Dark Opal Basil: A Charming and Fragrant Perennial

Dark Opal Basil

Dark Opal Basil is a beautiful and fragrant perennial that is commonly planted as an annual.

This tall and bushy herb, with dark purple leaves, has a strong aroma and sweet-spicy flavor. It blooms from mid-to-late summer, and the leaves and blooms are both edible.

Botanical Name Ocimum basilicum ‘Dark Opal’
Common Name Dark Opal Basil
Plant Type Annual herb
Mature Size Up to 20 inches
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Loamy, sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Tolerates a wide range
Bloom Time Late summer
Flower Color Purple foliage
Hardiness Zones 9 to 11
Native Area Tropical Central Africa to Southeast Asia

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • Dark Opal basil is a little more difficult to grow than other types of basil. These tips will help you ensure your plants are healthy and thrive:
  • Start seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date in your area. Use peat pots or seed trays filled with sterile potting mix.
  • Sow the seeds thinly, covering them lightly with soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and place the pots in a warm location (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • When seedlings have two sets of true leaves, transplant them into individual pots filled with sterile potting mix.
  • Water well and place in a sunny spot. Transplant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed and nights are consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When planting basil outdoors, choose a location in full sun with well-drained soil. Amend the soil with compost before planting.
  • Space plants about 18 inches apart and water regularly, especially during dry spells. Fertilize every two weeks with a half-strength solution of all-purpose fertilizer.

Lighting and Temperature

Dark Opal basil grows best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, especially in hot summer climates. Plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.

Basil is a warm-weather herb and prefers temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures dip below 50 degrees, the leaves will turn black and die.


Basil grows best in loose, well-drained soil with a pH between

To make sure your plants have the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy, amend the soil with compost before planting.


Dark Opal basil is a heavy feeder and will benefit from regular fertilization. Fertilize every two weeks with a half-strength solution of all-purpose fertilizer.

If you’re growing basil in containers, use a fertilizer formulated for container plants.


To keep plants bushy and full, pinch back the tips of stems when plants are about six inches tall. Pinching also encourages side-shooting, which results in more leaves.


Basil is a drought-tolerant herb, but it grows best when the soil is kept evenly moist. Water plants regularly, especially during dry spells.

If you’re growing basil in containers, make sure to check the soil moisture level frequently.


Dark Opal basil can reach up to 20 inches in height and width.


and Fruiting

Basil blooms from mid-to-late summer. The flowers are small and insignificant and can be removed to prolong leaf production.

Dark Opal basil is grown for its leaves, which have a stronger aroma and flavor than other types of basil. The leaves are also more colorful, with a deep purple hue.

Growing From Seeds

Dark opal basil is a beautiful and fragrant herb that can add flavor and color to any dish. Though it is commonly found in grocery stores, many people don’t realize that it is relatively easy to grow at home.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to promote seed germination success.

First, dark opal basil demands warm conditions. It is advised to start the seeds indoors or to wait until temperatures outside reach 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Germination takes between two and three weeks on average. During this stage, the soil must be kept moist, and the seedlings may be transferred to a more shaded location as they grow.

With a little patience and care, soon you’ll be able to enjoy fresh dark opal basil right from your own garden.

Does basil return annually?

Annual plants, like basil, die after their first frost and don’t re-bloom the following spring. The life span of annual plants is shorter than that of perennial plants, which means that they have to be replanted each year.

If you’re hoping to keep a basil plant around for more than one season, you’ll need to take some steps to protect it from the cold.

One way to do this is to grow your basil indoors, where it will be sheltered from the elements.

Alternatively, you can covers your plants with a protective layer of mulch or fabric when the weather starts to turn cold. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy fresh basil all winter long.

How many basils are there?

There are an estimated 50 to 150 basil species in the world. The majority of these are edible, and they all come from the O. basilicum plant, also known as sweet basil.

Some of these plants are cultivars of different basil species, while others are hybrids. As a result, it can be difficult to determine which basil species a particular plant is part of.

However, all of these plants share some common traits, such as their aromatic leaves and their culinary uses. Whether you’re looking for a fragrant addition to your garden or a flavorful ingredient for your next dish, there’s sure to be a basil plant that fits your needs.

How tall does dark opal basil grow?

Basil is a popular herb that is commonly used in cooking. There are many different varieties of basil, and one of the more colorful options is dark opal basil.

This type of basil grows best in warm climates and can reach heights of 24 inches. The leaves are a deep purple color, and the plant produces small white flowers. Dark opal basil is often used as a decorative plant, but it can also be used in cooking.

