Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Purple Basil

Purple basil is about, well, the color of the leaves! They have a slightly spicy clove-like and licorice flavor, and a pot of purple basil on your patio adds striking color to your space. The flavor of purple basil is more intense than traditional sweet basil, and it’s considered an ornamental edible—looks great, and you can eat it too!

Sun Exposure

  • Full sun (six to eight hours)

Soil pH

  • 6.0 to 7.0

Hardiness Zones

  • 4 to 10 as an annual
  • 11 as a perennial


  • 8 to 18 inches apart


  • Water 1 inch per week
  • Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy


  • Grows up to 2 feet tall
  • Deep purple or burgundy foliage, with a coppery glow
  • Needs at least six hours of sun per day to thrive
  • Can be grown from seeds or transplants in well-drained soil
  • Great in Asian or Italian dishes, on salads, preserved in oils and vinegars—or even as a striking garnish for any dish

Do you grow purple basil? If so, please tell us your top tips for ensuring a bountiful harvest and exactly how you use it.


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