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Purple-leaved Basil

Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens

With its easy-to-grow large edible reddish-purple leaves and its strong spicy flavour, red basil is a must-have for every windowsill and every herb garden. They have ornamental appeal due to their striking reddish-purple leaves which add a unique flavour to salads, herbal teas and other dishes. Not only are the plants used for their culinary and ornamental appeal, but also have medicinal properties.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest the leaves regularly and remove flowers to concentrate the plant's energy on leaf production. Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds. Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored in an airtight container until the next season start.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds either directly in Spring or Summer or indoors 3 mm deep. Germination takes 5-10 days.
Cuttings
Take a 10 cm stem cutting from just below a leaf node from a stem that hasn't flowered. Remove the leaves 5 cm from the bottom end. Plant 5 cm deep. Keep moist or root the cutting in a glass of water!

Special features

Pot plant
Good container plant provided it has enough space to grow.
Indoor plant
Prefers to be kept indoors & can be grown in a container indoors provided it receives at least 6 hours of sun/high intensity light.
Repels harmful insects
Used as a companion plant to deter whitefly.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts insects such as bees.
Attractive leaves
Red leaves add interest to dishes and gardens!

Geography

Origin
India
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Culinary
Red basil adds a unique flavour to salads, herbal teas and other dishes.

Personality

Family
Lamiaceae
Flower colour
Light pink, magenta or lavender.
Scent
Mild

Problems

Black spot, downy mildew, snails & dampening off are all problematic.

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