African blue basil grow and care – shrub‎ type of basil of the genus Ocimum also known as Blue basil or African basil, African blue basil perennial evergreen in warm climate and annual in colder climate, used for the edible leaves and also used as ornamental plant and attract pollinators, can grow in tropic, mediterranean, subtropical or temperate climate and growing in hardiness zone: 10b+ (perennial), 5-10 (as annual).

African blue basil leaves

Leaves color of can be: green, blue or purple the shape is oval

Flower color purple, the flowers small that grow on inflorescence

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How to grow African blue basil growing condition and care:

Warm weather, rich soil, mulch on the soil especially in the winter

How to care:
Add more water in hot summer days, fertilizer 2-4 year, put organic matter, prune once a year and consider to prune the bloom stems

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Vegetative Reproduction – cutting (explanation of care bellow) / Seeds not possible to find the flowers don’t produce seeds

Is it necessary use vegetative reproduction?
Necessary, vegetative reproduction, seeds are not exist because the seeds not in exist

Difficulties or problems when growing:
In full sun there is too much flower what that makes the trim of the leaves hard work

Recommended planting season?
Spring in hardiness zone 5-10 as annual, as perennial spring to summer in hardiness zone 10b, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11 and hardiness zone 12+ all year.

Pests and diseases:
Aphids, mealy bug

Pruning season:
Autumn / beginning of the winter

How to prune:
Recommend to thinning the inner branches, don’t let the plant bloom prune the bloom stems if need to harvest,

Size of the plant:
0.6-1.2 m, 1-4 feet, and can be smaller

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Medium growing

Water requirement:
Average amount of water

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun / Half shade / Full shade – won’t produce flowers

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
Yes, but with a lot of light

Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, when grow in container, size 5-12 liter (1.5-3 gallon) amount of water that needed, it’s to keep the soil moist and the water go out of the pot, better not to use bottom of pot, when it’s grow as perianal every two years to switch soil in the pot or just part of it, soil need to be well ventilated with good drainage, rich with organic matter, can us in potting mix or peat soil with perlite or vermiculite.

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Spring / Summer

General information about the flower
Small purple flower that grow on inflorescence

Thinning the bloom:
Recommend to thinning the flower

Pollination is done by:
None it’s sterile

Vegetative Reproduction

How to start Vegetative Reproduction?
Cutting, bending a branch over and covering it with soil

The best time for vegetative reproduction:
Spring / Summer, in the house you can all the year, need to take care that it’s not too much cold and better not dry

How much time does it take to grow roots in cutting?
1-3 weeks

What is the treatment and care for vegetative reproduction?
When use soil: keep moist, better peat soil and better with root growth hormone also possible to put the stem in glass of water and switch the water every few days, cutting result better in warm season with high humidity, shade with light.

Edible leaves

Leaves harvesting season:
All year in hardiness zone 11+, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 10, end of the spring to autumn as annual

How to harvest the leaves?
Prune the entire branch, take care not to prune too much, except leave few buds and also leaves on the plant

Information about leaves:
The leaves are green, blue, purple the shape is oval

Uses of African blue basil leaves:
Pesto, spices, eaten raw

Scientific name:

Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal’


Blooming Seasons
  • Summer flowers
Edible Parts
  • Edible leaves
Culinary uses
  • Eaten raw
  • Herbs
  • Salad
  • Spices
  • Mediterranean Climate
  • Subtropics Climate
  • Temperate Climate
  • Tropics Climate
Harvest Season
  • Autumn Harvest
  • Spring Harvest
  • Summer Harvest
Leaf color
  • Blue leaves
  • Purple leaf
Ornamental parts
  • Ornamental leaves
  • Ornamental plant
Plant growing speed
  • Average growing plants
  • Fast growing plants
Plant life-form
  • Annual plant
  • Evergreen
  • Perennial plant
  • Shrub
Plant Uses
  • Colored leaves
  • Edible plants
  • Fragrance
  • Ornamental plants
Planting Season
  • Spring Planting
Plants sun exposure
  • Full sun Plants
  • Part shade Plants
Watering plants
  • Regularly water
Hardiness zone
  • Hardiness zone 10
  • Hardiness zone 11
  • Hardiness zone 12
  • Hardiness zone 13
  • Hardiness zone 5
  • Hardiness zone 6
  • Hardiness zone 7
  • Hardiness zone 8
  • Hardiness zone 9