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'Boxwood' Basil

I've been thinking a lot about basil this spring and wishing I had land to grow a lot of basil. In particular, I really want to grow a knot garden of 'Boxwood' basil and inside the geometric shapes plant dark basil varieties like 'Purple Ruffles' and 'Dark Opal.' I didn't grow the 'Boxwood' basil picture below, it was photographed at the gardens of Ball Horticulture, but all winter I've been revisiting the picture in my computer.

I keep trying to come up with ways to describe this basil variety but all I can come up with is "adorable." So, I guess the basil is adorable to me. Its compact leaves remind me a lot of the 'WindowBox' basil from seeds given to me by Renee's Garden a couple of seasons ago, and for all I know the only difference between 'WindowBox' and 'Boxwood' could be the name. Although, the Ball Horticulture website says that 'Boxwood' basil is a Ball "exclusive." You can buy seeds for this basil from Burpee.

 If you're looking to create an edible front yard and or an edible landscape give 'Boxwood' basil a try this year. As you can see from the picture, it's leaves and growth habit made a good candidate to trim into a border and unless someone takes a cutting they probably wouldn't notice it isn't a hedge. Basil is an easy herb to grow either in the ground or in a container garden.


  1. What an adorable basil indeed. I've never heard of it. I just grow the plain kind for food and a friend gave me some purple starts this year.

  2. I think I grew this kind by accident a couple of years ago as a sport of a regular green basil. It popped up in late spring with tiny, tiny leaves. I wasn't sure at first what it was, but when I smelled/tasted, it was definitely basil. It was an odd gardening experience.

  3. I have never seen this type of basil, really attractive! I plant basil each year but usually the large leafed italian type.


    1. I like to grow the large leafed basil types into standard topiary shapes when I have the room. They make some cool-looking specimens.

  4. The basil really is adorable! I've had basils with small leaves before, they're really very cute. I have a question about basil I hope you can help me out with though..

    I've heard advice that one should remove any flower spikes from basils the momment they appear, as that signals the impending death of the plant and it also the taste of the basil changes when it flowers. So when my basils start flowering, I remove the spikes. However, instead of growing any new leaves, the basil just puts out NEW flower spikes, and the basil starts to decline anyway. This always happens and eventually, I chuck the basil. I've tried removing the flowers, and making cuttings of the stems, it doesn't work. Once the stems start flowering, they don't seem to stop. Do you know a solution for this? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!


    1. Angie,

      Basil is an annual and the plant is programmed to go from seed to seed within a growing season. The reason we pinch off the blooms is to keep it from setting seeds to extend the life of the plant. This also helps with the flavor as the basil leaves start to taste a little bitter after going to seed. The trick is to remove the bloom buds before they turn into "spikes," but eventually the plant will start to decline as the growing season comes to an end and temps get cooler and there's less light. If you want to take cutting you need to take them early in the growing season. By September I usually start to let me basil plants go to seed so I can collect basil seeds.

    2. Thanks for your reply! I had no idea basil was an annual..that would explain a lot! :)


  5. I have my doubts that basil is a complete annual I have a "volunteer" in my community garden plot that looks exactly like boxwood basil and smells and tastes just as delicious!



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