Best Fertilizer for Basil Plants: Homemade Secrets Revealed!

Do you struggle with growing lush, thriving basil? I sure did! My potted basil would either completely wilt or have beautiful, healthy fresh green leaves but unfortunately limited growth. I would be envious of the gorgeous, full basil plants I would see on Pinterest!

After conducting some research, I discovered that the missing piece to achieving beautiful, lush basil is fertilizer! But not just any store-bought fertilizer—rather, one you can easily concoct right in your kitchen. Let’s dive in to discover The Best Fertilizer for Basil Straight from Your Kitchen!

top view of a basil plant in clay pot.

Importance of Fertilizer for Basil Plants

Basil plants, scientifically known as Ocimum basilicum, are members of the mint family and are classified as annual plants. Like all living organisms, require essential nutrients to thrive and reach their full potential. Fertilizers play a crucial role in providing these nutrients, ensuring robust growth, vibrant foliage, and abundant harvests. Organic fertilizers offer a natural and environmentally friendly approach to nourishing basil plants. Typically they are derived from organic sources such as compost, manure, bone meal, and seaweed, providing a holistic blend of nutrients that promote soil health and plant vitality. Among the various organic fertilizer options, banana water fertilizer stands out as a simple yet effective solution for enhancing basil growth. This homemade fertilizer utilizes the potassium-rich properties of bananas to boost plant vigor, stimulate root development, and enhance overall resilience. Most importantly, your Basil plants love it!

hand place banana peels in a jar.

Understanding Basil’s Needs

A. Soil requirements: Basil thrives in well-drained soil with good fertility. It prefers loamy or sandy soil types with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level (6.0-7.0). Amending the soil with organic matter such as compost or aged manure can improve soil structure and provide essential nutrients for healthy basil growth.

B. Sunlight preferences: Basil is a sun-loving herb that thrives in full sun, receiving at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Adequate sunlight promotes robust growth and enhances the flavor of basil leaves. However, in regions with intense heat, providing partial shade during the hottest part of the day can help prevent leaf scorching and wilting.

C. Watering habits: Basil plants require regular watering to maintain soil moisture levels. However, it’s essential to avoid overwatering, as basil is susceptible to root rot in soggy soil. Water the plants thoroughly when the top inches of soil feels dry to the touch, allowing excess water to drain away freely. Aim to water basil at the base of the plant to prevent fungal issues and promote healthy root development.

D. Nutritional needs: Basil plants benefit from regular fertilization to ensure optimal growth and leaf production. Providing a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for herbs or vegetables every 4-6 weeks during the growing season can help meet basil’s nutritional needs.

beautiful green basil plant in a pot.

The Benefits of Using Banana Water Fertilizer

Nutrient content of bananas: Bananas are naturally rich in potassium, a vital nutrient essential for plant growth and development. Potassium plays a crucial role in various physiological processes within basil plants, including nutrient uptake, water regulation, and disease resistance. By harnessing the nutrient content of bananas, banana water fertilizer provides a concentrated source of potassium to nourish basil plants and enhance their overall health and vigor.

Easy preparation process: One of the primary advantages of banana water fertilizer is its simplicity and ease of preparation. To make banana water fertilizer, all you need are ripe bananas and water. Simply peel the bananas, chop the peels into small pieces, and soak them in water for several days to extract the potassium-rich nutrients. Once the water has absorbed the beneficial compounds from the bananas, it can be diluted with additional water and applied directly to the soil or foliage of basil plants. This straightforward process makes banana water fertilizer accessible to gardeners of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced growers.

Environmental sustainability: Banana water fertilizer offers an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional chemical fertilizers. By utilizing organic materials such as ripe bananas, gardeners can reduce their reliance on synthetic fertilizers that may contain harmful chemicals and additives. Additionally, banana water fertilizer promotes soil health and microbial activity, fostering a balanced ecosystem within the garden. Its natural ingredients pose minimal risk to the environment and can be safely applied to edible crops like basil without contaminating the soil or water supply.

