Under What Conditions Can Basil Survive Winter?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm

Native to tropical regions, basil does not tolerate frost. Thus, wintering in the open air is doomed to failure. Nevertheless, under certain conditions, knowledgeable amateur gardeners bring the king herb through the cold season. This is how it succeeds.

Basilikum überwintern

Targeted selection of varieties creates the best conditions
It is a well-known fact that basil from the supermarket is viable for more than a week only with optimal care. Self-sown herb plants already have a much more robust constitution. However, only a few basil varieties are suitable for perennial cultivation. Promising candidates are these:

  • Green-leaved African basil ‘African Green’ (Ocimum kilimanscharicum basilicum).
  • Garden basil (Ocimum kilimanscharicum x basilicum)
  • Red-blue African basil ‘African Blue’ (Ocimum kilimanscharicum basilicum)
  • African tree basil (Ocimum gratissium x suave)

This is how the wintering succeeds

Under What Conditions Can Basil Survive Winter?

If you cultivate basil in pots in the garden and on the balcony, carry the plant indoors in good time before the first frost. Ideally, the relocation takes place when temperatures fall permanently below 10 degrees Celsius. With this care you will bring the king weed through the cold season:

  • set up in a sunny, warm window spot at temperatures of 15 to 20 degrees.
  • it is not necessary to cut back the plant
  • water regularly, preferably from below
  • continue to fertilize organically every 4 to 6 weeks

If basil finds these conditions, the plant will provide an aromatic harvest even during the winter. If you cut back entire shoots to the next leaf axil, the king herb will continue to thrive and develop a branched habit.

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Tips & Tricks
The robust African shrub basil survives the winter even in a dark location at temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees Celsius. In this case, the plant stops growing to receive little watering and no fertilizer. From March placed brighter and warmer, the king herb sprouts again.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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