Cinnamon basil, also known as Mexican spice basil or Thai basil, is a flavorful and aromatic herb that can be grown in your own garden. With its unique spicy and sweet flavor, cinnamon basil is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Growing cinnamon basil is a great way to add fresh and tasty herbs to your dishes and it is an easy plant to grow, even for beginners.
When growing cinnamon basil, it is important to choose a spot with full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. When planting cinnamon basil, space the seeds about 8-10 inches apart and keep the soil moist. It is important to water the plants regularly and to provide some form of support for the plant as the stems can become top-heavy.
Regular harvesting of the leaves will help to promote new growth and encourage the plant to become bushier. Pruning the plant back to about 6 inches in height can also help to keep it in check. If conditions are right, cinnamon basil will bloom in the late summer and can produce small, white flowers.
How To Grow Cinnamon Basil Step By Step Guide
Cinnamon basil is popularly used because of its flavor and herb benefits. Many persons are interested to grow cinnamon basil but don’t know how to.
Whether you are a beginner or experienced gardener, this guide has everything needed to grow healthy and delicious cinnamon basil plants.
Below is the step by step guide on how you can grow cinnamon basil from beginning to the end.
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Step 1 – Choose a location
To grow cinnamon basil successfully, you must consider some factors when selecting a location.
First, the soil type should be well-draining and enriched with organic matter. In case you have heavy or clay-like soil, amend it by adding compost or well-rotted manure.
Cinnamon basil can also be grown in containers using quality potting mix. The herb requires full sun exposure, and the selected location should receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
If you live in hot climates, some shading during the hottest part of the day can help prevent wilting. Cinnamon basil is a warm-season herb that requires warm soil to germinate and grow.
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The ideal temperature range for growing it is between 70-85°F (21-29°C). For cooler climates, start the seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings outdoors once the weather warms up.
Step 2 – Seek for or Purchase Seedling
You can purchase cinnamon basil seeds or seedlings from a garden center or online, or save seeds from mature plants for future planting.
Step 3 – Plant Seeds or Seedlings
To grow cinnamon basil as a beginner, you can either plant the seeds directly in the ground or start them indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost.
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If you choose to start them indoors, plant the seeds in seed trays or individual containers using a seed starting mix, keep the soil moist, and place them in a warm and sunny location or under a grow light.
You can also apply the aforementioned step to plant the seedling directly on the prepared soil in your garden or farmland.
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Transplant the seedlings to the garden after they have developed their second set of true leaves. If you plant them directly in the ground, wait until after the last expected frost and space them 8-12 inches apart.
Make sure to water the plants well after planting.
Step 4 – Water Frequently
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. The plants should be watered once the top layer of soil dries out by an inch. Overwatering can cause root rot, so make sure the soil has good drainage.
Step 5 – Fertilize
It is recommended to use a balanced fertilizer to feed the plants every 4-6 weeks. You can also add compost to the soil before planting.
The fertilizer should be applied following on manufacturer instruction. Also, it should be applied at the base of the plant and watered to drain into the soil.
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Step 6 – Prune
Pinch off the tips of the plants when they are about 6 inches tall. This encourages bushier growth and prevents the plants from getting too tall and spindly.
Step 7 – Pests and Diseases Control
Watch for pests like aphids and spider mites. You can spray the plants with a mixture of water and dish soap to control these pests.
In addition to aphids and spider mites, cinnamon basil may also be attacked by other pests such as whiteflies, thrips, and slugs. These pests can damage the leaves and stunt the growth of the plant.
To control whiteflies and thrips, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil. Please use the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide when applying these products.
Slugs can be controlled by setting up beer traps or using diatomaceous earth around the base of the plants.
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On the other hand, cinnamon basil is generally disease-resistant, but if you notice any problems, remove and destroy affected plants immediately.
Also, cinnamon can be susceptible to root rot if the soil is too wet. Make sure the soil has good drainage and do not overwater the plants.
In general, to prevent disease, you can also use a fungicide spray that is approved for use on herbs. Apply the fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 8 – Harvest
You can start harvesting cinnamon basil leaves when the plants are about 6-8 inches tall. Regularly harvesting the leaves promotes growth. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for later use.
