Basil plant

How To Save Basil Seeds For An Endless Harvest

I’ve previously written about how to propagate basil, and that is still my go to method for multiplying my basil plants. But, unless you are keeping a basil plant all winter long to propagate from, in the spring you are going to need to buy a new plant or start some new basil seeds.

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

This is where knowing how to save your own basil seeds can help you save time and money. It’s also a fun and enjoyable skill to have. Saving your own basil seeds lets you feel confident that you will have a staple of your garden for years to come.

Why Do You Need To Save Basil Seeds?

Basil is an annual herb, meaning you need to regrow it every year. It can get costly to keep buying a new basil plant every spring, and seeds lose their viability the longer they stay stored away.

If you want to be more self sufficient like I do, it is a good idea to learn how to save your own basil seeds.

Is It Hard To Save Basil Seeds?

Saving seeds from basil is a relatively easy task. The hardest part might be waiting for the plant to actually flower and produce seeds once it’s started. Basil will start to flower near the end of the growing season and it takes a while for the flowers to develop, produce seeds, and start to dry.

How To Harvest Basil Seeds?

Once your basil plant is flowering, wait for the flowers to start turning brown. At this point, use a pair of clean garden pruners and cut the stem where the flowers start and bring them indoors to dry.

Basil beginning to flower
Basil beginning to flower

What Do Basil Flowers Look Like?

Basil flowers are small, traditionally white, flowers that develop towards the end of the growing season. The purpose of the flowers is to be pollinated by insects to produce seeds for reproduction.

Do Basil Flowers Need To Be Pollinated?

Basil flowers are self pollinating. Meaning they have both male and female parts on each flower. A gentle breeze is all that is needed to allow for pollination and fertile seeds.

Basil Flowers
Basil Flowers

How To Collect Basil Seeds?

Once the flowers are sufficiently dry you can put the flowers in a bag or bowl and crush them. Roll the flowers back and forth between your hands and you’ll start to see tiny black seeds fall out. You can use a Fine Mesh Strainer to sift through all the chaff.

Do this over a bowl. The seeds are very small and should fall through the strainer leaving the chaff behind.

How Long Are Basil Seeds Viable?

Basil seeds are viable for up to 5 years if kept in ideal conditions. The older your seeds are the lower the germination rate will be. It’s a best practice to label and date your seeds when you collect them.

How To Store Basil Seeds?

To store basil seeds keep them in a plastic bag or mason jar with a lid. Store them in a cool dark place and away from moisture. To be extra cautious about moisture you can add a silica gel packet with your seeds.

We hope you enjoyed this basil seed saving guide. If you did make sure you check out our growing guides and other seed saving guides. We are growing our website with more articles all the time, and we invite you to grow with us. If you have any questions about saving basil seeds or would like to share some of your knowledge with us please leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top