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Basil, Cardinal

Short Description

A beautiful standout Thai basil in the herb patch and ornamental bed.

Full Description

At first glance you'll think this is a celosia, with its heavy, tightly packed blooms glowing in cardinal red. A closer inspection reveals that tell-tale scent, rich and heady with a touch of spice. Strong, deep burgundy stems hold the flowers above the smooth, bright green leaves, ensuring a vibrant show throughout the summer even as you continue harvesting fresh leaves. A beautiful standout in the herb patch and a flavorful addition to the ornamental bed.
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Item#: 18405
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$16.95
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Basil, Cardinal
Basil, Cardinal, , large
Item #: 18405
3 Plants
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

30-60 days

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.

Annual

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24-30 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

8-12 inches

Additional Uses Additional ways in which the product may be used in the garden.

Container Plant, Fragrant

Plant Shipping Information

Plants ship in Fall at proper planting time (click for schedule)

Restrictions:

Item 18405 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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Fresh Garden Herbs
Anyone can grow fresh gourmet garden herbs in just a small space or container.
Watch video
Growing Basil
It’s the most popular garden herb, easy to grow, and comes in an incredible selection of colors, shapes and flavors.
Watch video

Basil may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden, or planted as a potted plant.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow basil seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
  • Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost when the soil is at least 60 degrees F.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth. 
  • Sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inches of fine soil. 
  • Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist. 
  • Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days, possibly longer in cooler soils.

Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. Basil should not be allowed to dry out.
  • Pinch the stems to encourage bushiness. Pinch flowers off to prolong the harvest.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Discard plants after they bloom.
  • Pinch leaves from the tips of the stems as needed starting 60-90 days after the seedlings have two sets of leaves.
  • If fresh, pick early in the morning for highest oil content.
  • For drying or freezing, harvest leaves that have their maximum oil content, just before flowering.
  • To harvest the leaves, pinch the stems just above a set of leaves as needed from the top. This will also help keep the plants bushy.
  • Do not harvest too much of the plant at one time as this may weaken the plant.
  • Flowers are also edible and may be used as a garnish.
  • To dry, cut whole stems on a dry morning. Tie stems loosely together in small bunches and hang in a dry, airy location out of the sun. Basil may also be dried on a cheesecloth or a window screen in a dry, shady location. When thoroughly dry, store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location.
  • Basil may be frozen dry on a cookie sheet and then sealed in zip lock bags, or it can be minced and frozen in an ice cube tray in water or olive oil.
  • You can also preserve basil using sea salt. Place a layer of sea salt on the bottom of the container you will use. Place a leaf on top of the salt. Add a layer of salt to cover the leaf so the leaves do not touch each other. Make as many layers are you have room for and seal the container and place in the refrigerator.
Sun
Full Sun
Days To Maturity
30-60 days
Life Cycle
Annual
Height
24-30 inches
Spread
8-12 inches
Additional Uses
Container Plant, Fragrant
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
Thin
10 inches
Basil, Cardinal is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 4.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding basil production I grew these last summer, and I could not believe how hardy this basil was. I grew these from seed and planted them late in the season. They established quickly and grew to 3 ft plus. They were slow to bolt and I was astounded to be picking fresh basil leaves off these plants in OCTOBER, long after my other basil plants had withered from cold. They just wouldn't quit. The smell and flavor are milder than other basil types, but still very flavorful. I had fresh basil and mozzarella salad every day. Nom! Nom!
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice Basil We usually grow sweet basil but the flowers on this one caught our eye. We bought the seeds and they were a little slow to get going, but now their about 8in. tall and getting beautiful. We've got them up front in the full sun and they appear to like it just fine there. There are no flowers yet, but the leaves are a good size. It's got a lovely spicy amoma and taste. I'd say it's a bit like Thai basil in that respect, but the leaves are much bigger. Anyway, we love it and I'm going to make sure we have it in the garden every year no matter what other kind of basil we plant. This stuff is excellent.
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Flavor, Japenese Beetle-Proof! The flavor of this basil variety is great. I don't think it's necessarily better or worse than many other basil varieties, but the best part about this plant is that Japanese beetles do not decimate it! In our area at least, in the suburbs of Chicago, the beetles have been horrible the last few years. They may attack and destroy the other common varieties of basil, but they don't even touch this one. Works for me!
Date published: 2010-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It I bought these as plants (not seeds). As always, they arrived very healthy and well developed. They grew into beautiful plants. So much so that I chose to leave them in my perennial flower garden; they are lovely as green plants in the garden and don't go to seed and get twiggy like the standard basil. They bush up very well and get a large maroon bloom in the center, around late July. As for the taste, we loved it. Very fragrant and flavorful. Taste similiar to a standard basil but definitely has it's own unique flavor. I will buy these again and again. PS: I usually have problems with Japanses beetles but the bugs stayed away from these plants.
Date published: 2009-08-23
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