Basil takes up minimal space. If your home does not have tons of square footage or you live somewhere lacking in outdoor space, even then you can plant a variety of small basil in decorative pots to grow the garden of your dreams. You will only need a bright, sun-filled location to grow basil indoors.
Basil is native to India, Africa and Asia. It has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. The herbal plant can be grown for culinary use or as an ornamental plant. The edible variety of basil contains pleasing blends of essential oils. The essential oils and flavours vary, depending on the species. However ornamental basils are not harvested for eating. They are eye-appealing and grown for decorative purposes, reports The Statesman.
Here is a list of various varieties of basil suited for cooking as well as ornamentation purposes:
Purple basil: This variety of basil provides surprisingly, striking colour to your indoors. Its leaves have a beautiful, coppery glow and clove-like, slightly spicy flavour. Ideally, this plant needs full sun but it can be grown in part shade too. It serves as not only an ornamental plant but its leaves are used in salads or preserved in oils and vinegar.
Green ruffles: The ruffled green leaves make this basil variety great to decorate your house and to use in salads and other culinary things. The flavour is mild and delicate. It tastes best in pasta dishes. The exotic plant is perfect for growing in containers. It grows 20 to 24 inches tall.Purple ruffles: This basil plant has large and frilly purple ruffled leaves. The flavour and fragrance of the leaves are stronger than sweet basil but milder than green ruffles. You can grow it indoors to add vibrant hues to your house and a herbal flavour to your food.
Lime basil: Lime basil has a strong, citrus smell due to its high concentration of limonene. The 12-16 inches tall plant with white flowers and small green leaves is a great addition for decoration. Also, the lime scent and flavour makes it a great addition to tea, margaritas, fish and chicken dishes.
Cinnamon basil: This beautiful 25 to 30 inches tall plant looks very attractive with dark purple stems and flowers accented with glossy small leaves. It tastes great in fruit salads with its delightful fragrance and spicy flavour. These leaves serve as a great garnish in fresh food arrangements.
Thai sweet basil: Sweet Thai basil makes a nice addition to the herb garden for fragrance and colour. This Asian variety has a distinct, spicy, anise-clove flavour and it is a must to be used in Asian cuisine. Having purple stems and blooms with green leaves, this 12 to 16 inches tall plant may enhance the beauty of your indoors.
Dark opal basil: Grow this type of basil to add some colours to your herb pots inside or outside. This basil has a rich stunning colour having the prettiest fuchsia-hued flowers. The leaves are a bit milder in taste than green basil. You will love the mellow flavour of this beautiful plant.
Basil is a wonderfully aromatic herb. The plants are either meant for beautification or to add flavour, scent and charm to the food.
Tips to grow basil indoors:
Container basil plant generally nourishes in a well-damped soil with enough nutrients. Care must be taken to ensure that these plants receive enough sunlight (at least six hours of sunlight a day). They should be placed in a sunny window, preferably facing south. Make sure that the pots provide adequate drainage as basil is not tolerant of water stress. While the soil should be kept somewhat moist, it should never be soggy; otherwise, the roots will be prone to rotting.
If you follow these tips to grow basil indoors, you will be rewarded with this delicious and beautiful herb year-round.