Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ocimum sanctum (Holy Basil)

Holy Basil, Monk's Basil, Purple-Stalked Basil, Sacred Basil, Tulsi, Ocimum tenuiflorum


Revered as an 'elixir of life', Ocimum sanctum (Holy Basil) is an erect, many-branched subshrub in tropical climates, often grown as an annual elsewhere. It boasts green or purple, smooth elliptic leaves and spikes of small, white or mauve flowers arranged in close whorls on dark stems. Holy Basil is grown for both ornamental and therapeutic uses. Native to India, it has been adopted into spiritual rituals and lifestyle practices. Considered a sacred plant by the Hindus, it is often planted around Hindu shrines. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen to counter life's stresses. Its daily consumption would prevent disease, promote general health, well-being and longevity and assist in dealing with the stresses of daily life. But there is limited scientific research to support these benefits yet. A soothing tea is made from the leaves, fresh or dry. Holy Basil is often added to stir-fry dishes and spicy soups because of its peppery taste.

  • Grows up to 24 in. tall and wide (60 cm).
  • Performs best in fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Provide a sheltered site. Basil is extremely frost sensitive.
  • Reported to deter pests, repel mosquitoes and be rarely browsed by deer.
  • Native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs, Shrubs
Plant Family Ocimum - Basils
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3
Plant Type Annuals, Herbs, Shrubs
Plant Family Ocimum - Basils
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ocimum - Basils

Guides with Ocimum - Basils

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