Basil is a popular sweet herb used for flavoring and medicinal purposes. An annual plant which it is very tender and should not be cultivated outdoors until the weather gets warm. Basil is cultivated easily from seeds which can be sown in the garden or started indoors. It also grows well indoors under growing lights. Small flowers are white or purple. Leaves are purple and used fresh or dried in bundles.
Plants should be transplanted 6 to 10 inches apart. They prefer a good drainage, light soil and warm locations. If the soil is rich plants will give goods crops until fall. At that time, roots of strong plants can be potted up and moved indoors for winter. Although basil can grow best outdoors, it can also be easily grown indoors in a container. It should have plenty of sunlight. Greenhouse is absolutely ideal for indoor growing. Leaf production stops on any stem which has flower, so you should remove any flower stems to keep the plant in production. Or you can leave some stems to bloom for decoration or seeds. If you do let it flower, it will give small black seeds which you can save and plant next year. Removing the leaves off the plant promotes good growth.
It preferes avarage soil with good drainage. Basil grown outdoors prefers full sun. Basil usually grows to a height of 12 to 18 inches. Basil plants should be spaced between 9 and 12 inches apart. Basil can grow in a very wide pH range. Sow seeds indoors before last frost or outdoors after last frost. Basil is easily multiplied through stem cuttings. Seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days.
Care for basil
Water it regularly, but do not overwater it. Do not forget to eliminate the weeds. Basil is known to attract bees and butterflies because it has aromatic leaves and flowers.
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