Ocimum basilicum Direct seed outdoors in full sun after last frost date or start indoors 4-6 weeks before planting date. Sow seeds 1/2 cm deep, water lightly and keep warm. Germination takes 6-12 days. Space plants 10-15 cm apart in their final location. Final plant height is 50-60 cm. Basil does best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. It prefers moist, rich soil. Pinch growing tips back to encourage branching. Tender annual.