What Is Blue Spice Basil: Growing Blue Spice Basil Plants

By: Amy Grant

There’s nothing like the flavor of sweetbasil, and while the bright green leaves have a charm of their own,the plant is certainly not an ornamental specimen. But all that has changedwith the introduction of ‘Blue Spice’ basil plants. What is blue spice basil?Basil ‘Blue Spice’ is an ornamental basil plant that is sure to wow devotees ofthis herb. Read on for more Blue Spice basil info.

About Basil ‘Blue Spice’

Blue Spice basil plants have small, brilliantly greenleaves. When the plants bloom, they produce dense spikes of dark purple bractswith light purple flowers reminiscent of salvia.As the plant matures, the stems darken to maroon and new leaves emerge blushedwith purple.

The flavor has the quintessential licorice flavor of sweetbasil but with notes of vanilla, spice and lemon. Its unique flavor profilelends itself well to tomato, eggplant, and zucchini dishes as well as meat,fish and cheese dishes.

Blue Spice basil blooms earlier than most other sweet basils,from June to the first fall frosts. The growth habit is compact and uniform,and plants attain a size of about 18 inches (45 cm.) tall by 12 inches (30 cm.)wide.

This annual prefers full sun exposure, but will toleratedappled shade. The more sun the plant gets, the deeper the purple hues. Likeother types of basil, ‘Blue Spice’ mixes well in the garden and looksparticularly stunning when combined with the classic herb garden combo oforange marigolds.

Growing Blue Spice Basil

Blue Spice basil, like other basilvarieties, is a tender herb. It can be grown in USDA zones 3-10. Itcan be grown as an annual outdoors or as a perennial inside on a sunnywindowsill.

Basil likes fertile soil that has been well tilled. Amendthe soil with well-rotted organic compost or manure a month prior to sowing.Keep the area weed free and moist.

Sow seeds inside for transplanting outdoors in lateFebruary. If you wish to direct sow, wait until late March when there is nochance of frost and soil temperatures have warmed. Sow seeds thinly and coverlightly with soil.

Germination should occur in a week to two weeks. Once theseedlings develop their first two sets of true leaves, thin the plants out,leaving only the strongest seedlings.

Once established, basil requires very little care. Keep theplants lightly watered, the area weed free and pinch off any blooms.

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Basil Blue Spice

Kind Herbs Scientific name Ocimum americanum x basilicum Item number 2064 Brand 123seeds Topselect Amount of seeds 1600

Basil Blue Spice is a basil variety with very attractive, vanilla scented, aromatic light purple till light blue coloured flowers surrounded by dark green, serrated, smooth and glossy leaves. This herb is very appetizing and it originates from the Mediterrean area. It's grown in our climate on a very sunny plot as an annual. Basil Blue Spice can also be sown indoors in large pots. Basil combines very well with tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, garlic, meat, fisch and cheese.

Basil Blue Spice is also delicious in vinaigrettes, pickled in vinegar and in oil. Basil looses a lot of flavour during cooking, so don't cook it too long. You can add basil fresh and sliced to heated dishes after cooking. Use basil cold in pesto, salads and in salad Caprese. Add basil to pastasauces, soups, marinade, omelettes and on pizza's after cooking. Non hardy annual. Height: 30 - 45 cm.

Productgroup Herb seeds
Scientific name Ocimum americanum x basilicum
Sowing guide Download PDF
Sowing period April-May
Days till harvest 60-70
Content 1600 seeds
Synonyms edible flower, edible flowers

Indoor sowing : from April

Germination temp.: 18 - 22 °C

Plant position: sunny and sheltered (greenhouse)

Sow indoors from April on. Use seedtrays filled with moist potting soil. Sow shallow and thin. Press the seeds gently on to the soil, but don't cover them. Basil is a light germinator. Use a spray bottle to water the seeds, so you don't disturb them. Cover the trays with a lid to retain the moisture. Keep the temperature as even as possible and don't let the temperature drop during the night.

Remove the lid when the seedlings emerge. Transplant the seedlings, when they're large enough to handle, to seperate pots. Harden the seedlings of by putting them outdoors on a sunny place with shelter during the day for about 10 - 14 days, in the beginning of May. Plant them after this period on a very sunny and sheltered plot, from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of nightfrosts. Keep the plants 20 - 25 cm apart.

Sow outdoors from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of nights frosts. Sow on a sunny plot with shelter. Sow thinly and shallow and press the seeds gently on to the soil. Don't cover them, because basil is a light germinator. Thin the seedlings, when they're large enough to handle, to 20 - 25 cm. Water them during the germination and with drought. Never let basil dry completely out. Pick the leaves from the top of and keep picking to stimulate new growth. Basil needs a lot of light, warmth and water to grow. It needs at least 5 - 6 ours of light each day to thrive.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Basil is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. When taken by mouth as a medicine, basil is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Basil herb and basil oil contain estragole. Estragole is a chemical that might increase the risk of getting liver cancer.

When applied to the skin: Basil essential oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin in concentrations of up to 6% for 12 weeks.

When inhaled as aromatherapy: There isn't enough reliable information to know to know if basil is safe or what the side effects might be.

Plants→Basils→African Blue Basil (Ocimum 'African Blue')

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Plant Height :2-3 feet
Plant Spread :2-3 feet
Leaves:Unusual foliage color
Flower Color:Lavender
Bloom Size:Under 1"
Flower Time:Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses:Culinary Herb
Edible Parts:Leaves
Eating Methods:Culinary Herb/Spice
Wildlife Attractant:Bees
Resistances:Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Seeds:Will not come true from seed
Other info: This cultivar is sterile and does not form seeds
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Containers:Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Parentage :Ocimum kilimandscharicum x Dark Opal

A very attractive and sterile ornamental basil that produces a profusion of lovely, purple tinged leaves and continuous large spires of blooms all season long. The flowers are beloved of pollinating insects of all kinds. It is such a joy to see so many native bees working this plant!

'African Blue' is my favorite ornamental basil. I have grown it two seasons in a row now, and I intend to grow it next year as well. It grows in full sun to a good 3 feet high, bearing tall stalks of pink flowers against purple-veined leaves. 'African Blue' is a cross between Ocimum kilimandscharicum and Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal'. The pollinators love it. Its high camphor content (inherited from its East African parent, Ocimum kilimandscharicum, or camphor basil) makes it a less desirable culinary herb, but it is beautiful as an ornamental pollinator magnet.

This is my favorite basil. Its flavor is a bit more mellow than sweet basil. I find it blends well with sweet basil when I make pesto, it provides a bit more depth. It's also a beautiful plant.

This plant has performed exceptionally well for me. Which is no easy feat for any plant in my garden this year. I had mass casualties from squirrels, gophers, and spider mites. Yet my African Blue Basil looks perfect. It is a blooming machine and always looks healthy. The bees are very fond of it, which is great. I highly recommended this plant!

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