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Almanac Planting Italian Large Leaf Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil (Italian Large Leaf)

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Ocimum basilicum

Overview

Uses: Herb: can be used fresh or dried. May also be used for landscaping and as an indoor or outdoor potted plant. 

Benefits: Large leaf variety grows beautiful deep green leaves that grow up to 4 inches in size! Slightly sweeter tasting than the Genovese Basil.

Zones: 10-12 (grown as an annual in cooler zones in temperatures above 50°F)

Sun: Full 

Life Cycle: Annual (Perennial in zones 10 - 12)

Mature Height: 24"

Mature Width: 15"

Bloom Season: Summer

Summary

Italian Large Leaf Basil is best known for its sweet, large leaves that are widely used as an herb.

Provides a wonderful smell to the areas that it grows in. 

It can be grown indoors and on your patio as a potted plant, and also thrives when planted outside assuming the soil and air temperatures are above 50°F.

Grows beautiful white flowers that attract pollinators and may be used in cooking.

Care

Italian Large Leaf Basil Care

Provide at least 6 hours of full sun daily. 

Water regularly after planting or repotting, keeping soil moist but not wet until the plant is established. We suggest attempting to make sure your basil plant gets about 1" of water every week during periods of growth.

Established basil does best with the minimal amount of water and fertilizer required to keep it alive. Over watered and over fertilized basil seems to not have a taste as delicious as it should.

Flower development will occur mid to late summer. Flowers may be pinched to encourage a bushy plant full of foliage. Flowers may also be left alone to provide area beatification, attract pollinators, harvested for use in cooking, or allowed to go into seed.

By pinching and preventing blooming you also help preserve the plants natural volatile oils which are responsible for the plants robust flavor and aroma.

Basil is a great companion plant to most vegetables, but avoid growing with cucumbers and other herbs (especially sage). 

Planting with tomatoes will repel many pests and attract beneficial insects to your tomato plants.

Do not allow exposure to temperatures below 50°F. Will die if exposed to frost.

Size

Size of Italian Large Leaf Basil for Sale

We ship our Italian Large Leaf Basil Plants in 4" grow pots. Each 4" grow pot will contain around 4 individual basil plants.

Size of Italian Large Leaf Basil When Fully Grown

Italian Large Leaf Basil typically grows to a size of around 24" tall and 15" wide. Its size may grow as large as 36" tall and 24" wide. 

Additional Information

Botanical Name of Italian Large Leaf Basil

  • Ocimum basilicum

Toxicity and Risks of Basil

Ocimum basilicum is not considered to be toxic to people or pets when consumed in normal doses; however, it does contain chemicals such as estragole that can be toxic in large doses. 

It is very unlikely that anyone would consume enough basil to be concerned about the threat of estragole poisoning. One must be careful; however, not to drink too much basil tea or basil oil, as these sources often concentrate chemicals. As such, we suggest drinking no more than 2 cups of basil tea a day, and not eating or drinking any basil oil without guidance from a medical professional.