Cost-effectiveness: Another advantage of banana water fertilizer is its cost-effectiveness compared to commercial fertilizers. Ripe bananas are readily available and affordable, making them an economical choice for homemade fertilizer production. By repurposing kitchen scraps like banana peels, gardeners can save money on purchasing expensive fertilizers while still providing their basil plants with essential nutrients. Additionally, the long-term benefits of improved soil fertility and plant health associated with banana water fertilizer can lead to higher yields and reduced input costs over time, making it a cost-effective investment for sustainable gardening practices.

bananas in water in a jar.

How To Make Banana Water Fertilizer For Basil

  1. Choose your ingredients

    Select banana peels as your primary ingredient. Ensure they are ripe and free of any pesticides. Banana peels provide potassium and other nutrients beneficial for basil plants.

  2. Prepare the ingredients:

    Chop the banana peels into small pieces to increase the surface area for nutrient release.chopped banana peels.

  3. Mix the ingredients:

    Place the chopped banana peels in a gallon of water in a large container. Stir the mixture thoroughly to facilitate the infusion of nutrients.bananas in a jar

  4. Let it sit:

    Allow the mixture to steep for about a week, allowing the nutrients from the banana peels to leach into the water and create a nutrient-rich solution specifically tailored for basil plants.bananas in water in a jar.

  5. Strain the mixture:

    After the steeping period, strain the mixture using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any solid particles or debris.straining banana water.

  6. Dilute the fertilizer:

    Dilute the banana water fertilizer with an equal amount of fresh water to avoid over-fertilizing. This ensures a balanced nutrient supply for your basil plants.

  7. Apply the fertilizer:

    Pour the diluted banana water fertilizer onto the soil around the base of your basil plants, avoiding contact with the leaves. Apply every 4-6 weeks to provide a steady supply of nutrients for healthy growth.watering a basil plant.

Incorporating Other Kitchen Scraps

If you’re looking to go the extra mile and ensure a well-rounded fertilizer that meets the basil plant’s preference for a balanced nutrient profile, consider incorporating additional ingredients. These should provide nitrogen and phosphorus to complement the potassium-rich properties of banana water fertilizer.

Nitrogen (N) is crucial for promoting vigorous vegetative growth, including the development of lush foliage and sturdy stems. Sources of nitrogen-rich materials include:

  • Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds are a fantastic source of nitrogen, contributing to healthy leaf growth and vibrant green foliage. Incorporating coffee grounds into the fertilizer mix helps provide a balanced nutrient profile and supports overall basil plant health.
  • Grass clippings: Grass clippings contain nitrogen and can serve as an excellent source of organic matter for enriching the soil and promoting robust basil growth. Adding grass clippings to the fertilizer blend enhances nitrogen availability and supports optimal plant nutrition.

Phosphorus (P) plays a crucial role in promoting strong root development, flowering, and fruiting in basil plants. Sources of phosphorus-rich materials include:

  • Aged compost: Aged compost contains phosphorus and other essential nutrients that support basil plant growth and productivity. Incorporating aged compost into the fertilizer mix helps ensure a balanced nutrient profile and provides a steady supply of phosphorus for healthy root development and flower formation.

By incorporating nitrogen-rich materials such as coffee grounds and grass clippings, along with phosphorus-rich aged compost, into the fertilizer mix, you can create a more balanced and comprehensive nutrient solution for your basil plants. This approach ensures that the potassium provided by banana water fertilizer is complemented by adequate levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, meeting the basil plant’s nutritional needs and promoting optimal growth and vitality.

coffee grounds.

Application and Usage Tips

Frequency of application:

Determine the appropriate frequency of applying fertilizer based on the growth stage of your basil plants. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize young basil plants every 4-6 weeks, while mature plants may benefit from fertilization every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.

Proper dilution ratios:

Follow recommended dilution ratios when preparing banana water fertilizer to ensure optimal nutrient absorption by the plants. Diluting the fertilizer properly helps prevent potential nutrient imbalances and reduces the risk of over-fertilization.

Avoiding over-fertilization:

While fertilizer is essential for promoting basil growth, excessive application can lead to nutrient toxicity and adversely affect plant health. Avoid over-fertilization by adhering to recommended application rates and monitoring the condition of your basil plants regularly. Remember, with fertilizing less is more, so go easy.

