- Plant Type: Warm season annual
- Sun: Full Sun/Part Shade
- Plant Size: 18 to 30 inches tall, 12 to 18 inches wide
- Culinary Use: Fresh leaves in Mexican, Italian, and Asian cuisine
The aromatic oils in Cinnamon basil exude spicy-sweet aroma and flavor. Cinnamon basil produces narrow, smooth, dark green leaves on cinnamon-colored stems. It’s especially lovely in containers. Also called Mexican basil.
Plant Spacing: 12-18 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. When flowers appear in mid to late summer, cut them off often to keep the flavorful leaves coming and keep the plant compact and full. (Blooming stops new leaf growth.) Fertilize with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food to fuel new growth.
Harvest and Use »
To harvest, pinch off lower leaves at first then pinch the tips of the growing stems as the plant gets bigger. For a lot of leaves, clip off the top third of stems cutting often to encourage new growth. Be careful not to cut to the woody part of the stem (it's brown instead of green) or the stem won't re-grow.
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. Cinnamon basil adds unique flavor in tomato sauces, pasta dishes, and soups. It’s also a surprisingly good addition to desserts and fruit salads.
Before frost kills the plant in fall, freeze leaves in freezer bags, in ice trays with water, or chopped in your favorite oil.
Try these garden companions »
- Mint, a nice flavor companion especially in fruit salads.
- Other aromatic herbs, including thyme and sage, for a scented container herb garden.
- Hot peppers—Chili Red and Thai Hot
- Red and Green Bell sweet peppers
- Japanese or other cucumbers
- Ichiban or Chinese eggplants