Purple Basil Help Needed - Knowledgebase Question

Groton, CT
Question by bpatricia
March 6, 2001
I'm an experienced seed starter and usually get great results. I've been trying to grow purple basil and in particular Purple Ruffles without success. While my other basils are flourishing under the lights, the purples never get passed the "first true leaves" stage and then keel over. Is this an especially difficult type? I would appreciate any advice to actually get some Purple Ruffles into my herb garden this year.


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Answer from NGA
March 6, 2001

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I am not aware of any difference in starting Purple Ruffles as opposed to other basils, although some gardeners do report that basil in general is prone to damping off. There are some disease problems that can affect basil and so you might want to try another batch of seed and see if that helps. In addition, although I have not found this noted, it is possible that the particular variety is more sensitive to cold or excess humidity and damps off more easily. When growing the seedlings, take care not to water the foliage, ensure good air circulation, keep the temperature at about 70 degrees, and plant thin and thin them early and as needed so they are not crowded. I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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