an easy process. It’s best to grow your basil plants in the summer or spring, as the temperature will be favorable for them. Follow these simple tips:

  • Get everything you need ready – high-quality seeds, small pots, and water.
  • Fill your pots with soil and water them moderately. Take part of the soil in your hands to determine its texture; it shouldn’t be too dry or contain too much moisture.
  • Make a small hole (not too deep) in the soil and add 2 to 3 seeds each into it, then cover lightly with more soil.
  • Place the pots in a spot with temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and keep the soil moist.
  • About 5 to 7 days after the seeds begin to germinate, provide the seedlings with light. Don’t place them directly in front of the light source to ensure healthy growth.
  • When you notice true leaves on the seedlings, select the healthiest among them.
  • When the seedlings have six sets of true leaves, it is important to pinch them back to promote fuller growth.
  • As the plants begin to grow bigger, grow them in larger pots and gradually expose them to outdoor conditions.

Another post on the Basil plant: White Spots on Basil Leaves


Basil usually grows for around six months since they are greatly affected by the climate they grow in. Bringing the basil plant inside can lengthen the growing period to up to a year, but it will require you to monitor your plant’s growing conditions closely.

Even perennial basil will hibernate for half the year before growing again in the spring.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a potted basil plant live?

Potted basil plants will live for about 6 to 8 months, depending on the climate. Growing basil indoors is the best way to prolong its life cycle since you can control the climate conditions year-round. 

How long is the basil life cycle?

On average, the life cycle of basil is one year. Different types of basil, such as sweet basil, are annuals, so they have a shorter lifespan. However, some indoor basil plants are perennials but won’t last significantly longer than a year.

Do basil plants get old?

Basil plants are annuals, so they won’t last long enough to get old. However, growing them inside can prolong their lifespan, but not for very long. You can tell when a basil plant is getting old by its stems getting woody. 

Will basil regrow after cutting?

Basil will regrow after cutting and will like to grow back stronger. Regularly taking cuttings from your basil plant is an excellent way of getting double the yield from a single stem, but you can also use the cuttings to grow new basil plants instead of using seeds.

Will basil come back every year?

Perennial basil will come back every year but only if properly cared for. The average basil plant will only grow for one season and die, including down to the roots, once the first frost arrives, and you will need to plant new ones the following spring.

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