Hardy basil would undoubtedly be a bestseller – if only it existed. Due to its tropical origin, basil dies at temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius (50F). After all, some varieties thrive outdoors. You can find out all the important details here.
Immigrated from tropical climes with average temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius (68F), basil stops growing at 12 degrees Celsius (53F) without further ado. Although hardy basil belongs in the realm of fables, that does not mean that you should not grow it outdoors. So feel free to read.
These strains bravely stand up to cold rainy weather
The vast majority of basil varieties favor a warm, rain-protected location. Since woody shoots impair the aroma content, experienced hobby gardeners also regularly cut back the plant and thus preserve the delicate, herbaceous habit.
Good to know that the following three varieties do not lose their taste despite the woody branches. At the same time, these basil tolerate cool rainy weather in summer without complaint:
- ‘Wild Crimson’ Basil
- Basil ‘African Blue’
- Indian basil ‘Tulsi‘
All three varieties captivate with a majestic stature, purple-colored or veined leaves, and a pink flower. So they all have what it takes to be an enchanting feast for the eyes in every bed.
Thanks to the gradually lignifying shoots, they do not lie on the ground after every summer downpour. Some hobby gardeners see the only possible propagation by cuttings as a downer.
Lack of winter hardiness does not exclude perennial culture
Although basil gives up below 10 degrees Celsius (50F), this shortcoming does not necessarily mean that you have to forego a perennial culture. In its homeland, basil thrives for several years. The chances of hibernating are therefore good if the plant finds the following conditions:
- a sunny window seat with temperatures of 18 to 22 degrees Celsius (64-71F)
- protected from cold draughts
- a regularly moist substrate without the risk of waterlogging
- a dose of organic liquid fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks
Since no flowers sprout during the winter, the harvest is limited to actual needs. Whole shoots with a length of 5 centimeters (2 inches) are still cut. From mid-May, the basil will move into the garden or onto the balcony for another aromatic outdoor season.