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A picture of a Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil

Ocimum basilicum

Also known as

Genovese Basil, Basil, Basilie, Basiliekruid (Afr.)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

9a-11b

USDA zone

-7°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

90cm

Max

60cm

20cm

Min

20cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images

A photo of Sweet Basil
A photo of Sweet Basil
A photo of Sweet Basil
A photo of Sweet Basil
A photo of Sweet Basil

Overview

Ocimum basilicum is known as Sweet Basil, it is an aromatic annual or biennial herb with a strong flavour that is used heavily in Italian cuisine. This is a great choice for baking due to its sweet taste. Easy to grow, maintain and can be grown in a container indoors. Sweet Basil can also be grown as an ornamental, it produces pretty, small white-pink flowers, with some cultivars producing more showy blooms. An infusion is used as a homoeopathic medicine to soothe a cough or treat cramping.

Common problems

Japanese beetles, and earwigs.

Companion plants

Harvesting

Start harvesting the leaves when the plant is about 20 cm in height, pinch off flowers to lengthen the harvesting period. Leaves can be dried or preserved in olive oil.

Propagation

Seed

Sow seeds shallowly indoors in winter or outside from Springtime. Germination takes 7-14 days.

Cuttings

Take a 10 cm stem cutting from just below a leaf node from a stem that hasn't flowered. Remove the leaves 5 cm from the bottom end. Plant 5 cm deep. Keep moist or keep in a glass of water until well-rooted!

Special Features

Crop rotation

Basil is a medium feeder and needs a moderate amount of nutrients.

Pot plant

Can be grown in a container provided it is large enough.

Indoor plant

Can be grown in a container indoors provided it receives a minimum of 6 hours of light and a moderate amount of water.

Attractive leaves

Edible leaves

Attracts bees

Attracts butterflies

Uses

Culinary

Sweet Basil can be used for various culinary dishes, including salads, vinaigrette, and pizzas. It is a popular ingredient of pesto.

Insect repellant

Strong scent deters mosquitoes and flies.

Medicinal

A basil infusion is also used to soothe a cough or treat cramping.

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