Varieties of Cinnamon Basil that is Planted
Cinnamon basil is a type of basil that has a distinct cinnamon scent and flavor. There are several varieties of cinnamon basil that can be planted, including Red Rubin, Thai, and Cinnamon.
- Red Rubin: This variety has dark purple leaves and a strong cinnamon flavor.
- Thai: This variety has small leaves and a strong cinnamon scent, commonly used in Thai cuisine.
- Cinnamon: This variety has green leaves and a strong cinnamon scent, commonly used in herbal teas.
Benefits of Cinnamon Basil Farming
Cinnamon basil farming has several benefits, including its health benefits, culinary uses, and potential economic benefits.
#1. Health Benefits
Cinnamon basil has antioxidant properties and can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
#2. Culinary Uses
Cinnamon basil can be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, salads, and teas.
#3. Economic Benefits
Cinnamon basil farming can provide a source of income for farmers, and the herb has a growing demand in the food industry.
Cost of Starting an Cinnamon Basil Farm
The cost of starting a cinnamon basil farm can vary depending on factors such as the size of the farm, the location, the equipment needed, and the method of cultivation. However, some estimated costs could be:
- Land: $5,000 – $50,000 depending on location and size
- Seeds or seedlings: $100 – $500 depending on quantity and variety
- Fertilizer and soil amendments: $500 – $1,000 depending on soil quality and size of the farm
- Irrigation system: $1,000 – $5,000 depending on the method used
- Farm equipment (e.g., tiller, mower, sprayer): $1,500 – $5,000 depending on size of the farm
- Labor costs: $5,000 – $20,000 per year depending on the size of the farm and number of employees
Note that the cost varies depending on the scale of cinnamon basil farm you want to establish. Also, if you already have some of the important items mentioned here, you have your cost reduced.
Projected Profit of Cinnamon Basil Farming
It is difficult to give an exact projected profit for cinnamon basil farming as it depends on various factors such as the size of the farm, the yield per acre, the demand for cinnamon basil in the market, and the cost of production.
However, in general, growing cinnamon basil can be profitable as it is a high-value crop with a relatively low cost of production.
Farmers can earn profits by selling fresh cinnamon basil in local markets or by processing and selling it as dried herbs or essential oils.
According to some estimates, farmers can earn around $10,000 to $15,000 per acre of cinnamon basil grown, but this figure can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above.
Common Diseases and Pests of Cinnamon Basil Farming
Cinnamon basil farming can be affected by various diseases and pests. Some of the common ones include:
- Fusarium wilt: This is a fungal disease that can cause wilting and yellowing of the leaves.
- Downy mildew: This is a fungal disease that can cause yellowing of the leaves and stunted growth.
- Aphids: These are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of the plants and can cause curling of the leaves.
- Spider mites: These are tiny insects that feed on the leaves and can cause yellowing and stippling of the leaves.
- Whiteflies: These are small, winged insects that feed on the sap of the plants and can cause yellowing and stunted growth.
- Thrips: These are tiny insects that feed on the leaves and can cause distortion and discoloration of the leaves.
- Cutworms: These are caterpillars that can cut the stems of the plants and cause wilting.
How much is Cinnamon Basil Sold
The price of cinnamon basil can vary depending on factors such as the location of the market, the demand for the herb, and the supply available.
In general, cinnamon basil is a high-value crop, and it can be sold for a higher price than other common herbs such as basil or oregano.
In some markets, fresh cinnamon basil can sell for around $3 to $5 per bunch or pack, while dried cinnamon basil can sell for around $15 to $20 per pound.
However, these prices can vary depending on the location and availability of the herb.
Best practices of Cinnamon Basil Farming
Cinnamon basil farming requires certain best practices to ensure optimal growth and yields. Some of these best practices include:
- Soil preparation: The soil should be well-draining and fertile, with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.
- Planting: Seeds or seedlings should be planted in the spring after the last frost date. It is recommended to space them apart by 12 to 18 inches.
- Watering: Cinnamon basil should be watered regularly, but not overwatered, to prevent root rot.
- Fertilizing: A balanced fertilizer should be applied every four to six weeks.
- Pruning: Cinnamon basil should be pruned regularly to encourage bushier growth and prevent legginess.
- Harvesting: Leaves should be harvested regularly to encourage new growth and prevent flowering.
