This basil selection from the 1960s is easy to grow and will grace your garden with its dark purple leaves and its pungent aroma. Plant along walkways and enjoy brushing its leaves, leaving behind a trail of delicious. Add color to salads, sauces or anything else that calls for basil.
Basil likes to be pruned. Cut back hard when it gets tall to get as much basil as possible.
Common name: Purple Opal Basil
Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum purpurescens
Type: Self seeding tender annual
Scarification/Stratification: None needed
Sow temp/season: 70-85 F in the spring, or anytime indoors.
Sow depth/spacing: 1/4-1/8 inch deep and 1 seed per inch
Final spacing: 6 inch to 1 foot final spacing.
Final height/spread: 2-4 feet height and 1 foot spread
pH range: 6-8
Soil type: Not picky but hates wet feet. .
Nutrition Not a heavy feeder. Adding too much fertilizer will lessen flavor a bit. A sprinkle of compost at planting is all that is needed.
Drainage: Good surface drainage is required.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Time to maturity: 60-70 days
Hilling: Will grow roots from trunk, so hilling a bit as they get large will help support plants. A rock mulch is helpful to keep leaves clean and trunk straight.
Suckering: Branches profusely.
Propagation: Can be planted in at least ¾ inch pots or plug trays, transplant to 2 gallon pots.
Hybridization: Will hybridize freely, so separate different varieties at least 150 feet apart to breed true.
Uses: Eaten fresh or cooked.