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One of the most common plants in home kitchens is basil. Growing fast, it constantly provides us with fresh greenery. In order for growth and yield to be right, basil needs ideal temperatures. This post reveals how high they are.

In a nutshell

  • Basil does not tolerate frost
  • below 10 degrees Celsius, the plant quickly stops growing
  • ideal temperature for Ocimum basilicum is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius

What temperature for basil?

The basil plant (Ocimum basilicium) originally comes from the tropical to subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. Accordingly, the plant prefers temperature ranges that suit the local conditions:

  • Minimum temperatures around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius
  • Optimum growth range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius
  • increasing growth activity with increasing temperature

Attention: The particularly rapid growth of basil at high temperatures makes sense for the plant from a biological point of view, but is usually referred to as "shooting" by us humans. The quality of the plant in terms of its culinary use decreases if it grows too quickly!

Observe outside temperatures

If you want to cultivate your royal herb outdoors, it is of course difficult to achieve optimal temperature conditions at all times. You should therefore pay attention to the following relationships:

  • Below 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, growth activity decreases to a standstill
  • rapid damage to leaves and stems in the event of frost
  • with ground frost, the roots and thus the entire plant die off

Tip: Should your plant be surprised by low temperatures outdoors, you can achieve a protected microclimate in the required minimum temperature range with a cover made of translucent foil in the form of a foil tunnel or a simple light tarpaulin.

frequently asked Questions

Why won't Ocimum basilicum germinate outdoors?

Even if the temperatures are certainly above 10 degrees Celsius, you will not see any success in sowing. The basil seeds first need a phase of at least 20 to 22 degrees Celsius in order to germinate at all. Only the growing plants can then cope with lower temperatures.

How to overwinter basil indoors?

Because of its origin in tropical regions, the basil plant does not hibernate. Even in winter, the plant is therefore dependent on a lot of light and temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius in order to survive permanently. Below 15 degrees Celsius, the plant stops growing and eventually withers away due to the reduced internal supply of nutrients.

Is there a temperature limit for the basil plant?

No. The warmer it is, the faster it grows. However, the basic requirement is an adequate supply of water and nutrients to support this growth. Otherwise, the plant can leach out and die after a short time at high temperatures, especially in the plant pot.

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