Smaller than Sweet Basil, this narrower-leafed variety is known for its darker color and spicy, cinnamon-like aroma and taste. Has distinctive cinnamon-colored stems. Great for containers. Goes beautifully with fruit, or in Asian or Indian dishes.
Part of our Foodie Fresh line, available only at Lowe’s!
Type Warm season annual
Planting time After last spring frost
Features Cinnamon-spiced, aromatic leaves
Light Full sun
Soil Fertile, moist but well drained
Spacing 12 to 18 inches apart
Plant Size 18 to 30 inches tall, 12 to 18 inches wide
Garden use Containers, herb beds, flower gardens
Culinary use Use like Sweet Basil, cooked or fresh; popular in Italian and Asian cuisines
Some Bonnie Plants varieties may not be available in your local area, due to different variables in certain regions. Also, if any variety is a limited, regional variety it will be noted on the pertinent variety page.
Light requirements: Full sun is ideal, but plants can grow in part shade.
Planting: Space 8 to 18 inches apart, depending on type. (Read the stick tag that comes with the plant for specific spacing recommendations.)
Soil requirements: Plants grow best in rich, moist but well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Work organic matter into soil before planting to add fertility and improve moisture retention. In containers, use premium quality potting soil.
Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist through the growing season. Add a mulch layer to slow water evaporation from soil. In containers, water whenever the top inch of soil is dry.
Frost-fighting plan: Basil is very frost-tender and damaged by temperatures below 40º F. Use a frost blanket to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring frosts or prolong the fall growing season.
Common issues: Pinch flower buds to keep plants from bolting. Once flowers form, leaf flavor changes. Pests to watch out for: aphids, slugs, Japanese beetles, and earwigs. Fungal diseases sometimes occur in humid climates, and root rot is common in poorly drained soil.
Growing tips: Pinch or prune basil plants as they grow to promote branching and bushiness. Never cut into the woody parts of a stem; plants won’t resprout.
Harvesting: Pick leaves at any point in the growing season. Choose individual leaves, or snip leafy stems to the length you desire.
Storage: Cut basil stems and place in water like a fresh bouquet. They’ll last for weeks, provided you remove any leaves below the water line and change water regularly. Never place basil in the refrigerator; the cold air damages leaves. Preserve basil by freezing or in herbal vinegars.
For more information, visit the Basil page in our How to Grow section.
- Calories: 1
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Dietary fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Vitamin A: 3% DV
- Vitamin C: 1%
- Vitamin K: 13%
- Vitamin B6: 0%
- Folate: 0%
- Potassium: 0%
- Manganese: 1%
Packed with Vitamin K, fresh basil helps with blood clotting and aids in bone strength. Used medicinally for its antioxidants and antibacterial properties, basil oil provides an immune system boost and combats aging and skin ailments. A member of the mint family, basil is native to India, Asia, and Africa, and its sweet aroma often infuses Mediterranean dishes. To maintain flavor and color when cooking with fresh basil, mix in the bright green leaves during the last few minutes. You can also crush the leaves with a mortar and pestle to maximize the herb’s hearty flavor. Basil freezes well; just wash and dry thoroughly before tightly sealing in freezer bags.
Related recipes and articles
Fresh Basil Pesto
Fresh Tomato and Sweet Basil Pizza
Asian Basil Rolls
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fresh Basil
This cool, refreshing summer soup makes the best of a big, gorgeous bounty of tomatoes.…Read more
Fresh Basil Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta
Pesto is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh basil. Toss this fragrant, flavorful…Read more
Fresh Tomato Tart
Perfect for brunch, this tomato tart has an impressive presentation and a succulent taste. This…Read more
Basil Tomato Soup
Fresh basil, high quality olive oil, and delicious pine nuts are the basis for a…Read more
Tomato-Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette