The Basil Lover’s Guide to Successfully Keeping Hydroponic Basil Alive

keeping hydroponic basil alive

According to expert basil grower Walters, “Proper care is key to keeping hydroponic basil alive.”

Walters’ guide shares bolded tips and tricks learned from years of experience growing hydroponic herbs. 

Discover how providing optimal light, temperatures between 65-75°F, and balanced nutrients in the water are musts for hydroponic basil’s continued health. 

Following the simple steps means your plants will flourish, giving you fresh flavorful leaves for many weeks. But there’s more to learn, so keep reading to really make your basil thrive with ease.

Key Takeaways

To keep hydroponic basil alive, give the plants optimal conditions like plenty of bright light, warm temperatures between 65-75°F, and properly balanced nutrients in the water. Monitoring the plants daily ensures any issues are quickly fixed before spreading.

Understanding Hydroponic Basil Care Needs

Growing basil is such a joy. These aromatic leaves add flavor to so many hydroponic systems dishes! For gardeners with limited space, hydroponic system provide an option to keep basil plants alive indoors. Here are some tips for proper hydroponic basil care.

Keeping Basil Alive

Light, room temperature, water and nutrients – these are the basics any plant needs. In a hydroponic setup, you need to focus on providing the right amounts of each to keep basil plants alive. With some adjustments and monitoring, your basil leaves will be sticking around for many harvests to come.

  • Proper light, temperature, nutrients, and water are key to keeping BASIL plants ALIVE in a hydroponic system.
  • BASIL leaves require a minimum of 6 hours of DIRECT SUNLIGHT daily or bright supplemental lighting. Room temperatures should be between 65-75°F (1).
  • The NUTRIENT SOLUTION should be changed/replenished weekly and include all necessary macro/micronutrients for HEALTHY growth according to the system manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Optimal Growing Conditions

To really bring out the best in your basil, aim for optimal conditions. This means keeping the growing medium and nutrient solution at just the right levels. Small changes can make a big difference in your basil’s flavor and yield.

  • Hydroponic BASIL prefers a moderately moist GROWING MEDIUM. Allow the medium to dry out slightly between waterings and make sure it is well-draining to prevent root rot.
  • Maintain the water level 1-2 inches below the bottom of the BASIL leaves in a deep water system.
  • Flood ebb and flow or drip systems for 10-15 minutes twice daily with the NUTRIENT SOLUTION mixed to the proper EC/ppm level for vegetable crop production which is typically 1.2-1.5 mS/cm or 1200-1500 ppm.

Common Issues

No growing method is foolproof. There may be bumps along the way, such as if your basil leaves start to drop. Don’t stress – many common problems can be fixed with some troubleshooting. With experience, you’ll learn to keep your hydroponic basil happily producing for many seasons.

  • Lack of light, improper pH levels or nutrient deficiencies are common reasons why BASIL leaves may yellow or drop off in a hydroponic system. – Monitor pH levels which should be maintained between 5.5-6.5 (2). Adjust the NUTRIENT SOLUTION pH up or down as needed.
  • Check that the water temperature is between 65-75°F and the solution is being changed regularly. These steps will help to keep the BASIL plants ALIVE.
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Hydroponic Nutrient Solution Mix

Even BASIL needs balanced nutrition to stay HEALTHY. This nutrient mix provides a great starting point for boosting your hydroponically-grown BASIL. Tweak as needed based on how your plants respond.

NutrientParts per Million (ppm)
Nitrogen (N)150
Phosphorus (P)45
Potassium (K)150
Calcium (Ca)100
Magnesium (Mg)40

Proper Water Conditions

A basil plant’s root system needs precise water conditions to grow roots, absorb nutrients, and support new leaf growth above the surface. 

Getting the particulars right such as nutrient solution, temperature, oxygen, and pH level is important for basil to stay in tip top shape. 

When these conditions are met, basil will be happily pumping out fresh leaves that are just begging to be chopped.

Fresh nutrient solution – Change the nutrient solution every 1-2 weeks to provide fresh nutrients and oxygen to the roots (3). Over time the solution breaks down.

Ideal water temperature – Maintain the water temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C) for optimal growth. Basil grows best at temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C).

Proper nutrients – Use a hydroponic nutrient solution specifically formulated for herbs and greens. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing concentrations.

Adequate oxygen – Place an air stone in the reservoir and use an air pump to provide a steady stream of oxygen to the roots. Oxygen promotes healthy root growth.

Appropriate pH level – Monitor and maintain the pH level between 5.5-6.5. pH outside this range can inhibit nutrient absorption.

Drain and refill technique – Every 2-3 weeks, drain the old solution and refill the reservoir with fresh aerated water and nutrients. This improves water quality.

Air Circulation and Lighting

In addition to water, adequate air flow and appropriate lighting are vital to keep basil joyful. Good air circulation around the stem and leaves helps strengthen the plant. 

