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Basil, also known as sweet basil, is the most popular and common of all culinary basil cultivars. The leaves are heart shaped and can be harvested at the size of a fingernail up to four inches in length. Basil has aromatic qualities and a range of distinctive fragrances with notes of citrus, clove, anise and cinnamon. Basil is an essential and indispensable herb and can be grown and cultivated in all temperate climates throughout the world.
One of the easiest herbs to grow, the Basil herb plant does need some special care in order to produce a healthy and productive plant. Basil should be grown so that it receives a good amount of sunlight - around 6-8 hours a day and that the soil is well drained. Basil can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or outdoors in containers or in the soil. If growing outside, try to position the Basil in a sheltered spot that avoids cold winds. Basil should be pinched back early and often to encourage bushing and to avoid bolting. Once the plant is left to flower, it will produce seeds, and may destroy the flavor and shorten the lifespan of the plant. A sensitive and fragile herb, Basil should only be used fresh because once it is dried, it loses its aromatics properties.