Basil (Ocimum)

Quick facts and care essentials

This fragrant annual needs warm weather to grow well. Plants typically reach 1½ to 2 feet tall. Besides varieties with large green leaves, you'll find purple basils and dwarf or small-leafed sorts. You can start from seed or buy transplants. Sow seed indoors in early spring; or sow directly in garden beds after soil has warmed. Thin seedlings or set out plants to grow 1 to 2 feet apart. Pinch off tips and flowers to keep the leaves coming.

  • Annual 
  • All zones 
  • Full sun 
  • Regular water