Does Basil Need Full Sunlight?

To grow does basil needs full sun? In moderately wet soil with ample space around every plant, ensure it receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. Although it grows readily and is a member of the mint family, this herb doesn’t thrive in low-light conditions.

Basil is susceptible to “downy mildew,” a lethal ailment, because of a lack of sunshine and hot, humid weather. Basil, kept out of the light, quickly turns brown and dies.

Basil can be grown in some shade, but you should expect extremely poor results if it gets fewer than three hours of sunlight every day. However, too much sun can cause leaf scorch, wilting, and even death. So, let’s find out does basil need full sunlight or not.

Do you want to grow more microgreens? Check our guide on how to grow microgreens at home

How Long Does Basil Need Sunlight Per Day?

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Remember that your basil plant needs sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day. Although the herb can survive in less sunlight, it won’t grow well. Consider it as having at least 6–8 hours of sunlight. As long as the soil is moist, 12 hours a day isn’t harmful. Another plant that can grow well in full sunlight is the betel leaf. Do check our guide on how to grow and care for the betel leaf plants

However, if you live somewhere where the noon heat is harsh or oppressive, try to cover the basil during the hottest time. 

  • The herb basil needs 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • If you’re growing indoors, place your plants near the lightest windows, so they get lots of sunlight.
  • Instead of the sun, use fluorescent lighting indoors, but raise the exposure time to 10.

Place your basil plants in a sunny spot for at least 6 hours each day if you’re growing them indoors. For optimum growth, fluorescent lighting should be increased to 10 hours daily. Feel free to mix and match; one option is to use both environmental and fluorescent light.

Do you know that basil is one of the best eggplant companion plants as well?

Can Basil Plant Survive in Shade?

Despite some partial shadow, basil can flourish there. Basil prefers moist soil; thus, shaded regions frequently have the best soil quality. Even so, keeping your basil plants away from areas with dense foliage or other obstructions that completely block the sun is crucial. Your basil will suffer and perish if this happens. Choosing partial shade when necessary

  • Although basil may grow in the shade, moderate shade is preferable to total shade.
  • If you have some sunlight, you may plant basil in a shaded garden region.
  • Basil grown in complete shade gradually develops smaller-than-average leaflets and becomes yellow or brown.

Basil is grown in complete shadow, typically grows slowly, and develops tiny leaves. The herb may initially seem to be the epitome of health.

Basil leaves suddenly appear black because the plant rearranges the chlorophyll in its leaflets to attempt to receive maximum light. Regrettably, if the plant is kept in the complete shade all the time, the leaves will eventually turn brown or yellow and fall.

Also Read: Growing Vegetables: A Beginner Guide

Can Basil Grow in Indirect Sunlight?

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In Basil’s ideal world, there is just warm, fresh air and direct sunlight. Basil can, however, be grown in indirect sunlight if the hourly criteria are met. For the greatest basil growth in indirect light, it’s preferable to maintain wet but not soggy soil. Also, read our guide on how to prepare the soil for planting to know more about this subject. 

  • Basil enjoys exposure to some sunlight.
  • If the circumstances are favorable, basil can grow well in diffused light.

Consider other factors other just sunshine levels if enough sunlight is supplied yet your basil appears to be blooming at the correct rate. Different soil types, inadequate or excessive watering, as well as the size of the planter where the basil is flourishing, could contribute to the variation in growth pace.

What Happens if Basil Plant didn’t Receive Proper Sunlight?

Sparse leaves are the first indication of basil being sun-deprived. When there is not enough sunlight, basil grows fewer leaves to conserve energy.

Basil very certainly needs more direct sunshine if it is shedding its lush, bushy appearance. Downy mildew can also develop in hot, humid situations with insufficient sunlight.

  • Sparse foliage is a clue that your basil needs more sunlight.
  • If kept against light, basil leaves become brown or yellow.
  • If basil is left in the shadow, it may become tall and brittle.
  • Basil, depending on the sun, will have brown or yellow leaves. It may also have a tall and wiry growth pattern, which is unusual for the herb. There are many other reasons for leaves turning yellow. Do check the reasons and how to fix the leaves turning yellow problem

Can Basil Receive Excessive Sunlight?

Although it doesn’t do well in cold climates, the herb basil does well in temperatures up to 90 °F (32 °C). However, prolonged exposure to intense, direct sunlight and sweltering heat is bad for basil. The plant struggles to maintain moisture inside its leaves at temperatures greater than 90°F.

  • Although it has minimal resilience to cold, basil does best in a warm atmosphere.
  • Basil can be harmed by high temperatures or continuous, direct sunlight.
  • Overly exposed plants may become dry and yellow.

Atypically quick evaporation may happen if the plant is exposed to too much sun or extremely hot temperatures.

The evaporation of water from a leaf is known as transpiration. Naturally, if this happens quickly, your basil plant will become dry, unhealthy, and more vulnerable to pest invasions. If leaves have suffered sun damage, they can appear yellow and tough.

Epazote is another herb that needs a lot of sunlight to grow healthy. Check the guide on how to grow and care for Epazote

What Amount of Sunlight is required by Basil?

Every day, basil needs 6 to 8 hours of sunshine. However, the soil should be smooth. Basil can tolerate up to 12 hours of sunshine as long as it is not exposed to extreme heat or direct sunlight. Lack of sunlight causes basil to lose its color and perish quickly.

  • Basil is a member of the mint family.
  • A lethal condition known as downy mildew can be brought on by humid conditions and a lack of sunshine.
  • Basil can grow in the shadow if it gets at least 3-6 hours of light daily.
  • Basil that lacks sunlight won’t grow well.
  • Heat stress and intense sunlight can cause leaf scorch, wilting, and death.

Also Read: How to Plant, Grow and Care Purslane


  1. Does Basil need sun or shade?

    Warm weather and direct early sunlight are ideal for basil growth. Try to provide your basil with light shade throughout the warmest part of the day if you reside in a region with a blistering noon sun. 

  2. Does basil need full sun?

    Warm weather and direct early sunlight are ideal for basil growth. Try to provide your basil with light shade throughout the warmest part of the day if you reside in a region with a blistering noon sun. 

  3. How often should you water basil?

    Watering Schedule for Outdoor Plants. Basil requires one to one and a half inches of water every week when grown outdoors. Basil prefers to keep moist, and it needs about one inch of water per week. To maintain the soil hydrated and the roots developing deep, water thoroughly once a week. In pots, basil will necessitate more frequent watering. When cultivating basil in a pot, you want to avoid the soil drying out.

  4. Do basil need direct sunlight?

    When grown outside, basil prefers a location that receives 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily, though it may also withstand some shade. Basil will benefit from certain afternoon shade if you are in the southern or southwest of the United States, where summers may be quite oppressive.

Bottom Line

We hope we have answered your doubt – does basil need full sunlight? These recommendations will set you on the proper path whether you are producing sweet basil or developing basil from seed.

Basil should be grown in sunny areas or placed in a pot in a sunny window. Add more moisture levels and delayed shade if it seems to be drying up.

That is it. This is what we have for the topic does basil need full sunlight? Do you think we have missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

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