How Much Water Does a Basil Plant Need?

Basil is an easy-to-grow herb suitable for an indoor kitchen garden. Whether grown indoors or outdoors, basil should receive full sunlight and consistent water.

Fresh basil can replace dried basil in many recipes.


Basil should receive a thorough watering each week--until the soil is wet to a depth of approximately 1 1/2 inches, according to Utah State University Extension. Like other herbs, basil will not grow when the soil is saturated. Always water the soil, not the plant. Wet leaves can lead to rot or disease.


Basil grows best in well-drained soil. When growing in pots, line the bottom of the pot with 2 inches of gravel to allow adequate drainage from the pot. Without this drainage assistance, water can remain in the pot and rot the basil plant's roots.


If grown in compost or mulched soil, basil can be watered less frequently because the rich soil stores moisture. Some gardeners allow the basil to wilt slightly before watering to ensure that they do not over water.