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.
Pick leaves and flowers all through the growing season as needed. Make pesto, dry or freeze for later use.
Sow in situ in early summer or into trays at when above 13 degrees Celcius.
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.
Repels harmful insects
Good insect repellent, especially aphids, flies, whitefly, mosquitoes and scale insects.
Attracts useful insects
Bees and butterflies
Can be grown indoors in a sunny position
Often grown in containers, ensure potting mix is light and drains well.
Grow basil in last rotation before legumes.
Soil PH preference
Use as sweet basil with the added benefit of the purple color in salads, sandwiches or pestos.
Prevent a headache, sooth an ear infection or reduce blood sugar with basil!
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!