Blue Basil is a must have herb for the garden if you are looking for a medicinal plant that also stands out with its beauty!
Blue Basil is a perennial plant that can grow for several years with proper care and maintenance. It has several medicinal properties, and people use it to treat various ailments such as headaches, coughs, and indigestion. The best part is you can also grow it for its ornamental value, as their unique color and attractive flowers make them a popular choice for landscaping and garden design!
Read Everything about Growing Black Rubber Plants in India here
Blue Basil Information
Also popular as African blue basil, Blue Basil is a perennial herbaceous and native to Africa. It is a member of the Lamiaceae family with unique blue-green leaves, which have a slightly spicy and minty flavor.
This herb is quite popular in Mediterranean and African cuisine to flavor dishes such as soups, stews, and salads. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and produces small, purple flowers that attract pollinators.
Botanical Name: Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal’
Check Out How to Grow Amar Bel in India here
How to Grow Blue Basil in India
You can grow Blue Basil easily with good-quality seeds from a nursery.
1. Fill a small pot or seed tray with well-draining potting soil.
2. Sow Blue Basil seeds on the soil’s surface, spacing them about an inch apart. Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil, about 1/8 inch deep.
3. Water the soil gently with a spray bottle.
4. Place the pot or seed tray in a warm, bright location, preferably in full sun. Blue basil seeds require warm temperatures between 20 to 30°C to germinate.
5. The seeds will germinate in about 7 to 14 days. Once the seedlings emerge, thin them out so that only the strongest plants remain.
6. When the seedlings have developed their first true leaves and have grown to about 3-4 inches tall, transplant them to a larger pot or their permanent location in the garden.
Check Out How to Grow Aeonium Haworthii here
Requirements to Grow Blue Basil in India
This plant grows best in full sun. It is best to provide at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. This will help it to produce the most flavorful leaves.
People in India have a habit of watering the Tulsi plant daily, and it is something that you must avoid at all costs. Water Blue Basil only when the topsoil feels slightly dry to the touch. Also, Do make sure that the soil is not going completely dry ever.
Blue Basil grows best in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. The growing medium should be amended with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve its drainage and nutrient content. If the soil is too heavy or soggy, incorporate some sand or perlite to improve drainage.
This exotic plant requires warm weather to grow. It thrives in high humidity and moderate temperatures, typically between 20 to 34°C.
Check Out How to Do Matar Ki Kheti in India here
Blue Basil Care
You can use a balanced liquid fertlizer, diluted to 1/2 of its strength, once in 1-2 months. You can also go for fish emulsion or liquid seaweed. Do not feed Blue Basil in winter, and also make sure that you are not over fertlizing it.
Prune the plant regularly to encourage bushier growth. To prune Blue Basil, simply pinch off the top 3-4 inches of each stem. This will encourage the plant to bush out and create more stems.
Be sure to leave at least 2-3 sets of leaves on each stem. When pruning, it is important not to take too much off the plant at once, as this can cause the plant to go into shock.
Pests and Diseases
- Aphids: Small sap-sucking insects that can cause damage to the leaves and stems.
- Whiteflies: Small, winged insects that feed on the sap of Blue Basil plants and can cause damage to the leaves and stems.
- Mealybugs: Small, white, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of Blue Basil and can cause damage to the leaves and stems.
- Spider Mites: Small, eight-legged mites that feed on the sap of basil plants and can cause damage to the leaves and stems.
- Downy Mildew: A fungal disease that causes yellow spots on the leaves of basil plants.
- Leaf Spot: A fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves of basil plants.
- Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that causes white, powdery patches on the leaves of basil plants.
- Root Rot: A fungal disease that can cause the roots of basil plants to rot.
To take care of blue basil from pests and diseases, it is essential to regularly inspect the plants, practice good sanitation, and use organic pest control methods such as spraying with neem oil or insecticidal soap.