Sweet Basil Seedling
Sweet basil seedling.
Perhaps the most popular and widely used culinary herb. It is a tender annual, aromatic plant with a spicy odor and flavor. It grows 12-18 inches tall and foliage color can range from green to purple. Foliage size can vary from large lettuce-like leaves to very small leaves, half inch in size.
Basil prefers a sunny location, and a soil that is well supplied with organic matter and is fertile. Basil also likes to be kept well-watered. Poorly prepared soils that are low in nutrients result in slow growing basil that is not very flavorful. Basil is excellent as a decorative/culinary herb in patio or balcony containers or in the garden.
Pinching the tips of stems encourages a bushy plant and more leaf growth resulting in a round plant full of aromatic basil. Basil flower buds should be removed by pinching as soon as you see them form. Leaving them on the plant will affect the flavor of the leaves.