Sweet basil smells and tastes spicy and fresh, and is often used in Italian, Asian, and other cuisines.

Basil grows well in Florida; plant it from seed in either the early spring or in fall, in containers or in your herb garden. It prefers sun (with a bit of shade to protect it from the heat) and well-drained, regularly watered soil. Basil plants are sensitive to frost, so provide protection on cold nights.

Leaf colors range from green to purple, and the plant can grow quite large. Basil's tender leaves can be used fresh at any time or dried for later use.

Basil is attractive as a potted plant or can be incorporated into landscape plantings. Use your basil in pesto, salad dressings, or a gourmet omelet.

BasilUF/IFAS Sites

UF/IFAS Publications

Also on Gardening in a Minute