Purple basil

Ocimum basilcum purpurea | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Plant purple basil and you can convince your friends they've suddenly gone colour blind.

Ocimum basilcum purpurea is also known as purple basil. It's an edible herb with fragrant leaves that can be added to a salad or used in cooking. As the name suggests the leaves are purple in colour and it has small pink flowers that bloom in the summer. It will grow to just half a metre in height and is best suited to a windowsill or a greenhouse, though it will grow outdoors in warmer weather given a sunny spot in the garden. Aphids can be a big problem with basil. If you pinch out the flower heads you'll encourage more foliage to grow.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 0.7 - 1
Spread [m]
  • 0.5
Dominant flower colour
  • Pink
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Foliage in summer
  • Pink or purple
Propagation methods
  • seed
Growth habit
  • Clump-forming
  • Erect
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z9-11
Heat zone
  • H11-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -7 - 4
Heat days
  • 0 - 210
  • well-drained
Soil type
  • sandy
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Vegetables & herbs
  • Herbs
Grown for
  • Culinary use
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • Fast growing
  • For Beginners
  • Outdoor food
Garden type
  • Containers
  • Kitchen garden
  • City
Garden spaces
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • Less than one year