Purple Basil

Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal'

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Purple basil is an aromatic sweet basil, grown mostly for its culinary uses as well its insect deterring properties. The dark coloured foliage and pink flowers make it an attractive addition to the herb, vegetable and fruit garden.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Pick leaves and flowers all through the growing season as needed. Make pesto, dry or freeze for later use.

Propagation

Seed

Sow in situ in early summer or into trays at when above 13 degrees Celcius.

Cuttings

Make 10-15cm cuttings and remove leaves from the bottom halve. Root in moist soil and keep wet or place in a glass of water until roots start to grow.

Special features

Repels harmful insects

Good insect repellent, especially aphids, flies, whitefly, mosquitoes and scale insects.

Attracts useful insects

Bees and butterflies

Indoor plant

Can be grown indoors in a sunny position

Pot plant

Often grown in containers, ensure potting mix is light and drains well.

Crop rotation

Grow basil in last rotation before legumes.

Attractive leaves

Special features

Origin

Asia, Turkey

Natural climate

Medditerranean

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Culinary

Use as sweet basil with the added benefit of the purple color in salads, sandwiches or pestos.

Medicinal

Prevent a headache, sooth an ear infection or reduce blood sugar with basil!

Personality

Family

Lamiaceae

Flower colour

Pink

Scent

Strong

Problems

Slugs and snails may eat the leaves and the stems of seedlings. Once plants are larger it is less problematic. Deter with eggshells crushed around the plant or catch with beer traps. Chickens and birds love the purple basil too!
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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