I have grown basil from seeds in a large pot. They have germinated but are now failing to thrive. They are now about 3 weeks old.

They get the afternoon sun and are watered daily. I applied Seasol a couple of times, but am still not having any luck!

I'm a new gardener living in the Illawarra region in New South Wales, Australia. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Heeding the suggestions here, I have moved the basil into direct sunlight and am watering less often. The seedlings have responded really well!!

Thanks for your advice, it has really helped. :)

  • 1
    See also gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/1084/…
    – Lisa
    Nov 9, 2011 at 5:13
  • I'm glad that the answers here helped you. Please consider upvoting good answers and accepting the answer that helped you the most by clicking the big check-mark next to the answer (you'll see it under the up-down arrows). Also, updates to your question/follow-up etc., should be edited into the question. The answers portion is only for actual answers that solve the problem. I've edited this info into your post for you this time, but please remember it for the next :) Nov 13, 2011 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


In my experience basil grows best during the long days of summer, and when they are forced to germinate in a time where the days are short they are hard to maintain and lack vigor. They also seem to be sturdier in a sunny sandy soil better than a moist peat based mix.

  • 2
    @ApprenticeGreenthumb: Definitely give them lots of light. I had basil in pots this past spring and they did well under flourescent lights 12-14 hours per day. Afternoon sun is probably not enough.
    – bstpierre
    Nov 8, 2011 at 19:44

I guess it's probably due to a rotten root.

A large pot would hold more water than a small pot. Watering once a day is perhaps too much for a large pot. I have two basil plants in large pots and I water them once every 3 days. Of course the duration depends on how fast the water evapourates. You can test the soil for dampness using your finger before you water.

You may want to keep them in smaller pots and indoors. Add a little water every night so that they won't dry out. When they are 10cm above the soil, you can move them outdoors, following proper transplanting techniques and you should adjust your watering accordingly.

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