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Summer plants: plant out after last frost in April or May.   Basil is made for Oklahoma summers.  It grows abundantly in the heat, is not attractive to most pests, and provides something leafy and green long after lettuces and spinach have had a heat stroke.  I used to know basil as just an optional addition to spaghetti sauce, but am just beginning to realize the wide range of flavors available in different basil varieties, and have been trying to incorporate them more into my summer kitchen in anything that needs flavor or leafy green. 


Basil plants are sold in 2.5-3" plastic pots.


Space plants about 6-12" apart, or wider to leave room for late summer abundant growth.


Variety information:

Aroma Italian: Classic Italian basil but bred for resistance to foliar diseases that are common in older European varieties.  Slow to flower.  Lush, soft leaves great for sauces, pesto, bruschetta, and more.

Siam Queen Thai basil: We grew this for the first time in 2023, and will grow it every year from now on.  It was beautiful in the garden.  Bright green leaves with dark maroon flowers; blooming does not seem to affect the flavor of the leaves in Thai basil.  Sharper flavor than the sweeter Italian basil makes thai basil great for Asian dishes.

Cardinal Thai basil: Beautiful plants that produce abundant foliage before blooming.  Blooming does not seem to affect the flavor of the leaves.  Ornamental and culinary Thai basil.

Greek basil: Adorable dwarf basil plants that will stay boxy and contained in your garden or a pot all summer long.  Very small leaves with spicy basil flavor.  Great for adding raw to salads, or if you only need a little at a time.

Cinnamon basil: As its name implies, this basil's flavor has a hint of cinnamon to it.  Beautiful deep green foliage.  

Basil plant

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