Likewise, getting the suitable intensity and duration of light exposure is important to fuel photosynthesis and multiplication of leafy green abundance. With the right light settings and ventilation, basil will be primed to leaf out lusciously.

keeping hydroponic basil alive

Good air movement – Place a small fan nearby to move air around the plants and prevent disease and wilting. Air circulation strengthens stem structure.

Proper lighting – Provide 14-16 hours of direct or indirect sunlight per day for healthy growth. Use grow lights if natural light is not sufficient.

Indoor lighting – For indoor basil, make sure lighting provides a minimum of 1500-2000 lumens per square foot. LED or fluorescent tube fixtures work well.

Prevent heat buildup – Check temperature under grow lights and use fans to keep it under 80°F (27°C) which can stress plants.

Basil Care and Propagation

There’s more to caring for basil than perfect parameters. Additional little TLC through pruning, cuttings and tending helps basil thrive with plentiful leaves. Discover techniques to encourage bushy growth and start new plants to share the basil bounty.

Trim basil regularly – Harvesting leaf tips promotes bushier growth. Use scissors and cut above a set of leaves.

Propagate from cuttings – To start new plants, take 4-6 inch stem cuttings with nodes, remove leaves except for the top set, and place the cut end in the reservoir. New roots will grow roots in 7-10 days (4).

Replenish nutrients as plants grow – Larger plants utilize more nutrients so gradually increase nutrients concentrations as needed to sustain rapid growth.

Try new basils varieties – In addition to common sweet genovese basil, consider Thai, cinnamon, or purple ruffle varieties which have unique flavors, colors and shapes.

Adjust based on individual plant needs – Like all plants, basil may need minor tweaks to its care to maintain ideal conditions for optimum health. Be attentive and remedy any issues promptly.

Storing Basil for Longer Freshness

Thoughtfully storing extra fresh basil allows you to enjoy the herb’s unique flavor for longer. Following some simple techniques helps retain maximum freshness whether you want basil tomorrow or next week. 

Discover tried and true methods for properly preserving your harvest’s herbal qualities.

Mason jars – Tightly pack washed and dried basil leaves into clean mason jar(s). Fill jars so there is no empty space at the top.

Exclude light – Proper storage protects basil from sunlight exposure which causes leaves to turn brown faster. Direct sunlight degrades perishables.

Seal lid tightly– Use the jar rings and lids to create an airtight seal and prevent air exchange which shortens post-harvest life. Check seals regularly.

Refrigeration – Chill filled jars in the refrigerator crisper at 35-40°F (2-4°C) for up to 10 days while retaining peak texture and taste.

Plastic bags – For longer storage up to 2 weeks, tightly pack basil in a breathable plastic bag and freeze. Label bags with dates for easy ID.

Last bit of basil? – If only a small amount remains, wrap the sprig in a slightly damp paper towel, seal in a plastic bag , and store in the fridge crisper.

Properly sealing harvested basil from light and air is key to preserving its herby freshness longer. With these simple storage tips, enjoy your hydroponic basil harvest for more days to come.


How do I grow basil hydroponically?

The easiest way to grow basil hydroponically is starting with basil seedlings from the grocery store. Place the seedlings’ root balls in net pots filled with expanded clay pellets or coconut coir. 

Suspend the pots in your hydroponic system and provide optimal temps, light, water and nutrients. Italian large leaf and Genovese basil varieties often do best.

What types of basil grow best hydroponically?

Italian large leaf basil and Genovese basil typically grow best hydroponically. They have heartier stems that support the plant without toppling. 

Stick to common sweet basil varieties like those found at stores. Specialty varieties may struggle more with hydroponic growing.

How do I keep my basil plant alive for a long time?

Keep your basil plant in optimal conditions – at least 6 hours of sunlight daily or under grow lights. Maintain proper water and nutrient levels. 

Check daily for issues like yellowing leaves or downy mildew. Take cuttings to start new plants and keep your main plant producing fresh herbs for months.

How do I store fresh basil leaves?

The best way is putting leaves in a mason jar with a paper towel on the bottom. Layer leaves and add just enough water to moisten the towel without touching leaves. Store jar in the fridge to keep basil fresh for about a week.


Well folks, I hope this guide has helped explain everything you need to know to keep your hydroponic basil plants happy and healthy! 

Growing basil hydroponically is such a fun hobby that also provides you with fresh, flavorful leaves to enjoy. 

Remember, the key is giving your plants optimal conditions like plenty of bright light, warm temperatures, and properly balanced nutrients in the water. With a little care and attention, your basil will stay alive for many harvests to come.

Be sure to monitor your plants daily so you can fix any issues like nutrient deficiencies or disease problems early before they spread. Taking cuttings to start new basil plants is also a great way to enjoy a continual supply. 

For long term storage, mason jars in the fridge work like a charm to preserve your harvest’s freshness. With the right techniques, you’ll be enjoying homemade pesto and bruschetta all winter long. 

Have fun experimenting with different types of basil too – you might discover a new favorite! As always, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. Happy growing!

If you found this guide helpful, please leave a comment below sharing your favorite basil recipe or any other hydroponic growing tips you’d like to share with the community.



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