Top down view of sweet basil plants.

Basil

Basil is a common herb that can be grown in your kitchen garden, window, or patio. It’s one of the easiest herbs to grow and also one of the most popular! This herb has many different uses from making pesto sauce for pasta dishes to adding flavor to soups. Use our guides down below to learn more about planting, growing, and harvesting your own basil, the cultivars that are available, and more. Happy gardening!

How to Plant and Grow ‘Dark Opal’ Basil

A horizontal close up of the dark purple leaves of a 'Dark Opal' basil plant.

‘Dark Opal’ basil is beautiful enough to be a garden ornamental but it has all the spicy, citrusy flavor you expect from standard sweet basil. It’s a dual-purpose option for the herb garden. Learn how to care for this deep purple basil cultivar so you can enjoy the dramatic leaves as a garden feature or kitchen herb.

How to Plant and Grow Basil

A close up horizontal image of basil foliage growing in a sunny spot in the garden.

A beautiful, warm weather herb with large, aromatic leaves, sweetly spicy basil is widely used to flavor both savory and sweet foods and beverages. Easily cultivated and fast growing, it’s an excellent container plant and a natural in herb and kitchen gardens. Keep reading to learn how to grow basil.

How to Harvest and Save Basil Seed

A close up horizontal image of a large basil plant growing in a pot in bright sunshine with a metal plant sign to the right of the frame.

Building your own supply of top-performing garden seeds is fun and easy – an economical way to ensure constant access to your favorite flowers, herbs, and veggies. Curate your own heritage collection and avoid the disappointment of market whims and disappearing varieties. Here’s how to harvest and save basil seed.

How to Prune Basil Plants

A close up horizontal image of a hand from the bottom of the frame using a pair of scissors to prune a potted basil plant.

Basil is a tender perennial in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 11 and an annual elsewhere. The plants require full sun and moist, well-draining soil, and sometimes they get leggy or run to seed. Read more now to learn how and when periodic pruning can help to keep this aromatic herb compact and long-lived.

Should You Allow Basil Plants to Flower?

A horizontal closeup image of white-flowering basil with a blue backdrop.

Basil is a popular kitchen herb loved for its sweetly spicy flavor, fast growth, and easy cultivation. And it produces delightful spires of small purple or white flowers that are edible and attractive to pollinators. But for the best flavor, should basil be allowed to flower? Read on to find the answer, right here.

How to Dry Homegrown Basil

A close up horizontal image of a gardener harvesting basil from the home herb garden.

Transform your basil into a tasty ingredient that can be enjoyed all year long with our guide to drying basil. We’ll walk you through simple harvesting, drying, and storage steps and we’ll share some ideas for using it in the kitchen. Unlock the full potential of your fresh basil and start drying your herbs today!

How to Grow and Care for Red Rubin Basil

A close up horizontal image of the deep purple foliage of 'Red Rubin' basil growing in the garden pictured in light sunshine.

An ornamental and culinary basil, ‘Red Rubin’ is easy to grow as an annual in containers or in the herb garden. It requires warm weather, full sun, and consistent moisture to produce coppery-purple foliage for tea, marinades, salad, baking, garnishes, and bouquets. Our guide explains how to sow and grow ‘Red Rubin.’

How to Propagate Basil

A close up of herb seedlings in small white pots, ready for planting out into the garden on a soft focus background.

Do you love adding fresh basil to everything from pasta to pho to cocktails? If you’ve never tried growing this flavorful, versatile herb yourself, now is the time to start. Discover three easy ways to propagate basil and add this fragrant plant to your own indoor or outdoor garden. Get the tips and tricks now.

Tips for Growing Spicy Globe Basil

A close up horizontal image of the foliage of Ocimum basilicum var. minimum 'Spicy Globe' (basil) growing in the garden.

‘Spicy Globe’ basil has a pungent flavor and an adorable round shape, perfect for indoor or small outdoor herb gardens. The plant looks like an itty-bitty topiary that you can eat as well as admire, and the flavor is marvelous. Learn more about planting, raising, and using this adorable dwarf cultivar now. Read more.

7 of the Best Citrus Basil Varieties for Your Herb Garden

A close up horizontal image of citrus basil growing in the garden with bright green foliage and tiny white flowers pictured on a soft focus background.

Some of the best basils to grow at home have a citrus scent and flavor. We’ve evaluated the options to save you some legwork, and the result is our list of seven top lime or lemon basils for home gardeners. All are easy to grow and have aromatic blossoms for a summer’s worth of citrus basil delight. Read more now.

Tips for Growing Citrus Basil

A close up horizontal image of freshly harvested citrus basil set on a dark gray surface.

What is citrus basil? Home gardeners have discovered the delights of growing basil varieties that have a hint of lemon or lime flavor in their leaves and scented flowers. Are these tangy, aromatic plants a good pick for your herb garden? What types of cuisine are they suited to? Read our guide now to find out.

How to Propagate Basil from Seed

A close up horizontal image of freshly harvested basil leaves set on a white surface.

Basil is an aromatic herb loved for its sweetly spicy flavor. And this fast-growing annual is easy to start from seed and cultivate in the home garden. Propagating your own plants is fun, economical, and highly rewarding as well. To enjoy a steady harvest all summer, here are the details on how to grow basil from seed.

How to Plant and Grow Genovese Basil

A close up horizontal image of 'Genovese' basil growing in bright sunshine.

A highly fragrant herb with a full, zesty flavor, the leaves of ‘Genovese’ basil are widely used fresh and in sauces, pasta, pizza, and more. These fast-growing plants are easily cultivated and highly rewarding, producing more leaves the more they’re harvested. Read more now to learn how to grow ‘Genovese’ basil.

Tips for Growing ‘Sweet Dani’ Lemon Basil in Your Herb Garden

A close up horizontal image of a 'Sweet Dani' basil plant growing in the home herb garden.

‘Sweet Dani’ basil is a lemon cultivar that stands out for several reasons. It’s more disease-resistant than other basils and it grows fast, with a clean, sweet lemon flavor that can be used in savory and sweet dishes. No wonder it’s an award-winning herb! Our guide provides all the details you need to grow your own.

How to Grow Thai Basil in Your Herb Garden

A close up horizontal image of the bright green leaves and purple stems of Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) growing in the garden, pictured in light sunshine.

Thai basil has a unique flavor that stands out in comparison to other types. With a spicier taste and just a hint of licorice, it’s the perfect herb to use in a huge range of dishes. Plus, you can eat the flowers, stems, and seeds! If you’re ready to plant and use this herb, our guide will help you on your way.

Keeping Basil When It Gets Chilly: Fall and Winter Growing Tips

A close up horizontal image of a basil plant growing in the garden in fall, ready to be transplanted for the winter months.

There’s nothing better than homemade fresh pesto in the middle of winter. But supermarket basil gets pricey after the summer season, and it can be hard to find. The good news is that there’s a way to keep your garden basil alive throughout even the chilliest winter months. Find out how in our guide. Read more now.

13 Favorite Basil Varieties for the Garden

A close up of two different varieties of Ocimum basilicum, the top of the frame shows a green-leaved type, and at the bottom a cultivar with dark purple foliage.

Tasty and fragrant, basil is a delicious ingredient when eaten fresh or added to recipes. Its lush growth and pretty flowers have great ornamental appeal. Did you know that there are a number of different basil cultivars available? Learn about 13 of our favorite basil varieties to add to your herb garden. Read more now.