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
• Family: Laminaceae
• 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.