Monitoring plant response:

Keep a close eye on your basil plants after fertilization to assess their response to the treatment. Look for signs of nutrient deficiency or toxicity, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or leaf burn. Adjust your fertilization practices accordingly based on the observed plant health indicators.

basil in a food processor for pesto.

Commercial Organic Fertilizers for Basil Plants

When managing a large number of basil plants or containers, banana water fertilizer may not be practical for every application. In such cases, commercial organic fertilizers offer a convenient and effective alternative. Here’s what to look for when choosing a commercial fertilizer and best practices for both liquid fertilizer and granular formulations:

  1. Nutrient Content: Opt for a commercial fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) ratio suitable for basil plants. Look for a formulation specifically designed for herbs or vegetables, ensuring it meets the nutritional needs of basil.
  2. Organic Ingredients: Choose a fertilizer derived from natural and organic sources, such as compost, seaweed, bone meal, or fish emulsion. Organic fertilizers provide essential nutrients while improving soil health and microbial activity.
  3. Application Method: Commercial organic fertilizers are available in both liquid and granular forms. Liquid fertilizers are convenient for foliar feeding and rapid nutrient uptake, while granular formulations are ideal for slow-release nutrient delivery and long-term soil enrichment.
  4. Liquid Fertilizers: When using liquid organic fertilizers, dilute the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply directly to the soil around the basil plants. Alternatively, foliar spray applications can provide a quick nutrient boost to the plants’ leaves.
  5. Granular Fertilizers: Apply granular organic fertilizers to the soil surface around the basil plants, ensuring even distribution. Incorporate the granules into the top layer of soil using a rake or hand tool, then water thoroughly to activate nutrient release.
  6. Frequency of Application: Follow the recommended application rates and frequency specified on the fertilizer label. For basil plants, regular fertilization every 4-6 weeks during the growing season is typically sufficient to maintain healthy growth and productivity.
  7. Soil Moisture: Ensure the soil is adequately moist before applying commercial fertilizers to prevent root burn or nutrient leaching. Water the basil plants thoroughly a day or two before fertilizing, allowing the soil to absorb moisture evenly.
  8. Monitoring and Adjustments: Monitor the basil plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or leaf curling. Adjust the fertilizer application rate or frequency as needed to maintain optimal plant health.

By selecting a commercial organic fertilizer tailored to the nutritional needs of basil plants and following best practices for application, you can provide your basil crop with the essential nutrients they require for vigorous growth and abundant harvests, even when managing a large number of plants.

lush green basil leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Basil

What are the ideal growing conditions for basil seeds?

Basil seeds thrive in warm temperatures and require at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. Ensure well-drained soil and sow the seeds at a depth of about 1/4 inch.

How do I prevent fungal diseases in my basil plants?

To prevent fungal diseases, ensure good air circulation around the plants, avoid overhead watering, and maintain consistent soil moisture. Applying a water-soluble fertilizer can also promote healthy growth and resilience against diseases.

When is the best time to harvest basil flower buds?

Harvest basil flower buds before they fully bloom to encourage continued leaf production. Pinching off the flower buds as they develop redirects the plant’s energy into producing more foliage, prolonging the harvest season.

What is the recommended NPK ratio for fertilizing basil plants?

For optimal growth, basil plants benefit from a balanced NPK ratio, such as 10-10-10, providing equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This balanced fertilizer promotes vigorous foliage growth, flower production, and overall plant health.

For more information on fertilizing herbs visit:

For Indoor plants visit:

basil leaf.


Growing basil can be a delightful and rewarding experience, whether you’re cultivating young plants in your herb garden or nurturing sweet basil in larger containers. By providing the right conditions, such as ample hours of sun and good drainage, you can ensure fresh basil with aromatic leaves all season long. Remember to consider the specific needs of different basil varieties, such as Thai basil or lemon basil, and experiment with planting techniques like snipping stems or pinching blooms for bushier plants. Whether you’re enjoying basil in Asian cuisine or adding fragrantly delicious leaves to your favorite dishes, it’s always a good idea to sow basil and bring the taste of summer into your home garden.

Happy Fertilizing!

my signature which is a drawing of me sitting.

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