Ocimum basilicum

Ocimum basilicum

Basil

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Common name: Basil
  • Plant type: Herb

Height: 50cm

Spread: 30cm

Flower colour:
  • White
Foliage colour:
  • Green
  • Features: Aromatic foliage

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Basil, Ocimum basilicum, is a popular, half-hardy to tender herb used in a variety of summer dishes, and works particularly well when eaten with tomatoes. It may also be grown with tomatoes, used as a companion plant to deter whitefly.

Native to dry scrub in Africa and Asia, basil requires a lot of heat to thrive, and can be prone to downy mildew. There are many varieties to choose from, however, some of which have been bred to withstand cooler conditions. 

Sow Ocimum basilicum seed indoors in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill, and move plants outside in summer. Water plants sparingly, ideally before noon so the roots have time to dry out before temperatures decrease in the evening. Harvest leaves regularly and remove flowers to concentrate the plant's energy on leaf production.

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Aspect: South facing, West facing
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sow
Sow
Yes
Yes
Yes
Plant
Plant
Yes
Yes
Yes
Harvest
Harvest
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Effects: No toxic effects reported for this plant.

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