How to grow Basil plant

Basil plant grow and care – shrub‎ or subshrub of the genus Ocimum also known as Basil or Basilicum, Basil plant grow as perennial evergreen or annual, the perennial Basil plant in cold weather become annual, used as edible plant for the leaves also used as ornamental plant and it’s fragrant, can grow in tropic, mediterranean, desert, subtropical, temperate climate or indoor as houseplant (some cultivars can grow indoor as houseplant) and growing in hardiness zone: 10b+ (perennial), 5+ (as annual).

Basil leaves

Leaves color can be: light green – dark green, purple, green and purple, green and white, the taste of the leaves can be strong or soft, with different flavor from a little bit sweet, specie, bitter.

Flower color can be: white or purple, small flowers grow on stalk in inflorescence, some species are attract pollinator.

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How to grow Basil plant growing and care:

Warm weather, in cold weather the perennial Basil plant become annual or some varieties are annual

How to care:
Add more water in hot summer days, fertilizer 2-4 year, put organic matter, prune once a year and consider to prune the bloom stems

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seedling / Seed (explanation bellow) / Vegetative reproduction

Is it necessary use vegetative reproduction in Basil plant?
Possible to use in vegetative reproduction

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Sensitive to cold and some species and are sensitive to pests

Planting season:
Spring as annual, spring to summer in hardiness zone 10b, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11, all year in hardiness zone 12+

Pests and diseases:
Prodenia, aphids, mealy bug

Pruning season:
End of the autumn but possible all the year

How to prune:
Prune the buds to prevent bloom, the size and the quality of the leaves affected by the bloom, weak and dead leaves

What is the size of a Basil plant plants?
0.2-2 m, 0.6-6.5 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Fast growing to average speed

Water requirement:
Average amount of water / Big amount of water

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun, make the plant bloom faster it’s recommend to reduce sun hours/ Half Shade / Full shade – mostly can’t grow in full shade but some cultivars can grow indoor as houseplant

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
Depend the cultivars, need to check for specific requirement for the cultivar

Growing is also possible in a pot / planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, when grow in container, size 5-12 liter (1.5-3 gallon) (some cultivars need bigger container) amount of water that needed, it’s to keep the soil moist and the water go out of the pot, better not to use bottom of pot, when it’s grow as perianal every two years to switch soil in the pot or just part of it, soil need to be well ventilated with good drainage, rich with organic matter, can us in potting mix or peat soil with perlite or vermiculite.

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Summer to autumn

General information about the flower
Small flower that grow on stalk in inflorescence

Thinning the bloom:
Recommend to thinning the blossom it’s better for the leaves, unless it’s for the attract pollinator

Pollination is done by:
Bees and more pollinators

Edible leaves

Leaves harvesting season
Annual Basil plant all the season, perennial plants after establish most of the year in the winter

How to harvest the leaves?
Should prune the stems with the leaves and use the stems for cutting

Information about leaves:
Elliptic or oval shape the edge dentate, smooth, serrated

Uses of Basil plant leaves:
Salad, cooking, herbs, spreads, spices

Subspecies

Holy Basil – perennial shrub with leaves ovate with serrate edge, the color of the leaves green but sometime the leaves become purple. Holy Basil aromatic and with strong taste.

Lemon Basil – perianal shrub remind lemon taste the leaves light green soft narrow and thin, in ovate shape the flowers grow Small white flower that grow on inflorescence.

Dark opal Basil – annual shrub. Dark opal Basil is a gentle plants with ovate leaves, the color of the leaves mostly purple but sometime green purple with purple stems. Also used ornamental plant.

Sweet Basil – annual shrub. Sweet Basil is the most popular Basil this Basil originate used for pesto, the leaves are ovate, the color light to dark green leaves.

Cinnamon Basil – annual shrub. Cinnamon Basil with ovate leaves with purple stems, the smell and the taste remind Cinnamon.

Thai Basil – annual shrub. Thai Basil strong Basil, the leaves are ovate, the color light to dark green leaves with purple stems.

Lettuce leaf Basil – shrub. Lettuce leaf Basil is gentle flavor, not strong like the other species. The leaves big soft ovate, the color of the leaf is light green .

Licorice Basil – perianal shrub also Basil plantd Persian Basil or Anise Basil, Licorice Basil with ovate leaves. The smell and the taste remind licorice or Licorice.

Basil Pesto – annual shrub. Basil Pesto is human made Basil specified for making pesto. Basil pesto is gentle plant the leaves are ovate, the leaf color light green with white can be just in the edge or all the leaf.

Greek Basil – growing – annual subshrub. Greek Basil is small leave Basil, the density of the leaves is high, the leaves small ovate, the color light to dark green leaves.

Basil tree – perennial shrub is human made its grafted Basil that make it very resistance to insect, bacterial infection and more. Bonsai Basil is strong plant the leaves are ovate, the leaf color green can be just in the edge or all the leaf.

African blue Basil – perianal shrub. The leaves of African blue Basil are green, blue, and purple the shape is oval. Also used as ornamental plants and attract pollinators

Lime Basil – annual shrub. The plant called Lime Basil because of its flavor that remind lime, the leaves color light green soft narrow and thin, with ovate shape.

Vegetative Reproduction

How to make Vegetative Reproduction in Basil plant?
Cutting, bending a branch over and covering it with soil

The best time for vegetative reproduction in Basil plant:
Spring, Summer but it’s possible to do it indoor all the year

How much time does it take to grow roots in vegetative reproduction?
2-4 Weeks

What is the treatment for vegetative reproduction in Basil plant?
Stems on water, change every 2-3 days the water until the plants have new roots, bending branch into the soil, sometime need to break the branch

How to grow Basil plant from seeds

Sowing requirement:
Easy to grow from seeds

Saving seeds until sowing:
Room temperature, dry

Sowing season:
Spring, but as perennial spring to autumn

Planting spacing:
20*30cm (8*12 inches) or 1*1m (40*40 inches) depend on the species

Depth of Sowing:
0.5cm (0.25 inch)

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil, almost full sun, warm place, 20-30C (68-86F) but better ~25C (77F)

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water, don’t let the soil dry

Germination time:
1-3 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Moist soil, full sun

Scientific name:

Ocimum

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