Gotta Garden

Monday, April 02, 2007

African Blue Basil

For Yolanda Elizabet (I hope you will excuse the crazy lighting on this picture), African Blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum x basilicum 'Dark Opal')

This will be my first year growing this particular variety of basil, although my sister and others swear by it. One source, does say it can be rooted in water (and you know I will try!). It is, apparently, sterile, as it is a hybrid. Opinions differ on the taste, but I am always up for something new. A San Franciscan writer , Pam Peirce, likes its taste and the fact that they, in San Francisco (city of fog), can grow it. She also gives you a pesto recipe.

I suppose some cuttings (assuming they take) can join my other two inside basils, although I begin to think I am at my limit for overwintering basils! I'll still grow traditional large leaf basil outside as I can't imagine eating my fresh tomatoes without it!

Looks like, from the picture, I can easily snip off some to try rooting it. I'll get back to you on how it does.


Kate said...

I haven't heard of this variety of basil before. If it roots, that will be good!

Your blog is great fun to read!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Dear GG,

Thanks for taking all that trouble, I appreciate it! I'm sure you will try rooting it. ;-)

Let me know how it tastes, will you? That is after all the main thing about basil from our POV, isn't it? ;-)

sisah said...

I agree with your sister, I also swear on that type of basil. This is the fourth year I overwinter cuttings, which are really easy to grow: In late summer I take cuttings , dip them in hormone powder, put a plastic bag over them and in a few weeks they are rooting.These cuttings are standing on my kitchen window-sill all winter, so I can keep an eye on them. The mother (how do you call the original plant???) plant never survives, mainly because I always forget to water it during winter.
This spring is the first time the cuttings have aphids, I hope I find a way to get rid of these little pests.

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Kate: Thank you so much! I wonder if I am boring or whatnot, so you made my day!

YE: Indeed! My sister emailed me that she was going to post a comment as she has grown it for four years now...but needs to set up an acct...I really hope she will!

Oh, Sisah, isn't that something! Four years for you, too! I'm pleased to hear it is worth the trouble! Oh dear...those rotten aphids. I guess you've probably tried soapy water? If you find a good solution, please share!

Nicole said...

That's a pretty plant. Basil is my favorite herb,and I use some from the garden almost every day. I grow mine from seed, so though I'd like this type, not much chance of me being able to grow it unless I smuggle some cuttings from overseas! I currently grow Thai, Thai lemon, fino verde and sweet Genovese. One of my Thai basil plants is 3 years old.

Gotta Garden said...

Hi Nicole: What a nice selection of basil you grow! And, three years old, good for you! I do love basil, too...although, when I thought about it, I bet I use my chives and parsley a great deal, too...maybe the parsley the most? At any rate, once you acquire the taste, nothing but fresh will do!

Thanks for stopping by! P.S. I wish there was a way to get you some as it would obviously have a good home!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the seeds for the basil.

Felix said...

we also have an african blue that is 4 years old. We love it! Use it for cooking all the time. Ours is also being attacked by aphids... Looking for a natural pesticide to ward them off.

Josh said...

I too am an African Blue fan, its taste is bold and superb. I take cuttings for winter-time as well, and I have been keeping my African Blue, Genovese, and Thai strains going for 3 years now via cuttings.

As for your aphids, I was having the same problems, both with my plants and cuttings. I tried using organic "insect soap" spray, but the little pests just kept on coming back! The best solution I have found is to DROWN THEM! Find a container that is large enough to fully submerse the plant and its container (more easily done for cuttings than full-size plants obviously). Fill the container with room temperature water, and fully submerge the entire plant underwater. I leave them there about 2 hours, then I take them out and spray off all the leaves with a medium powered spray nossle, to remove dead bugs and their assumed eggs. Seems to be very effective so far. No more aphids!!! Hooray!

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