Challenges Of Cinnamon Basil Farming
While cinnamon basil farming has its benefits, there are also several challenges that farmers may face, including pest and disease management, environmental factors, and market competition.
- Pest and disease management: Cinnamon basil is susceptible to pests and diseases, such as aphids and powdery mildew.
- Environmental factors: Cinnamon basil requires full sun and well-draining soil, which may be a challenge in certain regions.
- Market competition: There may be competition from other growers or similar herbs, such as regular basil.
Where To Sell Cinnamon Basil
Cinnamon basil can be sold in a variety of markets, including local farmer’s markets, restaurants, and online platforms.
- Local farmer’s markets: Selling directly to consumers at local farmer’s markets can provide a steady source of income.
- Restaurants: Restaurants and food service providers may be interested in buying fresh cinnamon basil for use in their dishes.
- Online platforms: Selling on online platforms such as Etsy or Amazon can reach a wider audience.
Industries that Demand Cinnamon Basil
Cinnamon basil has a growing demand in several industries, including food, cosmetics, and aromatherapy.
- Food: Cinnamon basil can be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, salads, and teas.
- Cosmetics: The essential oil of cinnamon basil is used in cosmetics and skin care products for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Aromatherapy: Cinnamon basil is used in aromatherapy for its calming and soothing effects.
Different Propagation Methods of Cinnamon Basil
- Seeds: Cinnamon basil can be grown from seeds. You have the option to either sow the seeds directly into the soil or initiate the growth process indoors or transplant them at a later stage.
- Cuttings: Cinnamon basil can also be propagated from stem cuttings. Take a stem cutting from a healthy plant and place it in water or moist soil until it develops roots.
- Division: Another way to propagate cinnamon basil is by dividing established plants. Carefully dig up the plant and separate it into smaller sections, each with its own roots and shoots.
Cinnamon Basil Cut Flower
Cinnamon basil is a versatile herb that can be grown for culinary purposes, as well as for its ornamental value. The plant produces beautiful, aromatic leaves that have a cinnamon-like fragrance.
These leaves can be used in cooking, as well as in flower arrangements. The plant also produces small, purple flowers that make for a lovely addition to any bouquet.
How to Plant Cinnamon Basil Seeds:
Cinnamon basil seeds can be planted indoors or outdoors. It’s important to sow the seeds in well-draining soil and to keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge.
Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, they can be transplanted into the garden or into larger pots. Cinnamon basil prefers full sun, but can also tolerate some shade.
Cinnamon Basil Recipes
Cinnamon basil is a popular herb in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cuisine. It is often used to flavor soups, curries, and stir-fries.
The herb can also be used to make teas, infused oils, and vinegars. One popular recipe is for Thai basil chicken, which combines the herb with chicken, garlic, and chili peppers for a spicy and flavorful dish.
Cinnamon Basil Uses
In addition to its culinary uses, cinnamon basil has several medicinal properties. It has been used to treat digestive issues, headaches, and inflammation.
The herb is also said to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, which may help to boost the immune system.
Cinnamon basil is also used in aromatherapy, as the scent is said to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Cinnamon Basil Spacing
When planting cinnamon basil in the garden, it’s important to space the plants at least 12 inches apart. This will allow the plants to grow to their full size, which can be up to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. If planting in pots, it’s best to use a pot that is at least 8 inches in diameter.
Cinnamon Basil Seeds
Cinnamon basil seeds can be found online or at most garden centers. The seeds are small and should be sown shallowly in soil. It’s important to keep the soil moist until the seedlings emerge, which can take up to 2 weeks.
Cinnamon Basil Days to Maturity
Cinnamon basil typically takes 75-90 days to mature from seed. This can vary depending on growing conditions, so it’s important to keep an eye on the plants and harvest the leaves and flowers as needed.
Is Cinnamon Basil a Perennial
Cinnamon basil is an annual herb, which means that it completes its life cycle in one growing season. This is different from perennial herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, which can survive for several growing seasons. However, if the plant is grown in a warm climate, it may self-seed and come back the following year.
Growing cinnamon basil is a rewarding venture for beginners in agriculture. With the right care, it can thrive in different climates, and its various propagation methods make it a versatile crop.
The benefits of cinnamon basil farming are numerous, including its medicinal properties and potential demand in the food and cosmetics industries. While challenges exist, farmers can navigate them through proper pest control and irrigation.