Purple Basil

Everything you ever wanted to know about purple basil

Purple basil is a beautiful plant that not only makes a great addition to an herb garden, but also provides gorgeous and unusual foliage to any outside space.  Purple basil also provides a sweet aroma that you will love, so plant it near your patio or deck.  This unique bush makes a great border plant for any outdoor space or garden. 

The best place to grow purple basil is in direct sunlight, so choose an area of your yard that gets plenty of sun for several hours a day.  Make sure this area also drains well because purple basil will not grow in waterlogged soil.  This type of basil is a bit pickier than other types of herbs.  It requires very rich soil, so you will need to add plenty of organic content to the soil if you want to successfully grow purple basil. 

If you’re planting basil directly outside, then make sure the average soil temperature is at least 60 degrees.  Basil prefers warmer weather and can take longer to germinate if you plant it outside before the weather is warm enough. 

After you add the organic material to the soil, then just sprinkle your purple basil seeds over the area.  You’ll only need about a quarter of an inch of soil to cover it.  Planting this type of basil too deep can result in the herb not growing at all. 

Keep the soil around your purple basil seeds moist but not overly wet.  When your seedlings start to grow, you will have to thin out your plants.  Ideally, you’ll want to end up with one plant about every four inches.  Don’t start thinning the plants out until your seedlings have about three or four sets of leaves.  This will ensure that you don’t damage the good plants when you’re thinning out all the extra ones.  If you wish the keep the extra seedlings, be very careful when you are transplanting them because they are extremely fragile.  You may also decide to harvest a few of the leaves of those seedlings at this point.

Your purple basil plants won’t need a lot of watering, but you should keep an eye on the soil and water it whenever it starts to look dry.  Be careful that you don’t overwater the plants because this can damage them.  Just try to keep the soil moist. 

When it’s time to harvest your purple basil, just pick the leaves you need from the top of the plant.  The rest of the plant will keep growing and producing more basil leaves.  It’s important that you pick from the top of the plant instead of the bottom because you’ll be encouraging a big, bushy growth, which is exactly what you want out of your basil plant. 

If you really enjoy cooking with this type of basil, then you may want to consider growing one or two of these plants indoors.  They offer a nice aroma for your kitchen and an easy way to have a fresh supply of herbs always.