For many, the process of planning and growing an herb garden may be confusing. With so many options, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start. Though some herbs are best grown from store bought transplants, many, such as basil, are extremely easy to grow from seed. Ranging widely in color and taste, basil plants remain one of the most popular herbs found in today’s home gardens. One variety in particular, called ‘Purple Ruffles,’ is prized for its taste as well as its visually striking foliage.
What is Purple Ruffles Basil?
Of the many available varieties of basil, Purple Ruffles is one which serves its purpose as an herb as well as a beautiful ornamental addition to the garden. With a mild taste similar to that of sweet basil, large plants produce bright purple-toothed leaves.
Like many edible purple plants, these leaves contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which gives them their characteristic color. Purple Ruffles basil plants are a great easy-to-grow addition to mixed vegetable gardens, and can even be grown in containers indoors.
Growing Purple Ruffles Basil Plants
Growing Purple Ruffles basil is very similar to growing any other cultivar of basil. Since these frost tender plants grow best under warm growing conditions, it is important to always wait until all chance of frost has passed in the spring before planting.
While it may be possible to find basil transplants at local garden centers, many growers prefer to start basil plants from seed. Since these plants are most often treated as annuals, planting from seed is the most cost-effective option for growers. Basil seeds can be started indoors in seed trays or direct sowed into the garden when the soil has warmed.
To sow, select a weed free and well-draining flower bed. If growing in containers, select at least a medium sized pot and fill it with a mixture of compost and potting soil. Sow the seeds into the pot and water well. Place into a warm, sunny location until germination occurs. Basil seed germination should take place within 7-10 days.
Beyond planting, Purple Ruffles basil care is relatively simple. Unlike many plants, basil does not require frequent fertilization. However, the plants will require frequent and consistent watering throughout the growing season.
To encourage bushier plant growth, many growers choose to pinch the plants or frequently prune them throughout the harvest period. To harvest basil, make certain never to remove more than one-third of the plant, as to ensure continued growth.