Basil, Purple Ruffles
Burpee-bred, All-America Selections winner.
Days To Maturity
Container Plant, Fragrant
Direct Sow/Indoor Sow
Plant Shipping Information
Basil may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden, or planted as a potted plant.
Sowing Seed Indoors:
- Sow basil seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit
- Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Sowing Directly in the Garden:
- Direct sow in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost when the soil is at least 60 degrees F.
- Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Sow seeds evenly and cover with ¼ inches of fine soil.
- Firm the soil lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-14 days, possibly longer in cooler soils.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker.
- Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For herbs, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. Basil should not be allowed to dry out.
- Pinch the stems to encourage bushiness. Pinch flowers off to prolong the harvest.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Discard plants after they bloom.
- Pinch leaves from the tips of the stems as needed starting 60-90 days after the seedlings have two sets of leaves.
- If fresh, pick early in the morning for highest oil content.
- For drying or freezing, harvest leaves that have their maximum oil content, just before flowering.
- To harvest the leaves, pinch the stems just above a set of leaves as needed from the top. This will also help keep the plants bushy.
- Do not harvest too much of the plant at one time as this may weaken the plant.
- Flowers are also edible and may be used as a garnish.
- To dry, cut whole stems on a dry morning. Tie stems loosely together in small bunches and hang in a dry, airy location out of the sun. Basil may also be dried on a cheesecloth or a window screen in a dry, shady location. When thoroughly dry, store in a tightly sealed glass jar in a dry, dark location.
- Basil may be frozen dry on a cookie sheet and then sealed in zip lock bags, or it can be minced and frozen in an ice cube tray in water or olive oil.
- You can also preserve basil using sea salt. Place a layer of sea salt on the bottom of the container you will use. Place a leaf on top of the salt. Add a layer of salt to cover the leaf so the leaves do not touch each other. Make as many layers are you have room for and seal the container and place in the refrigerator.
SunFull SunDays To Maturity60-90 daysLife CycleAnnualHeight12-18 inchesSpread10-12 inchesAdditional UsesContainer Plant, FragrantSow MethodDirect Sow/Indoor SowPlanting TimeSpring, SummerThin12 inches
Basil, Purple Ruffles is rated out of 5 by 4.Rated 3 out of 5 by 1234 from 100% death rate in 6 yrs ALL purple ruffles died. this yrs current crop of 8 are now dead. Why? Part sun, mostly sun - doesn't seem to matter. All other basils & herbs are fine. Big ? will seek answers to why I continue dysfunctional relationship with purple ruffles w/ therapist before next yr.Date published: 2014-05-17Rated 1 out of 5 by djterry11 from Very Disappointed Like the previous reviewer, these were not purple in the least bit. I was SO looking forward to the purple ruffles to add interest to my garden but what I got was nothing different from any regular basil. Green and flat leafed. I was sorely disappointed. On another note, they grew well. Wonderful neatly rounded bush. Honestly almost perfect in it's roundness. The bush was very thick also and smelled absolutely wonderful. Lasted all summer and into the first half of the fall. I honestly don't know what happened here, maybe a seed mixup? I do find it odd that another reviewer had the same results though.Date published: 2012-02-19Rated 1 out of 5 by MLissCA from Neither purple nor ruffled What the heck happened here? I started this seed and all that has germinated is flat leafed green basil that looks not unlike any other standard variety. No purple ruffles to be found here. In addition, my germination rate was well below 50%. This was a huge disappointment all-around.Date published: 2011-04-26Rated 5 out of 5 by MiamiGardener from Great Basil for Pesto I started growing this last year and i like it as much as the green basil. I've grown it both in the garden and container. Living in Florida, I like it better in the containers, less bugs eating it up. I just made some fresh pesto and it was delicious. I don't think its that mild as the description said... Here's the recipe I used: 3 cups basil, 2/3 cup Parmesan, 2/3 cup olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, 4-5 peeled walnuts. put everything in the processor and thats it. Then mix with some alfredo or marinara sauce and serve with your favorite pasta. DELICIOUS!! (The recipe is just a guideline, u might want to add more parmesan or oil; suit to ur taste).Date published: 2007-11-19