African Blue basil is a fragrant and ornamental herb made from from Dark Opal basil (Ocimum basilicum) and camphor basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum). The unique hybrid features a fragrant scent. It grows in a number of climates including the Climate Zones 14 to 17 of Sunset. Like other kinds of basil, it’s a delicious seasoning when chopped-up for squash dishes, tomato sauces, salads, pesto, chicken and much more.
History and Features
African Blue basil happened accidentally and is a fairly new plant. A nursery operator in Ohio noticed the herb between camphor basil in 1983 and two beds of Darkish Opals. The plant has lavender flowers on long stems and grows into a bush. Its leaves that are appealing start purple out but turn green with purple veins. The fragrance of the plant has hints of camphor, which comes from its camphor parent. The herb attracts butterflies and honey bees. Like several other kinds of basil, it is possible to use the plant for cooking.
Care and Development
Because it can not type seeds it is possible to propagate African basil via cuttings. The sterile, fast growing plant fares best in locations that are sunny and when planted throughout the spring to midsummer in well-drained loam or sand. Plant it in containers which are 10 to 12″ broad or in gardens. Use all purpose fertilizer in the beginning of the period that is growing and again in regards to a month. The plant can increase up to 2-feet tall. African Blue basil is a great companion plant for peppers and tomatoes. It improves the taste of other veggies.
Pruning and Servicing
Cutting crops back and harvesting the leaves assists the African basil increase. Cut and remove flowers stems above leaves. Cut back crops that are tall to help thin. By the end of the period, remove all foliage that is dead and cleanup debris from around crops. Discard and don’t compost diseased portions of the plant. The plant can not endure frost and declines in cold temperatures.
Pests and Diseases
Basil has few natural enemies and is usually disease-free. The pests that assault basil contain flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, snails and slugs. Honey dew is excreted by aphids, and sooty mould grows on the compound. Cut knock aphids off of crops having a forceful spray of water and leaves. Use a copper flashing barrier to ward off slugs, snails and the beetles.