A mild, sweet taste that is perfect for those who love basil's flavor, but shy away from too much herbal spiciness. It's excellent in a variety of dishes, including pesto, pasta, and salads. 'Purple Petra' also makes a lovely pink-tinted vinegar or oil. Grow it as a companion plant for your tomatoes or in other areas of the garden as an ornamental. Try pairing it with 'Lemon Drop' French marigold or Bells of Ireland for vibrant contrast.
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum
Native: Probably Africa, but in cultivation for so long that it cannot be verified.
Hardiness: Frost-sensitive annual
Plant Dimensions: 24" tall, 18"–24" wide
Variety Information: Large, dark reddish-purple glossy leaves with a mild, sweet flavor. Small lavender-blue flower spikes appear in late summer.
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F, ideally 65°–85°F. Successive Sowings: We recommend 3 or 4 successive sowings every 3 weeks after initial sowing.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting outside. Transplant when your nighttime temperatures are above 50°F.
Days to Emerge: 5 – 10 Days
Seed Depth: ¼"
Seed Spacing: A group of 2 seeds every 12"
Row Spacing: 12"
Thinning: When 2" tall, thin to 1 every 12"
Harvesting: Basil flavor is best before the plant flowers. Harvest up to 1/3 of the plant at a time, leaving enough for the plant to be healthy and keep producing. Harvest prior to a frost; basil is very frost sensitive.
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