Saving Basil Seeds and Cross-Pollination
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Glen
Posted on: May 03, 2010

I would like to ask about basil seeds. I grow Basil with variety- Aroma 1, Gecofure, Magical Michael and Oriental Breeze. Most of the basil I grow are from your company. They are flowering now and I would like to ask if I plant the seeds from these basil plants, can I still consider them as Aroma 1, Gecofure, Magical Michael and Oriental Breeze? Granting they are not cross-pollinated. It is always believed that when you start plants from seeds, variations do occur so I am concerned if I plant the seeds for the next generation, will traits like compactness, disease resistance and other traits still be uniform in the following generation.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is unlikely that you can prevent cross-pollination. Even our growers for the seeds have trouble keeping the strain true to type for several years, since some adventurous bee or a strong wind will have mixed in other genes! If you wish to grow your own seed, grow only one variety and make sure you are at least 500 meters (1500 feet) from any other basil or bees will foil your plans. Enclosing them in mesh might work as well. Bees love basil flowers.

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