Growing Basil

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Botanical Name:

Ocimum basilicum

Common names:

Sweet Basil, Basil, and Holy Basil


Basil is one of the most widely grown herbs in the world. Originally from India, it is grown for its clove-like smelling, soft green or purple foliage and is often associated with its culinary use in Italian dishes.


Life Cycle:

tender annual


full sun


Start with purchased plants or sow basil seeds directly into the garden early to mid spring. Basil will not tolerate the cold, and transplants should not be planted until they are 4 inches high and danger of all frost has passed. Plant basil in ordinary, well drained soil.



Parts Used:

leaves, clove-like fragrance

Harvesting and Storage:

Harvest leaves fresh for use as needed. If used for culinary purposes, dried basil will not retain its flavor and should be placed between sheets of wax paper and frozen or chopped and frozen with water. To dry basil, hang it upside down in a warm, dark room and store leaves in an airtight container when dry.

Medicinal Uses:

an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory to relieve sore mouths and gums, as part of treatment for malaria, bronchitis and gastric disorders.


Culinary Uses:

Italian cooking; tomato and cheese dishes; salads.

Other Uses:

herbal wreaths, insect repellant, and potpourri.

basil plant

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March 11, 20060 found this helpful

Caring for basil. My basil is sad. It is not ther deep green like the one in your picture, it is very light green. It is flowering and I pinch off the flowers and throw them in the pot with the plant. Leaves look limp, pale green and thin. Do you have any ideas what is wrong and how to make it healthy again?

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By (Guest Post)
March 17, 20060 found this helpful

i have these tiny green bugs all over my basil how can i get rid of them?

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October 16, 20090 found this helpful

It's possible that by throwing the seeds into the same pots that the chemical reaction of the seeds could be telling the plant it has done it's job. Sounds weird but that is what happens with trees, the leaves are putting out chemicals in the fall when they are changing colors that will stop another species of tree from seeding in that area.


Trying saving your seeds but not in the same pot. I'm know botanist but it makes sense to me.

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