Spicy-sweet flavor and showy purple stems
Days to Maturity: 68 from direct sow
‘Cinnamon’ basil is a rare treat your garden should not be without. A distinctly different variety from the commonly grown species Ocimum basilicum, it is very easy to cultivate, delicious, and useful in the garden. Grow it for that irresistible spicy-sweet scent, those charming red stems and pink blooms, and/or the delectable flavor of the small, deep green leaves.
This basil gets its name because it contains the same ingredient as cinnamon: methyl cinnamate. But it also retains its traditional basil flavor, so the result is a spicy-sweet combination that works as well in baked goods as it does in pastas and salads. If you make your own jams, oils, or vinegars, be sure to grow some just for flavoring.
‘Cinnamon’ basil reaches 3 feet high and wide in the garden, but can be kept much smaller for containers and tight spaces. It is quick-growing and distinctive, with a deep red central stem and small, toothy, dark green foliage. Often the red stem color blushes onto the veins of the leaves, too, adding to the ornamental appeal.
If you are growing ‘Cinnamon’ basil for its ornamental beauty or as a pest repellant in the vegetable garden (it does a particularly good job with tomatoes), you will also love its deep pink to purple blooms, which arise profusely. If you are growing it for culinary use, however, you will be pinching away those flower buds the minute you see them, to preserve the full force of the leaves’ flavor.
Grow ‘Cinnamon’ basil as you would other forms of this herb. Start the seeds either indoors in late winter or directly in the garden in spring. If starting indoors, sow about 6 to 8 weeks before last scheduled frost. The seeds will germinate in 5 to 10 days. Transplant when they have 2 sets of true leaves, spacing the plants 24 to 30 inches apart in the garden, or in your best containers.
If you are direct sowing, wait until the soil has thoroughly warmed up in spring. Then cover the seeds with about ?-inch of soil, and thin the young plants to 24 to 20 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall.
If you are growing ‘Cinnamon’ basil for culinary use, pinch off the central stem when the seedlings are about 6 weeks old, and prune back each stem when it has more than 8 leaves. Cut it back to the first or second set of leaves, harvesting the rest. If you keep your plants well pinched and pruned, you should be able to harvest half a cup of fresh leaves every week during the growing season. But if cut-and-come-again is not your preferred style, you can harvest the entire plant at the root when it’s about to burst into flower and either hang it upside-down in a cool dark place to dry out or cut off the individual stems with the leaves still attached and freeze them promptly.
If you are growing ‘Cinnamon’ basil for ornamental use or to act as a guard plant in the vegetable or flower garden, you might still want to pinch the central stem when the plant is about 6 inches tall, just to encourage the growth of side shoots. But you will not want to pinch off the buds or trim back the branching stems. The plant should flower by midsummer, with attractive pinkish-purple blooms at the very tips of the branches. Bees and butterflies adore these blooms.
Basil loves hot weather and plenty of sunshine, but it needs consistently moist, rich soil. Mulch the plants to retain moisture, and water heavily during dry spells. Enjoy this exceptional basil in the garden and your finest flowerpots.
(P)Pkt of 100 seeds
Item Form:(P)?Pkt of 100 seeds
Bloom Start to End:Early Summer – Late Summer
Days to Maturity:68
Seeds Per Pack:100
Plant Height:18 in – 2 ft 6 in
Plant Width:3 ft
Additional Characteristics:Bloom First Year,?Butterfly Lovers,?Cut-and-Come-Again,?Edible,?Flower,?Fragrance,?Herbs,?Needs Deadheading,?Pest Fighter,?Pruning Recommended
Bloom Color:Dark Pink,?Light Purple
Foliage Color:Medium Green
Harvest Season:Early Summer,?Late Summer,?Mid Summer
Light Requirements:Full Sun
Moisture Requirements:Moist,? well-drained
Resistance:Disease Resistant,?Heat Tolerant,?Humidity Tolerant,?Pest Resistant
Soil Tolerance:Normal,? loamy