With origins in India, Basil has been in cultivation since ancient times. Similar in looks to the mint leaves and in taste to the anise, basil has as many as 60 varieties and one of the very beneficial is the purple colored one. Belonging to the same family of plants as peppermint, the fragrant leaves of basil are full of health-giving nutrients and minerals. More so with the purple variety. The purple basil with its reddish-purple leaves have a quite distinct and individualistic aroma. The color makes it very attractive to look at. The purple color is due the presence of anthocyanins and is particularly rich in Vitamin A, C, and calcium. If you are looking to have flawless skin, luscious hair and want to protect your vision too, then the purple basil should be included more often in your routine. With these specific benefits, it does carry all the goodness of the green basil too. Rich in flavonoids and being anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory in nature, purple basil makes for a worthy herb that should be consumed without second thoughts. Have purple basil to protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases, reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and troubling bowel conditions. The most popular use of Basil is as the main ingredient in Pesto sauce. Else it can be used as a seasoning herb also. In India basil is popularly added to warm and invigorating beverages for a detoxifying effect.
Sowing Time: N/A Sowing Distance : Plant to plant = 8” & Line to line = 6” Fruit Weight : N/A Fruit Shape : N/A Days to
Maturity: 30 – 35 days
Grow Guide: PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS
Start the seed germination process indoors. Basil is super sensitive to the cold, so whether you are transplanting seedlings from indoors or have plants in the ground, watch the early spring temperatures and cover if necessary.
Plant the seeds/seedlings in the ground about ¼-inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. They should rise to around 12 to 24 inches in altitude. For smaller plants, plant farther apart (approximately 16 to 24 inches).
Remember to lift away the flower heads as soon as they sprout to make sure that the leaves keep rising.
Remember to lift away the flower heads as soon as they come out to make sure that the leaves will keep rising.
WATERING: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season. Give water when the soil is dry to touch. Water the plant on the base and not over the leaves.
PESTS: Some of the pests that attack basil leaves are Japanese Beetles Soft-Bodied Insects – such as Aphids, Whiteflies etc. Nematodes Fusarium Wilt These pests can cause white/black spots on the leaves, slim, blotches, yellow leaves or lesions, gray mold etc,
SOIL: Basil grows well in rich, moist, well-drained loamy soil with a pH of 6 to 7
SPOT: Basil needs 6 to 8 hours of sun everyday
TEMPERATURE: Basil is very sensitive to cold and even a light frost will kill it. Basil likes warmer temperatures over 50°F/10°C. Ideal time to plant would be 2 weeks after the last frost in spring.
HOW TO HARVEST
The best time to harvest is right when the plant begins to bud (before the flowers bloom). Or if you don’t have time to harvest any leaves, just pinch off the flowering portion.
If pruned regularly, twelve basil plants will produce 4 to 6 cups of leaves per week. Be sure to only harvest up to 2/3 of the entire plant, so it can continue producing.
The best method for storing basil is freezing. Freezing will prevent the plant from losing any of its flavor. To quick-freeze basil, dry whole sprigs of basil and pack them in airtight plastic bags.
Another storage method is drying the basil (although some of the flavor will be lost).