Sweet Italian Basil is a herb, a sweet basil, an annual grown in the warm season, known for its large, aromatic leaves. Used in pesto, and many Asian and Italian dishes. It is used in many different ways in and out of the kitchen. Both professional chefs and regular cooks use this herb in a variety of dishes. Compared to other sweet basils, Sweet Italian basil leaves are quite small, small enough that whoever uses them does not have to dice or chop them to use in recipes. This plant is great for small gardens, containers, or flower beds.
Common Name: Sweet Italian Basil/Basil
Scientific Background: Sweet Italian basil is native to India. The name of this basil plant was given because of its tremendous flavor. This plant is in the family of Lamiaceae along with other mints.
Scientific Name: Ocimum Basilicum
Blooms/Foliage: This plant is a smaller form of basil. It has large, bright, and shiny leaves.
Hardiness Zones: Sweet Italians grow in any climate but flourishes in warm weather with plentiful precipitation. This makes this a great plant for anyone, in pots or in gardens.
Growth Habit: This type of basil grows in the form of a bush. It usually grows to a height of 24″-30″ and can grow to widths of 16″-20″. These plants are usually harvested once a week.
Exposure: While places receiving full sunlight is best for Sweet Italian Basil planting, they can tolerate partial shade.
Water: Provide adequate water, but do not allow Sweet Italians to develop water buildup.
Spread: Sweet Italian basil plants should be planted at intervals of 15″-18″.
Soil: This plant should be planted in fertile, loamy, firm soil with good drainage. Also works very well when organic matter is present along with the soil.
Potential Handling Dangers: This plant does not have any known harmful qualities, but since this basil is filled with vitamin K, fresh basil helps with blood clotting and aids in bone strength.
Potential Plant Dangers: Common bug pests of the Sweet Italian basil plant include aphids, slugs, Japanese beetles, and earwigs. Root rot is also common when this plant does not have well-draining soil. All basils are frost sensitive.
Helpful Tips: Do not let these plants flower during harvest to prevent the leaves from getting tough and losing its flavor. his can also act as an insect repellent for humans. To do this, just rub the leaves of this plant on the skin or plant in pots around your porch, patio, or other outside sitting areas. To freeze this plants’ harvest, just pick the leaves, chop, and store in the freezer in a freezer bag. This way, you can have fresh basil whenever you need or want it.