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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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