Collecting Basil Seed

Basil is a delightful grace in the yard, and fairly easy to grow as long as you have good seed to start with.

I am quite sure that someone has a much better way to collect basil seed,  there is no way that what I am  doing  would work commercially.   I will however share the method that has worked pretty well for me.  If anyone out there has a better method I would be greatful for the information.

Here is some lemon basil going to seed.  The dry stems have already lost their seed.  The green tufts just above where it has dried, still have seed in them.  As the plant drys, the seeds will fall out.  A tuft or two above and the seed is not yet mature.

in the picture below it is too late, the seed is gone.

Here is a flower stalk removed and viewed from the bottom.  Right where the brown at the bottom meets the green at the top, black seeds in green ‘bells’ can be seen.

Despite only being able to harvest a few of the ripe seed, one stalk can provide quite a bit.  Notice the tiny black seeds at the bottom of the bowl.

Here is a different sort of basil.  It produces a head.  This is a nice sweet tasting basil with a touch of cinnamon scent.

Below you can see one bright flowering head at the top and a duller head down at the bottom.

The duller head is more mature and is producing seed.

When I turn it over you can see the black spots where the seeds are.

A bit of massaging and shaking allowed me to gather enough to be sure I can grow this again next year.


2 comments to Collecting Basil Seed

  • Eric

    thanks bob. am in my first year of gardening and this was very helpful.

  • Julie Vasinda

    In this HOT summer days in Texas, I have to water my Basil plant 2 times a day if out in the sun.
    I now keep the pot in side by the window and it’s doing find.
    Need to cut the flower/seeds off for thicker growth.

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