The leaves have a mild flavor with hints of spice, and they can be used in salads or as a garnish for other dishes. If you are looking for a unique Basil plant for your garden, dark opal Basil is a great option.

Do basil plants keep producing?

As any gardener knows, soil is essential for growing healthy plants. Not only does it provide nutrients and support for roots, but it also helps to regulate moisture levels and prevent weed growth.

However, soil can also be quickly eroded by wind and water, damaging plant life and making it difficult for new seedlings to take root. One way to help prevent soil erosion is to maintain a healthy lawn.

Grassroots help to hold the soil in place, and the dense network of blades helps to deflect wind and water.

In addition, lawns help to slow down the flow of rainwater, giving the ground a chance to absorb the water before it runs off. As a result, a well-tended lawn can play an essential role in preventing soil erosion.

Is dark opal basil a perennial?

As any gardener knows, herbs are essential for adding flavor and zest to dishes. Not only do they provide nutrients, but they also support the immune system.

However, some herbs can be difficult to grow. Basil is a prime example. While it is relatively easy to grow basil in the spring and summer, it often dies off in the winter.

This is where Dark Opal Basil comes in. Dark Opal Basil is a perennial herb, meaning that it can survive the winter and come back year after year.

As a result, it is a great option for those who want to add basil to their dishes all year round. In addition, the dark purple leaves of Dark Opal Basil make it a beautiful and unique addition to any garden.

How do you harvest basil so it keeps producing?

Basil is a versatile and delicious herb that can be used in a variety of recipes, from pesto to Caprese salad.

If you grow your own basil, you’ll want to make sure to harvest it correctly so that it continues to produce healthy leaves.

The best time to harvest basil is in the morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the temperature rises too high. Cut off the stems just above where a pair of leaves are attached.

This will encourage the plant to produce more stems and keep it from getting leggy. Be sure to use sharp pruners or shears so that you don’t damage the plant.

After harvesting, wash the basil leaves and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. With proper care, your basil plant will keep producing all summer long.

What kind of basil is most common?

Of the many varieties of basil, sweet basil is by far the most popular. This aromatic herb is a key ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, and its sweet, slightly peppery flavor pairs well with a wide range of dishes.

Sweet basil is also relatively easy to grow, making it a favorite among home gardeners. In addition to its culinary uses, sweet basil is also used in traditional medicine.

Some believe that this type of basil can help to improve digestion and relieve headaches. Whatever its use, it is clear that sweet basil is a versatile and much-loved herb.

Is Dark Opal Basil the same as Thai basil?

There are many different types of basil, and each one has its own unique flavor and aroma.

Dark Opal basil is sometimes confused with Thai basil, but there are distinct differences between the two. Thai basil has tiny pointy leaves and purple-colored stems (and flowers).

It is also very fragrant, with strong aromas of anise and liquorice. This makes it ideal for use in Asian curries.

In contrast, Opal basil has large, dark-purple leaves and a more astringent taste than sweet basil. It also has subtle hints of cinnamon, anise, mint, cloves and.

As a result, Opal basil is best suited for use in cooked dishes rather than raw salads. So if you’re looking for a Basil to add some flavor to your Asian curry, Thai Basil is the way to go.

But if you want a more versatile Basil that can be used in a variety of dishes, then Opal Basil is the better choice.

How do you care for dark opal basil?

Water the dark opal basil when the top of the soil begins to feel dry. Be sure to check the plant daily, especially during hot summer days. The plant may need to be watered more than once a day.

Use tepid water so as not to shock the roots and leaves. Apply water directly to the soil, rather than on the leaves. too much water on the leaves can cause them to yellow and rot.

Fertilize every other week with a half-strength solution of all-purpose fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in late summer so that the plant can focus on storing energy for winter.

To encourage bushy growth, pinch back new growth on a regular basis. This will also prevent the plant from going to seed. If you want to use the basil in cooking, harvest it often by taking just what you need from each stalk.

Leave at least two sets of leaves so that the plant can continue to photosynthesize and produce food for itself. With proper care, your dark opal basil should last several months.

What is opal basil good for?

Opal basil, also known as Ocimum sanctum, is a type of basil that is native to India. The leaves of this plant are used in Ayurvedic medicine for their healing properties.

Opal basil is said to be helpful in treating various digestive problems, such as indigestion, gas, and diarrhea. It is also believed to help relieve muscle cramps and spasms, and to reduce nausea.

Additionally, opal basil has antibacterial properties and can be used to treat infections, acne, and insect bites.

When used topically, the juice of the leaves can be applied to the skin to help heal wounds and relieve inflammation. When taken internally, opal basil is said to boost the immune system, improve cognitive function, and reduce stress levels.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

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