Culinary herb for gardens and containers. Excellent for adding flavor to soups, sauces, fish and meat dishes. Use leaves fresh, or dry and keep in an airtight container. Wash fruits, vegetables and herbs thoroughly before eating.
A compact grower that forms a tight, rounded mound of densely packed leaves. The aromatic leaves are small, but they are loaded with incredible Basil flavor! Try sprinkling some leaves into salads or using as a homemade pizza topping. This is the perfect choice for growing in patio containers or small-space gardens.
Basil is native to Iran, India and tropical regions of Asia where it has been cultivated for over 5,000 years.
Basil comes from the Greek word basileus or 'king' because it is believed to have grown on the spot where St. Constantine and Helen discovered the Holy Cross.
Research has shown that basil is toxic to mosquitoes and has antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
Basil plants can not tolerate frost and may be damaged by cold temperatures.
Once a basil stem produces flowers, it stops foliage production. Keep plants pinched to encourage growth and prevent from flowering.
New plantings should be watered daily for a couple of weeks. After that, depending on the weather and soil type, watering can be adjusted to every two or three days. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy soils, so expect to water more frequently in sandy settings.
Different plants have different water needs. Some plants prefer staying on the dry side, others like to be consistently moist. Refer to the plant label to check a plant’s specific requirements.
Ideally water should only be applied to the root zone - an area roughly 6-12” (15-30cm) from the base of the plant, not the entire plant. A soaker hose is a great investment for keeping plants healthy and reducing water lost through evaporation. Hand watering using a watering wand with a sprinkler head attached is also a good way to control watering. If the garden area is large, and a sprinkler is necessary, try to water in the morning so that plant foliage has time to dry through the day. Moist foliage encourages disease and mold that can weaken or damage plants.
To check for soil moisture use your finger or a small trowel to dig in and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.
Prune plants freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Pinching plants back stimulates dense, bushy new growth and encourages more flowers.
Remove old flowers to keep plant looking healthy and prevent seed production that drains the plant’s energy at the expense of forming new flowers.
Some plants are grown only for their attractive foliage (such as coleus, dusty miller and flowering kale). Their flowers are not very showy and any buds should be pinched off to keep the foliage looking its best.