Growing & Harvesting Basil in Hydroponics


Basil has been used some way in almost every place in the world and has collected its own interesting history throughout the ages.The woody herb can be sweet, savory, or peppery, and it smells amazing. 

Herbs are much more profitable than leafy greens, and can be a fantastic crop line for market growers. The pricing you receive will vary depending on your market.

Altogether , there are 150 different species of Basil , but the most common types are:-

  • Sweet Basil
  • Genovese Basil 
  • Thai Sweet Basil
  • Purple Basil 
  • Lemon Basil 
  • Lime Basil 
  • Lettuce Basil 
  • Spicy Basil 
  • Green Ruffles
  • Holy Basil
  • Cinnamon Basil 
  • African Blue Basil 
  • Cardinal Basil 
  • Greek Basil 

Sweet Basil (aka genovese basil or common basil) - The most common and widely available form of basil, with a fresh, subtly sweet flavor and aroma. Sweet basil is typically used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines.

Thai Basil (aka licorice basil) - A variety commonly used in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisine known for its smaller, darker leaves and spicy, anise-heavy flavor. Used frequently as a garnish in Thai and Vietnamese cooking.

Cinnamon Basil - A mild variety of basil with a spicy, cinnamon-tinged flavor. Most frequently used in Asian cooking, including marinades, fried rice, and noodles.

Purple Basil - A less-sweet variety of basil known for its deep purple tone and clove-scented flavor. Typically used as a garnish in Italian and Thai cooking, to add a hint of color and aroma.

Lettuce Basil - With larger, wrinkled leaves reminiscent of lettuce, this basil has a milder flavor than its counterparts and is often used as a base for salads.

Holy Basil - This form of basil is known for its religious uses rather than its flavor. Holy basil is revered in the Hindu religion as a symbol of the goddess Tulsi, and is traditionally made into basil extract that is placed around Hindu shrines. Culinarily, this variety has a bitter flavor and is most frequently used in Indian cuisine, particularly in teas and rich dishes.

Lemon Basil - True to its name, lemon basil tastes like sweet basil with a hint of lemon, and can add a slightly acidic taste to a wide variety of recipes.

Christmas Basil - This fruity variety of basil tastes like a cross between Genovese and Thai Sweet basil, and is typically used in drinks and desserts.

All of the popular varieties of Basil can be grown Hydroponically , and then the choice to make is more associated with the flavor of the Basil itself.Today, it’s best known for its versatility and distinct flavor, adding herbaceousness to a wide variety of dishes all over the world.

Growing and Planting Care :- 

  • Seed selection is the key to success of your gardening effort. Careful selection of seeds that are disease-resistant and good yielders of high-quality, nutritious produce is recommended.
  • You can plant Basil in 2 ways , By germinating the seeds, or By cuttings, which form the roots within a week.
  • Basil is a warm - weather herb ,so it's best to maintain a temperature of between 70 to 80 degree F .
  • Basil seedlings can be started and grown in a wide range of substrates - Rock wool and phenolic foam are probably the most commonly used substrates for starting seedlings. Other popular choices are coconut coir and peat moss that have been stabilized with a chemical binder or with a mesh wrap.
  • Follow the link below for a complete guide on sowing the seeds in seedling-tray to transplanting the seedlings in Net-Pots and transferring to the NFT system
  • After sowing the seeds, water the seedling-tray twice a day and keep in a dark area as sunlight should not fall on them until they germinate. You can keep the tray in a dark area or cover the seedling-tray with black/white polythene cover or with another empty seedling tray over it.You will see sprouts coming out in a few days to a weeks’ time.
  • Once you see small true leaves, place the seedling-tray in a partial sunlight area. Moisten the seedlings with either plain water or 10% nutrient solution (around 200 PPM) twice in a day. Remember that throughout the germination period, watering should be just enough for the cocopeat to be moist. Never overwater or the seeds will not germinate and rot. Continue the plants in the tray until the plant roots reach the bottom of the cube in about 3 weeks and transplant in the NFT system / DWC system.
  • Every Plant variety has a separate Nutrient composition that's apt for the fleshy grown Basils.
  • As you see that the Basil has become mature than before, know that their nutrients ratio will change .
  • The mix of Potassium and Calcium are more in the feeding nutrients .
  • It is crucial to know that Potassium and Calcium have a direct association with the oil and flavour of Basil leaves and branches .
  • Also , Even Nitrogen and Magnesium are deciding co-factors in yielding leaves and certain essential oils & helps in Photosynthesis,respectively.


  • Basil plant has been bred to be a single - stemmed plant growing upward . For most Home growers and commercial growers , a bushier plant is better and a pruned plant looks better , yields more .
  • The upward growth is known as Apical growth. To change the way that basil grows , growers can trigger a secondary type of growth that moves outward and up instead of straight up . This is called Lateral Growth.
  • A young basil plant (5 - 10 cm / inches tall ) , has buds on the side of the stem that haven't grown out yet.Those are the lateral buds ; they're the back-ups that will only grow if the main stalk gets badly damaged or removed.
  • Clip the stem right above those lateral buds , the buds will be triggered to grow out .
  • By pruning Basil this way , growers can increase the production of that branch and control the shape of the plant.

Harvesting and Storage 

  • Harvest the Basil leaves before Bolting to Flower .
  • Do not pinch . Invest in sharp sheers! You will damage or pull off a whole stem more often .
  • Harvested Basil must be lightly wrapped in plastic and stored at temperatures between 52 - 57 degree F . 
  • Cut stems can be located in a glass of water at room temperature to maintain shelf life for several days ..
  • To extend the shelf life further, fresh basil can be chopped up and frozen into ice cube trays filled with water or stock for future use. Once solidified, freeze basil cubes in a freezer bags to free up your ice cube trays. 
  • Dried basil will remain fresh in an airtight container for up to six months. 

Medicinal Uses And Health Benefits 

  • Basil contains many chemicals. These chemicals might help get rid of intestinal worms.
  •  Basil is a good source of vitaminC, Calcium, Magnesium,Potassium, zinc Chlorophyll and Iron.
  • Use its fresh flowers for bronchitis.
  • Use the leaves and seeds, with black pepper, for malaria.
  • Use the whole plant for diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Use the pill and ointment form for eczema.
  • Use an alcohol extract for stomach ulcers and eye diseases.
  • Use an essential oil made from the leaves for insect bites.
  • Many studies support the use of the entire plant of holy basil for human use and its therapeutic value.

Culinary Uses 

  • This popular herb is used in a variety of Mediterranean and Asian dishes, ranging from creamy sauces to light, herbaceous salads and spicy curries.
  • Ingredients that are complimented by the addition of basil include meats like chicken and beef, olive oil, eggs, tomatoes, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. 
  • Basil is most aromatic when used fresh, but fresh basil should be added at the end of cooking, as excessive heat will significantly deplete the flavor or even cause the herb to turn bitter. 
  • Dried basil is preferred for use throughout the cooking process, as the flavor won’t be significantly altered by the heat.
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