Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum, O. x africanum
Native: O. basilicum (cinnamon, genovese, large leaf, ‘Dark Opal’): Probably Africa, but in cultivation for so long that it cannot be verified. O. x africanum (lemon, lime): Asia and Africa
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: 18″–30″ tall
Variety Information: CINNAMON: 24″–30″ tall; looks like sweet basil but with red stems and pink flowers. Has a cinnamon fragrance and very sweet flavor. Use in fruit salads, jellies, and in fresh and dried flower arrangements. GENOVESE: 18″–24″ tall; large leaf green basil with spicy flavor and fragrance; this is the true Italian pesto basil from the Genoa area of Italy, the pesto capital of the world. LEMON: 18″ tall; small leaves, with a strong lemon fragrance and flavor. Nice in vinegar and complements dishes with a lemon base. LIME: 18″ tall; dark green, shiny leaves; sweet lime aroma with citrus flavor for memorable flavored oils and sauces. Use in desserts such as a delicious lime basil sorbet. LARGE LEAF: 18″–24″ tall, 10″ wide. Medium dark-green leaves and a sweet, “all-around” basil. ‘DARK OPAL’: 24″ tall, purple leaves with mild, sweet flavor just right for pesto, pasta, and salad; makes a lovely pink vinegar or oil. A beautiful addition to any garden.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F, ideally 65°–85°F. Successive Sowings: We recommend 3 or 4 successive sowings every 3 weeks after initial sowing.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting outside. Transplant when your nighttime temperatures are above 50°F.
Days to Emerge: 5 – 10 Days
Seed Depth: ¼”
Seed Spacing: A group of 2 seeds every 12″
Row Spacing: 12″
Thinning: When 2″ tall, thin to 1 every 12″
Harvesting: Basil flavor is best before the plant flowers. Harvest up to 1/3 of the plant at a time, leaving enough for the plant to be healthy and keep producing. Harvest prior to a frost; basil is very frost sensitive.