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Ocimum basilicum (Sweet basil)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.5m
Max height
0.5m
Max spread
1-2 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Ocimum basilicum

Other names

Sweet basil, Lemon basil, Common basil, Greek royal, Kiss-me-Nicholas, Greek basil, Sweet green basil

Genus

Ocimum Ocimum

Species

O. basilicum - O. basilicum is an aromatic herb with bright green, delicate leaves and spikes of small, tubular white or pink-tinged flowers in late summer.


Ocimum basilicum is: Deciduous

Fragrance

The foliage has aromatic leaves

Habit

Clump-forming, Erect

Flower

White, Pink, Insignificant or absent in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leafhoppers Aphids , Leafhoppers

Powdery mildew Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Pinch out flower heads as they appear to ensure continued leaf growth. If left to flower, cut back after flowering.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Ocimum basilicum (Sweet basil) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Add to salads, City, Containers, Drying, Flavouring food and drinks, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant as an annual in light, well-drained, fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Ideally grown in a container or pot . Water freely in summer.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Ocimum basilicum

Other names

Sweet basil, Lemon basil, Common basil, Greek royal, Kiss-me-Nicholas, Greek basil, Sweet green basil

Genus

Ocimum Ocimum

Species

O. basilicum - O. basilicum is an aromatic herb with bright green, delicate leaves and spikes of small, tubular white or pink-tinged flowers in late summer.

Foliage

Deciduous

Fragrance

The foliage has aromatic leaves

Habit

Clump-forming, Erect


Colour

Flower

White, Pink, Insignificant or absent in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leafhoppers

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew

General care

Pruning

Pinch out flower heads as they appear to ensure continued leaf growth. If left to flower, cut back after flowering.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Ocimum basilicum (Sweet basil) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.5m after 1-2 years.

Suggested uses

Add to salads, City, Containers, Drying, Flavouring food and drinks, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant as an annual in light, well-drained, fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Ideally grown in a container or pot . Water freely in summer.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3)

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Ocimum basilicum (Sweet basil)

Common pest name

tomato thrips

Scientific pest name

Ceratothripoides brunneus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Thrips present in Africa; the Caribbean and parts of Asia; frequently intercepted in the UK. Can cause significant damage to tomatoes and other crops in countries where it is present. Europe wide PRA will consider its potential to establish and cause damage.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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Sweet basil flower

Sweet basil

My Basil (10/07/2012)

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Indoor heated (H1), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Bitter Basil

Maybe it has something to do with the soil or it maybe because you are growing the plant too hard, eg: not watering/in the wrong position etc. read more

My basil tastes bitter!

My basil tastes bitter! What is the cause? read more

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