Growing fresh basil outdoors in a container can be a simple yet rewarding process, especially during the summer months (depending on your climate). Once the weather cools off, though, you will want to bring your basil inside to protect it. Unfortunately, this can affect your basil with high levels of stress as its environment changes. You can rejuvenate your basil plants easily if you keep a few key things in mind.
Move the basil plants to a transitional area once the weather starts to turn cooler, such as a garage overnight. During the day, keep the basil in the sunshine outdoors. Do this process for two weeks before completely moving the basil indoors.
Prune back the basil right before you bring it indoors. Cut back the top one-third of growth, including any blossoms. Pruning will help promote new growth once the plant is indoors.
Keep the basil plant in a sunny window once you bring it indoors. If this isn't possible, keep the basil under a grow light for about six to eight hours ever day.
Make sure the temperature where you keep the basil is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 60 degrees overnight. This mimics an outdoor growing environment, which helps decrease the plant's stress.
Fertilize the basil once new growth begins to appear. Mix the fertilizer with water at half the strength recommended on the fertilizer package. Work the fertilizer into the soil around the basil plant. Fertilize the basil plant once each month while it is growing.
Water the basil plant enough to keep the soil consistently moist, making sure not to overwater. The water needs to drain out, and if there is a water tray beneath the basil, continuously empty it.