Dark Opal Basil Information: Tips On Dark Opal Basil Care

What Is Dark Purple Opal Basil?

The name “dark opal” refers to the color of the leaves and stems. They are usually purple or pinkish red. The plant grows from Mexico to Central America and into South America, but it prefers cool climates like those found in the southern United States, Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana. The plants grow up to 12 feet tall and wide with thick, woody branches. Their flowers are white or yellowish purple and bloom from spring through fall. They have small, round, fleshy fruits that look like tiny grapes. These berries contain a bitter substance called thujone which gives them their distinctive flavor.

How To Grow Dark Opal Basil?

It’s easy to grow dark purple opal basil. You just need regular care. They do not require much water and they don’t need fertilizer either. They prefer full sun so they will thrive in most areas of your yard. If you live in a hot climate, then you might want to consider growing them under lights since they’ll probably flower better when grown under artificial light.

How To Care For Dark Purple Opal Basil?

The only thing you need to do is deadhead, or remove the spent flowers from the plants. You can do this by hand or use shears. This allows the plant to direct its energy towards growing new leaves and stems. Dead heading also helps prevent the spread of disease and decreases the chances of your plants being attacked by pests such as soft scales, mealy bugs and whiteflies. If creatures invade your garden, the dark and opal basil plants have natural pest-repelling properties that will keep them away.

How To Cook And Preserve Dark Opal Basil?

The taste of the plant is strongly aromatic with a pungent smell like licorice. It can be eaten raw in salads or preserved as a spice. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried and added to soups or stews. It is often added to Italian meats and stuffings. You can also use it in egg or potato salads. It can be used as a garnish on pasta dishes. You can add it to fruit or vegetable juices for an added zing.

You can dry the leaves and store them in sealed jars to be used later in cooking or as a tea substitute.

How To Get Dark Purple Opal Basil Seeds?

Sources & references used in this article:

Physiological Responses of Basil (Ocimum Basilicum L.) Cultivars to Rhizophagus Irregularis Inoculation under Low Phosphorus Availability by B Lazarević, K Carović-Stanko, Z Šatović – Plants, 2020 – mdpi.com

Nutrient supply and fertilization of basil by S Sharafzadeh, O Alizadeh – Advances in Environmental …, 2011 – researchgate.net

Development of a Plant Care Guide for the Veterans Hospital Horticultural Therapy Program by J Schneider – 2016 – digitalcommons.esf.edu

Variations in basil antioxidant contents in relation to deficit irrigation by MM Khan, MA Hanif… – Journal of Medicinal Plants …, 2012 – academicjournals.org

Production systems of sweet basil by E Putievsky, B Galambosi – Basil: the genus Ocimum, 1999 – researchgate.net

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