The Ideal Temperature For Basil

The Ideal Temperature For Basil

One of the most common plants in domestic kitchens is basil. Fast growing, it provides us with a constant supply of fresh greenery. For growth and yield to be right, basil needs ideal temperatures. This article reveals how high these are.

  • Basil does not tolerate frost
  • below 10 degrees Celsius plant quickly stops growing
  • ideal temperature for Ocimum basilicum is between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius

What temperature for basil?


The basil plant (Ocimum basilicium) originally comes from the tropical to subtropical regions of Southeast Asia. Accordingly, the plant prefers temperature ranges that suit the local conditions:

  • Minimum temperatures around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.
  • Optimal growth range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius
  • increasing growth activity with increasing temperature

Attention: The particularly rapid growth of basil at high temperatures makes sense for the plant from a biological point of view, but is usually called “shooting” by us humans. The quality of the plant in terms of its culinary use decreases if it grows too quickly!

Observe outside temperatures


If you want to cultivate your royal herb outdoors, it is of course hardly possible to achieve optimal temperature conditions at all times. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following relationships:

  • below 10 to 15 degrees Celsius growth activity decreases to a standstill
  • in case of frost rapid damage of leaves and styles
  • in case of ground frost the roots and thus the whole plant die off


Tip: If your plant does get caught outdoors by low temperatures, you can achieve a protected microclimate within the required minimum temperature range by covering it with translucent film in the form of a foil tunnel or a simple lightweight tarpaulin.

Frequently asked questions

Why Ocimum basilicum does not germinate outdoors?

Even if the temperatures are safely above 10 degrees Celsius, you will not see the success of sowing. The seeds of basil first need a period of at least 20 to 22 degrees Celsius to germinate at all. Only the growing plants can then cope with lower temperatures.

How to overwinter basil indoors?

Because of its origin in tropical regions, the basil plant does not know hibernation. Even in winter, the plant is therefore dependent on a lot of brightness and temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius to survive permanently. Below 15 degrees Celsius, the plant stops growing and withers in the long run due to the reduced internal supply of nutrients.

Is there an upper temperature limit for the basil plant?

No. The warmer it is, the faster the growth progresses. However, the basic requirement is an adequate supply of water and nutrients to supply this growth. Otherwise, especially in the plant pot, the plant may leach and die after only a short time at high temperatures.

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