Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, whether in a pot or in the ground. The care for exotic varieties such as Thai, cinnamon, holy, purple, lemon or even spicy globe basil is the same. The mature size of each type of basil will vary, but most varieties will grow to 18 to 24 inches by the end of the season.

Basil
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Basil Plants
Hands holding basil plant
credit: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Hands holding basil plant

Keep your basil plant in a sunny spot in your garden. Move it inside to a sunny windowsill when the temperature gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Person watering the plants
credit: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Watering a garden

Water regularly, but do not allow the soil to remain saturated. Repot or transplant if the soil is not well-draining.

Close-up of soil
credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Fertilizer

Fertilize 1 to 2 times a month with a liquid plant fertilizer. Any well-balanced fertilizer will do, but avoid those designed to increase blooming.

Basil, close-up
credit: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Top of Basil Plants

Trim often by pinching center leaves. This will not only give you a tasty addition to your recipes, but it will also help your plant to stay productive longer.

Fresh basil
credit: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Basil sprig and leaves

Remove any flower stalks. Once basil starts to bloom it will put all of its energy into flowering instead of growing leaves.

Side profile of a girl watering a garden with a hose
credit: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
Woman watering a garden

Remove aphids with insecticidal soap, manually or with a blast of water.

Urban Farm Thrives On Former Site Of Notorious Chicago Housing Project
credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Basil in a box

Water when the soil is dry. Basil, like many herbs, prefers conditions on the dry side.