The first interesting fact about basil is that I’ve bought myself one.
But yes, buying a fresh potted basil was a gorgeous thing for me.
It is wonderful to look at, it smells divine, it requires very little care (just water, basically).
And, as I’ve also noticed, you can hardly run out of it even if you’re using the leaves in your kitchen quite often.
Wonderful, gorgeous basil.
I love how the leaves look – all silky and shiny.
They smell strong and sweet.
- The name ‘basil’ is derived from the old Greek word basilikohn, which means ‘royal’, reflecting that ancient culture’s attitudes held towards this herb were very noble and sacred.
- There are various kinds of basil. The various basils have different scents because the herb has a number of different essential oils which come together in different proportions for various breeds. Cool, huh? The most common basil scents are lemon, clove, camphor and licorice.
- Basil is very sensitive to cold, with best growth in hot, dry conditions. It thrives in strong sunlight. It behaves as an annual if there is any chance of a frost. Keep that in mind if you keep your plant outside!
- If you wish to propagate your plant, it can be done in two ways – from seed or from cuttings (with the stems of short cuttings suspended for two weeks or so in water until roots develop).
- Yellow leaves towards the bottom of the plant are an indication that the plant has been stressed. Usually this means that it needs less water, or less or more fertilizer.
- Don’t be afraid to pick the leaves. Picking the leaves off the plant helps promote growth, largely because the plant responds by converting pairs of leaflets next to the topmost leaves into new stems.
- Scientific studies have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
- Basil leaves are best used fresh and added only during the last few minutes of cooking.
I’ve used basil in some lovely, lovely recipes on this site:
As in this delicious Parmesan Chicken.
Or in this yummy Potato and Celery Soup.
Oh, and in this Farfalle with Tomato and Cheese Sauce, too.
One morning I woke up and saw this on my plant!
I had never seen basil flowers before in my life so this view really got me.
Yes, I easily become overwhelmed by things like my plant’s first bloom.
It’s good to know that once your stem produces flowers, foliage production stops on that stem, the stem becomes woody, and essential oil production declines. To prevent this, you may pinch off any flower stems before they are fully mature. Because only the blooming stem is so affected, some stems can be pinched for leaf production, while others are left to bloom for decoration or seeds.
I just love basil!
It’s a miraculous plant with so much to offer.
And what about you? Do you already have a pot with fresh basil on your windowsill?