Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

OCIMUM basilicum 'Boxwood'

Image of Ocimum basilicum 'Boxwood'

Environmental Horticulture Dept. University of Florida

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

OCIMUM basilicum 'Boxwood'

Plant Common Name

Basil

General Description

A dense, mounding, small-leaved plant that does indeed resemble a dwarf boxwood, this basil has both ornamental and culinary value. It is one of hundreds of selections of Ocimum basilicum, an annual or short-lived perennial from tropical Asia that has long been cultivated for its aromatic, flavorful leaves.

Boxwood basil bears dense masses of tiny, green, opposite leaves on low, rounded plants. The sweetly spicy leaves taste great in salads, pesto or pasta sauce, and the plants are perfect for dressing up a container or edging a potager.

As summer warms up, plants produce spikes of two-lipped, white or pale lavender flowers. After flowering, they put fewer resources towards foliage production and more towards flowers and seeds. This results in smaller, stronger, more acrid tasting leaves. So it is best to pick off buds as they appear to keep plants from blooming.

Amazingly easy to grow from seed, basil requires full sun and fertile to average, well-drained soil. Grow it as a spring and summer annual in cooler zones and a year-round perennial in warmer locations. Water regularly for good growth and harvest the leaves often to encourage the continued growth of tender shoots and leaves. Basil is the perfect companion plant for tomatoes, so consider planting a few at the base of their cages or trellises.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, Southeastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink, Lavender

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Bronze

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes