Cut the sprig, and very lightly jerk it on a sheet of paper. Collect the seeds. One sprig can give you over a hundred seeds, so some can also be stored for later use. Since the basil is a perennial herb, one healthy plant will last you for a long time.
Sow the seeds in about ¼ inch well drained soil, and water very lightly. Cover with a sheet of newspaper. The basil seeds will germinate in less than a week. Once it reaches the six leaf stage, your basil sapling is ready for transplantation to a bigger pot.
Cutting ensures that no crossing takes place. This is useful for preserving properties of unusual and rare varieties. To grow basil from cuttings, cut a 6-inch portion of a healthy stem that has yet not borne any flowers.
Clear the lower section of all leaves and place the stem in a small cup of water. Place the cup on a windowsill and change the water daily until roots begin to form. Once the roots seem well established, move it to the potting soil mix.
Vermi-compost is believed to be very good for basil plants as it is rich in nutrients. Also, keep in mind that water should not stagnate in the soil, as it will spread rot in the roots and onto the stems. Plus, the pH of the soil should be between 6.0 and 7.5. This can be checked with a pH balance tester every few weeks.
Minimum six hours of light is essential for optimum growth of the plant. This lighting need becomes difficult to be met during winter, so in such scenarios, grow the basil plant under fluorescent lights.
Experienced growers suggest the use of placing mylar or aluminum foil over the light source to increase light reflection. One can even alternate between a few hours of sunlight and artificial lighting.
Air circulation is also important to ward off stem damage, especially for the lower ones. As basil belongs to the mint family, it is invasive in nature, so don't allow it to crowd too much.
After a few weeks, pinch off the stem of the main growth. This will promote the growth of lateral shoots. Basil needs nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate, so liquid fertilizers that have all these nutrients should be fed to the plant every three weeks during its growing period.