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Is Basil Invasive? (Let’s Find Out)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 04:23 pm

The beauty of a herb garden lies in the variety of herbs. But, unfortunately, some herbs become invasive, crowd other plants, and even take over a garden.

Basil is an annual herb, and it is not a cold-hardy plant. It grows best at Temperatures of 80°, and it can tolerate lower temperatures. However, temperatures of 50°F and below affects the plant. Given its numerous unique qualities, one might wonder if it possesses the ability of invasion.

That said, is Basil invasive? Basil cannot invade your herb garden because of its short life being an annual herb. And also because it can not tolerate low temperatures. However, plants like parsley, tansy, catnip, comfy, Artemisia, and all kinds of mint can invade your garden, even using underground runners.  Moreover, unlike most of these herbs, basil will not survive zone 5 temperatures.

Do Basil Plants Spread?

As mentioned earlier, basil is an annual herb which means you have to replant it every season. In addition, basil is also very sensitive to cold and frost.

As such, if you want to grow for more than one season, you need to pot the plant and grow it indoors, away from cold and frost.

Because the basil has a naturally annual life cycle, it will flower and produce seeds before it dies. You can then harvest the seeds for planting in the next season.

Also, because of its short life and cannot withstand cold, the basil plant does not spread like its perennial counterparts.

However, the basil seeds may germinate naturally and have little basil stems coming up. Nevertheless, you can ensure continuous growth of your basil by saving basil seeds for planting next season.

You should follow these simple steps to preserve the seeds for use:

  • Gently remove the seedpods from your basil after they’ve appeared and look dried on the head. Do it by hand to avoid harming your basil.
  • You can use them for indoor pot planting to keep growing basil all year round.
  • You can also choose to preserve the basil seeds in an airtight container. This way, you can grow basil outdoors during the following season.

Although the basil is not likely to spread and get out of control or take over the garden, you may want to remove it from your garden. To do this, you simply use any of the following methods.

1. You can let your basil die naturally. However, once its annual life cycle ends, the basil needs extra work before it will continue to grow.

As long as you don’t attend to the plant, it will die away. After which, you can gather up the dead materials and use them for mulching or as fertilizer.

2. You can also choose to treat basil like a weed and mow it down. Once you mow them down and trample them, you can be sure they will die out. However, you should be careful not to weed out other plants in the process.

3. Basil is also a small annual plant with a delicate root system, and it dies quickly when disturbed. As such, you can simply pull out the plant. Next is to pile up the removed plant, after which it will rot or dry up.

4. You can also pull basil out as soon as it starts growing. Since it is an annual and not a perennial plant, there is no residual root to cause reemergence.

However, this requires going into the garden and doing some weeding. Careful, though; otherwise, you will end up weeding out your favorite plants.

What Should Not Be Planted Near Basil?

Basil, like other plants, will grow better with companion plants. Companion plants are essential to basil in a variety of ways.

  • Basil can grow better beside specific plants or help other plants to grow better.
  • They provide nutrients requirements for each plant.
  • The plants have similar or complementary growth habits.
  • Their presence can repel insects, pests, and even some diseases.
  • Companion plants can also attract beneficial insects.
  • Many companion plants release chemicals that encourage faster growth and better taste in the plants around them.

However, basil does not grow well with every plant. And there are some plants that, if grown near basil, will turn out to be an epic gardening fail. So avoid growing the following near basil.

1. Sage and Rue

Sage and rue are not good companions for basil. While basil itself is a herb, it generally prefers the company of vegetables and not other herbs.

As such, you should not plant it near rue, sage, and rosemary. If you’re planting, plant them in different pots as basil needs more water than they do.

2. Cucumber

The cucumber is also not a good companion for basil. Cucumbers tend to take up the aroma of whatever is grown near them.

As a result, basil being an aromatic herb, can affect the taste of your cucumber, so make sure to plant it as far away as possible. Also, you may notice reduced yields if you grow basil with cucumbers.

3. Fennel

Fennel is also not a good planting companion for basil. Fennel does not pair well with other vegetable garden plants.

Although it can attract beneficial insects, it can also serve as an inhibitor to the growth of plants, stunting them or killing them ultimately.

On the other hand, you should instead plant basil with the following plants.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus, the combination of asparagus and basil, encourages ladybugs, which help control the presence of pests and aphids in the garden.

2. Borage

Borage also helps to repel bugs that are dangerous to basil and other companion plants.

3. Peppers

Peppers and basil also pair well. The combination is excellent for repelling pests and maintaining dense ground cover. In addition, peppers prefer humidity, and basil works to trap heat and moisture.

4. Marigold

Marigold and basil are naturally good pairs for repelling insects and providing a doubly aromatic garden environment.


You can grow basil by transplanting or sowing the seeds directly into the beds in an outdoor garden. However, since basil is an annual plant, it does not survive long enough to invade, unlike perennials that return year after year.

Also, basil does not spread. It produces seeds, but it is not a reseeding herb. Also, it is susceptible to adverse weather conditions, and as such, it is not a demanding plant.

Also, the root system of basil is not very strong, and it can quickly die from minor disturbances.

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