Description: Height, spread, bloom
Perennial basil is a shrub with several branches and thick foliage. It usually grows to a height of approximately 80 centimetres and a width of approximately 60 centimetres, but in favourable conditions it may spread considerably. The bright green fragrant leaves are small and oval in shape. It flowers all year round. The flowers are purple and white in colour, arranged in long stems, and found spread throughout the plant.
It sows itself; you may scatter seeds over a prepared bed and lightly cover with soil. Or you may take a cutting right below a leaf node from a shoot which has not bloomed yet. Remove the leaves off the cutting about 5 cm from the end. The cutting can then be placed in a glass of water on the windowsill where it can get good sunlight. Change the water every few days until you see root growth, then leave your basil it till the roots to grow to about 5 cm. This can take two to four weeks until it is ready for planting.
Season for planting:
Sow seeds in spring, plant cuttings in summer
Requirements: location, soil, light, water, frost, warnings
They love sunlight. They will thrive in areas that expose them to partial or full sunlight.They do well in well-drained, well composted, moist soil. Using mulch and organic fertilisers is greatly recommended for abundant flowers.
They flower all year round
Diseases and other problems
Snails, slugs and aphids may be a problem.
Constant pruning will result in neat bushes, but pruning twice a year during spring and autumn will ensure long strings of flowers. Water regularly because they need to be consistently moist. Cutting off the dead flower spikes will encourage more flowers Avoid overhead irrigation and splashing plants with water, instead, water plants from the base and apply a layer of mulch around the plants to reduce water splash; remove and destroy any unhealthy leaves.
Benefits for bees
Perennial basils are regarded as the most attractive plants for bees. The small flowers make it easy for the bees to reach the rich source of nectar and pollen. The honey made from perennial basil has a subtle basil fragrance.