All About Basil

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Can I Plant
Last Updated: | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Basil plants are aromatic herbs that are part of the mint family. They have a distinct, sweet, and slightly spicy aroma and flavor. Basil plants are annuals, meaning they will die off after one growing season and need to be replanted each year. They have a bushy growth habit, with small oval-shaped leaves that are usually a deep green color. Basil plants thrive in warm, sunny areas with well-draining soil, and they need to be watered regularly. They are often used in cooking and can be dried or frozen for later use.

Planning Your Garden With Basil

As you plan your garden, it's important to think about the spacing, size, light, and nutrient requirements of all of your plant and how they'll grow together.

Some plants require more water than others, while other plants require dry soil. At the same time, some plants prefer full sun, and other plants need the shade to survive.

By studying what each plant requires and planning ahead where all of your plants will grow best, you can optimize your garden space.

Life Cycle Basil is an annual plant.
USDA Zone Basil is a warm-season annual herb that is hardy in USDA Zones 5-11.
Cold Tolerance Basil is a warm season crop and can usually only tolerate temperatures as low as 32.
Days to harvest The minimum number of days to harvest basil is usually around 40-50 days.
Average size The average size of a full grown basil plant is 12-24 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide.
Spacing requirements The best spacing for growing basil is 8-12 inches apart, with the rows spaced about 18-24 inches apart.
Sun tolerance Basil is a sun-loving plant and needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. It can tolerate up to eight hours of direct sunlight, but more than that may cause the leaves to become scorched.
Shade tolerance Basil is considered a sun-loving plant and prefers full sun exposure, although it can tolerate light shade. In areas with hot summers, some afternoon shade may be beneficial.
Water requirements Basil is a very drought-tolerant plant, but it does need a consistently moist soil. It's best to water basil regularly, keeping the soil slightly moist but never soggy. Aim to water your basil plants every 1-2 days, or as needed to keep the soil from drying out.
Fertilizer The amount of fertilizer you should use when growing basil depends on the type of fertilizer you are using and the soil conditions. Generally, a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 is recommended. For container-grown basil, use 1 teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of soil. For outdoor basil, use 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per square foot of soil.
Soil pH The optimum pH for growing basil is 6.0-7.0.

Why Basil is Popular

People like to grow basil because it is an easy-to-grow herb that adds a delicious flavor to many dishes. It is also an attractive addition to any garden, with its lush green leaves and fragrant aroma. Basil is also said to have some medicinal properties, such as being an antifungal and anti-inflammatory.

Companion Plants For Basil

Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden space and get the most out of your plants. By planting certain plants together, you can help each other thrive. In some cases, you can even help each other repel pests.

Popular companion plants for basil include:

Common Pests For Basil

Plant pests are a common problem for gardeners. By understanding what pests are common for your plants, you can take steps to prevent them from damaging your plants.

When you grow basil, keep an eye out for these common pests:

  • leaf miners
  • thrips
  • aphids
  • whiteflies
  • spider mites

USDA Zones

USDA zones are a popular way of determining which plants can grow in your area. Zones tell you when your average first and last frost date are, as well as how cold you can expect it to get in the winter.

Our site works best if you choose your zone from the list below. If you do not know your USDA zone, then you can use our zone map.

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