African Blue Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum × basilicum ‘Dark Opal’ L.)

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Origin

African blue basil is native to the African continent. It is a member of the mint family, which includes other well-known herbs such as peppermint and spearmint.

African Blue Basil
African Blue Basil

Consumption

The African blue basil plant is used as a herb in many African cuisines. It has a strong, pungent flavor and is often used to flavor stews and soups.

African blue basil is a versatile herb that can be used in many different ways. Try adding it to soups, stews, or African-inspired dishes. You can also use it to make tea or to add flavor to homemade African spice blends. African blue basil is an easy herb to grow and care for, and it will add a unique flavor to your cooking.

Medicinal Uses

African blue basil has a long history of use in traditional African medicine. It is believed to have many medicinal properties, including the ability to treat stomachaches, colds, and flu.

African blue basil is also used as a natural insecticide.

Nutritional value 

African blue basil is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron.

Location

African blue basil grows best in warm, humid climates. It can be grown in pots or in the ground.

Soil

Basil likes soil rich in organic matter, with high amounts of nitrogen and potassium. Our soils leach both of these readily, and therefore, you should replace them regularly when growing basil.

If the plant has enough nitrogen, it should grow plenty of leaves before the bud appears, giving you more basil than you can likely use.

Watering African blue basil

African blue basil should be watered regularly, especially during the hot summer months. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.

Fertilizing African blue basil

African blue basil can be fertilized with a standard liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer. African blue basil should be fertilized every two to four weeks.

Pests and Diseases

African blue basil is susceptible to aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil. African blue basil is also susceptible to root rot and powdery mildew. These diseases can be controlled with a fungicide.

Harvesting African blue basil

African blue basil can be harvested throughout the growing season. The leaves can be used fresh or dried. African blue basil can also be frozen for later use.

Harvest the growing tips when the flower buds appear by cutting a few nodes back from the bud. If you do not do this, your basil plant will soon become little more than stalks of dead flowers, with little culinary usage. If you only harvest the bud node, the plant will just grow more buds, without growing any leaves in between.

Basil, especially African Blue, is easily propagated with cuttings of new growth.

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