How to plant basil

Ocimum basilicum

Ocimum minimum or Ocimum basilicum ‘Minimum’

Basil or basil is an annual plant that reaches from 30 cm to more than 1.5 m in height. Grown since ancient times, basil currently has more than a hundred cultivars, and its leaves are used as a culinary herb, especially in Italian cuisine and in that of several South Asian countries.


Basil is a plant that grows best at temperatures above 18 ° C. The plant cannot withstand low temperatures, and should be grown in greenhouses in cold climates, or only during the months of the year when temperatures do not drop below 15 ° C. In hot climates, basil can be grown throughout the year.


Basil needs high light and should receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours daily.


The soil must be well drained, light, fertile, rich in organic matter. The plant is very tolerant of soil pH, and only very acidic soils are unsuitable.


Irrigate frequently so that the soil is kept slightly moist. Both the lack and the excess of water harm the basil.


The seeds can be sown directly in the final location of the garden, especially in regions with hot weather. It can also be sown in seedlings, small pots or cups made of newsprint approximately 10 cm high by 5 cm in diameter. In this case, the basil seedlings are transplanted when they have 6 definitive leaves and about 10 to 15 cm in height.

Basil can be grown easily in medium or large planters and pots, although it usually grows less. In the soil and in good cultivation conditions, some basil cultivars can exceed 1 meter in height. Thus, for planting in pots and planters, give preference to smaller cultivars, although it is possible to plant any of the available cultivars.


Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.

Eliminating the flowers can favor the growth of more leaves.


Leaf harvesting can begin when the plant is well developed, which usually occurs 60 to 90 days after sowing. The flowers are also edible.

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