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herb

Christmas Basil*

Ocimum basilicum 'Christmas'

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Christmas Basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Christmas') at Good Earth Garden Market

Christmas Basil flowers

Christmas Basil flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Plant Height:  12 inches

Flower Height:  16 inches

Spacing:  10 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Description:

This wonderful variety, bred from Thai and Genovese cultivars, produces large glossy leaves with a unique, fruity aroma; deep burgundy flower stems bearing soft pink and white flowers in summer; great for mixed containers, herb gardens, and annual beds

Edible Qualities

Christmas Basil is an annual herb that is commonly grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The fragrant pointy dark green leaves are usually harvested from early summer to early fall. The leaves have a pleasant taste and a pleasant fragrance.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Cooking
  • Seasoning

Planting & Growing

Christmas Basil will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 16 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.

This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated edibles garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Christmas Basil is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Herb  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features