Dark Opal Basil
Seeds yield lush purplish-bronze foliage that makes this a truly stunning ornamental plant. It is also known for its herbal uses. This A.A.S. winner has a fine flavor and aroma and is excellent for seasoning or use in vinegar. It is not uncommon for a small proportion of the leaves to turn green. One interesting note – basil seeds harvested from mature plants are used as a thickening agent in sweet drinks.
How to Grow
When late spring weather has thoroughly warmed up, sow seeds 1 inch apart in well-worked fertile soil in full sun. Cover 1/4 inch deep, firm soil, and keep the seedbed moist. Germination takes 1 to 2 weeks. After seedlings are well established, thin or transplant 8 inches apart to allow plants room to mature. It is critical to plant basil in the garden only after late spring day and nighttime temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C). Pinch off growing tips when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall to encourage branching. Harvest sprays of leaves by cutting stems just above two new sprouting lateral branches to get lush regrowth. Keep flower buds pinched off to extend harvesting and feed regularly to promote new growth.