“How can I grow basil in South Florida? Every time I try the sun either burns it or I get it in too much shade.” Question from Deborah of Moore Haven, Florida
Answer: If you find that traditional Italian large-leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum) burns and blooms quickly in your Florida heat, there are other basils available that are better adapted to high heat. Here are my top four selections.
Basils Tolerant of High Heat
- African Blue Basil (Ocimum ‘African Blue’): Expect a slightly stronger flavor from this darker-leaved, heavy-flowering basil. It’s beautiful, bees love it, it tolerates heat, and tastes good.
- Pesto Perpetuo Basil (Ocimum × africanum ‘Pesto Perpetuo’): Here’s another beautiful, flavorful basil that will never disappoint. It has pretty variegated leaves that taste great, and the heat-tolerant plant grows upright and never flowers. It looks good in a flower bed or herb garden.
- Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum ‘Mrs. Burns’ Lemon’): The lemony basil leaves taste so good in salads, and the plants take heat.
- Siam Queen Thai Basil (Ocimum ‘Siam Queen’): The award-winning ‘Siam Queen’ has delicious, licorice-flavored leaves that complement East Asian dishes. The plants are low-growing and beautiful.
I encourage you to watch the video below for more basil-growing tips.
Black Gold Horticulturist