basil varieties and uses

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2021 in Growing Medicinals

I love Basils, all varieties of Basil.

I use it in floral arrangements, as color in my yard mixed with flowers and for gifts. It make a great jelly!

I use it as pesticide control, companion planting and for seasonings.

It is also easy to grow indoors for those of use that have a shorter growing season. I have also grown them as microgreens.

And then there are all the medicinal uses.

Here's a list of a few different basils:

How do you use basil and what kinds do you grow ( I grow about 15 at different times of the year. )


  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My favorites are common basil, lemon basil and my most favorite especially with seafood is Thai basil.

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    My most absolute favorite is Purple Basil. I eat it fresh, make jelly with it, dry it and use it in teas. I also grow different varieties: sweet, thai, cinnamon, and lettuce leaf.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,454 admin

    I have tried to persuade “Magic mountain” basil to grow as a perennial plant under our mountain conditions. It would not. Thus I returned to the usual ocimum basilicum which I grow in my greenhouse next to tomatoes. I love tomatoes with mozzarella and basil and a bit of olive oil.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also love the tomato, mozzarella and basil with olive oil. Its my summer lunch most of the time.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    I like clove, cinnamon, genovese, lemon, purple ruffled and thai.

    I play around with about 9 other varieites and am trying Spicy Saber for the first time this year.

    Basils are one of those plants I love to pet when I go by to let the aroma escape.

    I dry them for spices later in the year. I usually have a few varieties growing on the windowsill in cooler months and have used them for microgreens. I am trying more in vinegar blends this year.

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    Is that a specific basil jelly? Or is there another substrate to which you add the basil?

    I grow a variety of basils, but currently most of them are used as supports for my tomato plants. haha! They are good companions and since my tomato plants don't grow very tall here before they start fruiting, I've found planting basils around the toms a good way to support instead of tomato cages as well as keep many pests away.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    Welcome @AdrienneHew!

    I read on one of your other comments that you are in a tropical region (or at least tying a tropical version of something). Please skip over to the Introductions and let us know where you are from. Hopefully you will be able to find others in your area to network with as well through TGN.

    I would also like to invite you to look over the Rules & FAQ to get a feel for things around here too.

    I will leave easy to use links for you below.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    I only have 3 varieties at the moment but quite a few different seeds to play with when the greenhouse is ready. I like them for the flowers that attract bees and they don't require any maintenance here.

    Purple basil is a blood purifier. I saw a shaman last week and he told me about it. As usual, I didn't have what he wanted me to take. Last year it was black corn LOL.

    I just harvested some, blended it with a bit of olive oil and put it in ice cube trays for later use. Pesto of course, Thai basil goes great with beans in a coconut sauce. Basil is so healthy! I really need to use it more. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    For Purple Basil Jelly, I chop the basil, steep it for 30+ minutes and then add sugar and pectin and make jelly just like you would for mint or any other herb.

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    Gotcha! I've been playing more with different food themes and something like this really gets the imagination going. Thank you!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    Some good suggestions for using basil. I have used it in fairly limited ways. Mostly pesto and on salads.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭✭

    One year I grew cinnamon basil which I found at Home Depot. It smelled fabulous in my garden. My mother never used herbs in cooking and so I use a minimal amount of them.

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 577 admin

    My favorite variety to grow is Thai Basil and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to make a spicy Thai Basil Chicken dish using my homegrown spicy chilies, garlic, sweet peppers, cilantro, and onions...

    It uses all my fresh produce and it is so quick and so easy! Oh, and OH SO delicious!

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Ann Reyes that looks amazing.

    I have so many types of Basil I created a list to keep them straight. Holy Basil (my newest one), lemon, cinnamon, Genovese/Italian, purple, dark purple opal, Siam queen, and regular Thai Basil. We love it fresh in soups and salads, and also make our own pesto sauce. I have not tried Basil jelly, but we have so much Thai Basil I should try some. I am always amazed when I look in seed catalogs and see all the different varieties of Basil out there. I leave a bunch of the Basil to go to flower for the bees. Right now it is growing in a ring around my moringa tree and in the middle of some sprawling melons plants.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Ann Reyes That soup looks fantastic!~

    @gardneto76 You grow a lot of the same basils as I do.Holy Basil is also a new one to me.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie I only have 3 growing right now. I had the hardest time keeping the holy Basil sprouts alive, so my friend gave me one of his plants. He probably took a cutting of it and rooted it. He can grow just about anything.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 I had trouble with the Holy Basil too. I think it's just a pickier basil to grow. I killed mine right off the bat last year but this year its doing ok.

    Its wonderful to have those neighbors that can grow anything

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    I love basil especially in my tomato soup! It's so delicious and smells wonderful ❤

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    Only a few this year but more varieties than last year. There is sweet, African nuzum, lemon, lime, some kind of spicy, holy, and one more I can’t remember atm…actually just put two trays into the dehydrator this morning 🙂

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki Basil in tomato soup is fantastic!~

    I also use my extra basil in flower arrangements. Its so beautiful and gets a lot of comments

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    One of the ways we use fresh basil is to make little kabobs of a cucumber slice, cherry tomato slice, mozzarella cheese slice and a basil leaf. Makes a very pretty and very tasty appetizer.