How To Harvest Basil Seeds From The Plant

What Is Basil Harvest Basil SeedsStoring Basil SeedsPlant Basil SeedsKeeping Basil SeedsFAQ

Basil is perhaps the most grown culinary herb in the US, at least in the household. It’s so appreciated for the flavor and the aroma that it provides. We especially enjoy it fresh on salad during the summer.

But how can we preserve the plant and get the same enjoyment the next year? Basil is not a perennial plant, meaning that it will only live for about 1 year before wilting down. Because of that we need to preserve the seeds to be able to have new plants for the next year.

Basil Seeds
Basil Seeds

What Is Basil

Basil is an incredibly popular plant, not only in the US but also in a number of countries. In Italy it’s a staple herb that is found in a lot of dishes. It’s easy to grow and propagate making it a very popular beginner plant to start out with.

The flavor of basil can vary a lot depending on the variety that you have. There are some that are sweeter, some are more aromatic and then you even have those that are minty. Below is a short list of some of our favorites.

  • Italian Basil
  • Sweet Basil
  • Lemon Basil
  • Mint Basil

They all grow very similar, requiring a nice well watered soil with a good amount of sunlight on them each day.

How To Harvest Basil Seeds

Actually harvesting the seeds from the basil plant is very easy. We just need to wait basically. The plant will on its own accord start to flower eventually. These flowers once pollinated by bees will begin to develop seeds. 

Once the seeds have dried out they will begin to fall to the ground. Now it’s up to us to collect them. We usually lay some paper underneath the entire plant to make sure we aren’t missing any seeds falling off.

After collecting them we need to dry them on some dry paper for a few days indoors. This will help us be able to preserve them for later use, such as planting more basil plants.

Storing Basil Seeds

Being able to collect the basil seeds is one thing, but storing them properly afterwards is also very important to know. We always recommend using an air-tight container with some paper in the bottom. This is the safest way for a long term storage of the seeds.

We have the paper in there to attract moisture that might sneak in. In a humid environment the seeds could start sprouting without us knowing. If that were to happen we might have just lost a lot of seeds that we wanted for the spring instead.

How To Plant Basil Seeds

Planting basil seeds is thankfully a very easy thing. We need some small seedling containers first. Place some soil in them and water them well. Let the water drain out for a few hours.

Place a seed in each and cover with soil. They should rarely be beneath the surface to start growing. Lightly water all the containers again and keep in a warm spot. It shouldn’t take long until you are able to see small seedlings taking shape.

How Long Can You Keep Basil Seeds

Basil seeds keep for a pretty long time. Up to a year at least after being harvested. They might still be viable after this too, but the chance of them starting to sprout will begin to decline the longer time goes on.

Basil Plant
Basil Plant


Will Basil Reseed Itself

Basil is definitely able to reseed itself. If you have a healthy basil plant that has been left to flower and develop seeds then there is a high chance you seed new basil plants popping for the next year. 

Should I Let By Basil Gone To Seed

It really is up to you whether you want your basil to start developing seeds or not. If you are picking off the flowers as they begin to appear then you won’t get any seeds and will most likely get more leaves instead.

So if you look at it like this, if you let the basil go to seed then you wont get as many harvestable leaves as the energy is instead going to the seeds and not further growth.

How Do You Separate Seeds From Basil In A Pod

It’s very easy to separate the seeds from the pods when it comes to basil. We simply need the pods to dry out properly. Then you can simply shake the pods gently and the seeds should come falling out rather quickly. Store them afterwards in a dry place where they won’t begin to sprout because of humidity.

Additional Information

Read more articles about Preserving Your Garden

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