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The herb plant, also known as king's herb, is a versatile spice plant and not only indispensable in Italian cuisine. However, it is not one of the most robust plant species in terms of location. How much sun can basil actually tolerate?

In a nutshell

  • Spice herb with edible flowers and leaves
  • grows strongly branched and is up to 60 cm high
  • Color and aroma vary depending on the variety
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is not a Mediterranean plant
  • excessive exposure to the sun is problematic

A sun loving herb

It is one of the classic kitchen herbs. Common basil is mainly grown in domestic gardens and on balconies. The most important things in cultivation are the water supply and a warm and bright location. In principle, all types of basil love warmth and sun, but not without restrictions. Too much sun or too intense solar radiation can quickly lead to burns or sunburn on the delicate leaves of the basil. Therefore, a bed is often not the right place; it is better to keep them in a pot and outdoors.

Tip: Plants from the supermarket usually only last for a very limited time, which is rarely due to too much or too little sun.

Tolerable dose

Basically, plants with thin and soft leaves, like the king's herb, are more sensitive to heat than those with hard and leathery leaves. If it is exposed to intense sunlight, especially at midday, it can quickly become sunburned. Ideally, basil is in a place with at least six hours of sun a day in summer.

  • Don't put kingsweed in a pot directly in front of a south-facing wall
  • The consequences would be heat build-up and drought damage
  • place smaller pots in a semi-shady place on particularly hot days
  • in the apartment a sunny place on the window sill
  • with protection from the blazing midday sun
  • Avoid a sunny south-facing window if possible
  • Outdoor specimens much more robust
  • Danger of sunburn even after wintering
  • Therefore, do not expose plants directly to the sun
  • slowly get used to the sun
  • no earlier than mid/end of May outdoors

The adjustment phase lasts about two to three weeks. Initially, place the plants in a semi-shady spot. After a few days, basil can be out in the sun mornings and evenings. As soon as the temperatures fall below 15 degrees, specimens in the pot should move into the house.

Notice: In addition to sufficient light, Ocimum basilicum needs deep, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.

If the sun is too intense, the leaves can burn and get dark spots.

Sunburn from watering

Sunburn can also be the result of incorrect watering habits. It is particularly important to water the plants from below and never over the leaves. The water droplets on the leaves can act like a magnifying glass when exposed to sunlight and burn the leaves. Therefore, the sensitive leaves should also be protected from heavy rain. It is best to water specimens in a pot from below, i.e. over the saucer. To avoid such damage to the basil, only water early in the morning when the sun is not too hot.

frequently asked Questions

Can damage caused by sunburn be repaired?

If only individual leaves are affected, it is usually sufficient to remove them. If, on the other hand, the entire plant is burned, it cannot be saved. But this aromatic kitchen herb can easily be sown afterwards.

Can the royal herb also stand in partial shade?

If in partial shade, then in light partial shade or in sunny to partially shaded locations, because even among sun-loving herbs like these there are varieties that do not necessarily need a full sun location. This applies, for example, to the red and British basil as well as the Russian shrub basil.

Is Ocimum basilicum annual or perennial?

There are both annual and perennial varieties. Annual and not hardy z. B. 'Genoveser', 'Toscano' and 'Feine Grünes'. Perennials include 'Wild Purple', Russian shrub basil 'Gorbachev', 'African tree basil', green-leaved African basil 'African Green' and 'Garden basil'.

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