Ocimum as a Promising Commercial Crop

  • R. K. SrivastavaEmail author
  • Sanjay Kumar
  • R. S. Sharma
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Basil, Ocimum Spp, (Family Labiatae), is a herbaceous, erect, annual important aromatic plant, which attains the height of about 80–100 cm. The leaves of the plant are dark green or yellowish green in colour. Flowering tops and leaves of plant yields essential oils, which are used in perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. Stems of the plant are often branched and bear leaves. Many species of basil are available in nature including Ocimum basilicum, Ocimum canum, Ocimum gratissimum and Ocimum sanctum (Sharma et al. in J Med Arom Plant Sci 18:512–522, 1996). Basil can be grown in wide ranges of soil like light loam and medium loam having good water holding capacity with a pH range of 5.0–8.30. The best crop rotation of basil is basil–chamomile–mint or basil–mustard–mint or basil–potato–mint in the subtropical region. It prefers mild climate with moderate temperature of about 27 °C for successful growth. Basil is propagated through seeds. The nursery is raised in the month of May, and the seedlings are transplanted in the main field in the month of June/July. Nursery-raised seedlings of 30 days’ age are planted with the spacing of 30–35 cm plant to plant and 45–50 cm row to row depending upon soil fertility. After planting of seedlings, irrigation is necessary. During the whole period of life, 2–3 weedings are required to minimize weed competition. In average fertile soil, 50 kg nitrogen, 40 kg phosphorus and 40 kg potash per ha are sufficient. Nitrogen is applied in three equal doses during the growth period of the plant. It takes about 85–90 days for maturity, when lower leaves start turning yellow and full blooming condition appears. Harvesting is done by sharp sickle. After harvesting and distillation, about 110 kg of oil is received from per hectare area. The present market rate of basil oil is Rs. 650 per kg (Essential oil Market Report 2014), and cost of cultivation is about Rs. 23,546 to per ha. A farmer can earn Rs. 47,954 per ha within a period of 100 days.


Ocimum Basil Essential oil Cultivation Harvesting Uses Economics 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Srivastava
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sanjay Kumar
    • 1
  • R. S. Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP)LucknowIndia

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