Basil-Boxwood

  • Plant Type: Warm season annual
  • Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
  • Plant Size: 1 ½ feet tall and wide
  • Culinary Use: Fresh leaves and tender stems

This classic basil flavor comes in a small package—a pretty Boxwood basil plant with tiny leaves and a tight form (that looks like a little boxwood shrub). Boxwood basil is perfect for containers, alone or mixed, and as an edging in the garden. Cooks prize the tiny leaves for salads and for adding whole to dishes with no need to chop. It grows lots of little stems that are thinner than other basils and loaded with leaves.

Plant Spacing: 12 inches. Plants Per Person: 1 to 2.

Secrets to Success »

Basil is very sensitive to cold. Plant in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Shear the plant occasionally to encourage its boxwood-like form. Remove flowers when they appear in late summer to keep the flavorful leaves coming, as blooming stops leafy growth. Fertilize with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food.

Harvest and Use »

To harvest, trim the tips of the delicate stems and strip the small leaves or use the entire piece. Unlike bigger-leafed basils, the stems are fine and easy to add whole to dishes. Harvest often to encourage new growth, but never remove so much that you cut down into the woody stem. Snip or shear off the flowers each time they appear in mid to late summer.

Don't keep fresh basil in a refrigerator; it turns brown. Keep leaves handy by putting cut stems in a vase or glass of water on your countertop. Your kitchen will smell great. Sprinkle the tender stems over pasta dishes or salads.

Before frost kills the plant in fall, freeze leaves in freezer bags, in ice trays with water or in chopped your favorite oil, or in pesto.

Try these garden companions »

  • Classic, larger-leaved Genovese basil
  • A small salad tomato, such as Tami-G, Husky Cherry Red, or Bonnie Grape.
  • Strawberry. Yes, strawberry! For experimenting with strawberry-basil recipes.
  • Parsley and oregano for Italian cooking

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