Basil, also called great basil, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae. Basil is native to tropical regions from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a tender plant, and is used in cuisines worldwide.
I need at least 4 hours of afternoon sun but can go all day
- 10-20 Days
Harvest leaves by pinching them from the stems anytime after the young plants have reached a height of 6 to 8 inches. Pinch the leaves from the tips of the stems to encourage the plant to branch and make more leaves. Try to keep the stems pinched even if you don’t use the leaves; otherwise, the plant will begin to flower and make seeds, and will stop producing leaves. At the first prediction of even the lightest frost, go ahead and harvest all your basil because it will quickly turn black in cold weather. Make easy work of this by cutting the entire plants off at ground level, then pick off the best leaves. You can dry them, but freezing them or using them in vinegar best preserves the herb’s flavour. You can also use the leaves to flavour oils and pesto, which should be kept refrigerated or frozen. (Don’t keep fresh leaves in the refrigerator, though, as they will turn brown.) You can also keep cut stems fresh for a few days by putting the cut ends in water just like a cut flower. They will add a fresh fragrance to the air.