My room temperature is 20-21 °C (68°F) and I plan to put it in front of the window facing east, where the sun rises. But usually where I live there is little actual sunlight: it is usually cloudy, sometimes foggy. Can basil grow in these conditions?

In my location, on January 1st there's 7h:19m of daylight. Also, after it gets dark, I plan to turn my ceiling lights on and face them onto the plants; the lights would be 8-9 feet away.

  • It is possible, I kept my basil inside after autumn and put outside in spring, but it wasn't the same in the second year. Fresh start is much better. It grows slowly in winter and gets fungal infection easily.
    – inf3rno
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


You can certainly try - seed won't cost much. Without more active/brighter/closer/longer lighting, it will probably be rather spindly and weak basil, but providing adequate plant light electrically can run to significant money, at which point buying imported basil might make more sense in wintertime. As a halfway point, you might see if you can (without utterly rearranging your house) give them a shelf that you can move them to when you get home and turn on the lights that is MUCH closer to the lights, so they can be in the window for the day and on the shelf at night when the lights are on. Keep the pot size reasonable for easy moving. Alternatively, set up a light closer to the plants on the window-sill and just make the lit-up Basil part of your evening lighting.

  • Yes indeed, I have shelf that is 2-3 feet away from 3 light bulbs that I can turn in any direction, so i think it can be quite bright there. And I think there's warmer temperature there. Anyway thanks for the answer!
    – Giancarlo
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 17:38
  • I had someone say that plants need cooler temps at night, if that's true, what preferable temperature should be at night?
    – Giancarlo
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 18:10
  • I doubt you need any special temperature regime for basil in the house. In a greenhouse you might lower the heating significantly at night. If you don't normally do that for sleeping, I would not concern yourself too much about it for basil. They are not overly fussy. I certainly don't alter the house temperature when starting the plants that will eventually go into the garden in early spring.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 18:56

I've had some basil growing under similar conditions. It has gotten big and woody, with less leaf density than when I was able to grow the same strain out on the porch. I would definitely give it a shot, but you might not be able to produce enough for cooking.

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