'Crimson King' Basil Seeds

'Crimson King' Basil Seeds

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5 (1)
Richer color, better leaf form, and greater vigor
SKU 00280-PK-P1
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Description / 'Crimson King' Basil Seeds

Days to Maturity: 80 from direct sow

'Crimson King' is destined for a long and glorious reign in American gardens. This Genovese-type basil, bred in England as an improvement over the popular Red Rubin (which we still love for its own merits as well), is as ornamental as it is delicious.

You will smell 'Crimson King' before you see it, the huge, lightly cupped violet leaves releasing a spicy clove aroma. Fabulous for cooking or in fresh dishes, 'Crimson King' is a generous producer, with good branching on plants that reach 18 inches high and about a foot wide. Compact enough for containers, they stand out nicely wherever they are planted.

And 'Crimson King' is not a fussy grower. You won't find those depressing green off-shoots that so many red-leafed varieties have—'Crimson King' is 100% purple, no matter what the weather does. The growth is vigorous, too, so that you can expect to begin harvesting big, delectable leaves in less than 3 months from sowing the seed.

Basil is content to begin life indoors or out. If sowing indoors, start the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before last scheduled frost; they germinate in about 5 to 10 days, and can be transplanted when they have at least 2 sets of true leaves and the soil has warmed up.

To direct sow them, wait for the soil temperature to reach 70 degrees or so. If you are direct sowing, wait until the soil has thoroughly warmed up in spring. Then cover the seeds with about ¼-inch of soil, and thin the young plants to 12 to 15 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall.

As your basil plants grow, pinch off the central stem when they are about 6 weeks old, and prune back each stem when it has more than 8 sets of leaves. (Cut it back to the first or second set of leaves, harvesting the rest.) If you keep your plants well pinched and pruned, you should be able to harvest half a cup of fresh leaves every week during the growing season.

Basil loves hot weather and plenty of sunshine, but it needs consistently moist, rich soil. Mulch the plants to retain moisture, and water heavily during dry spells.

Harvest the plant before the cold weather sets in, as this will affect the leaves' texture and flavor. Freeze entire stems, with the leaves still attached, for best flavor retention, or dry the leaves for seasoning.

Product Details

Genus Ocimum
Species basilicum
Variety 'Crimson King'
Product Classification Annuals, Herbs, Seeds
Sun / Shade Full Sun
Foliage Color Purple
Days To Maturity 80.00
Harvest Season Early Fall, Late Fall, Late Summer, Mid Fall, Mid Summer
Resistance Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant, Pest Resistant
Characteristics Easy Care Plants, Edible, Flower, Fragrance, Herbs, Pest Fighter
Uses Beds, Containers, Cuisine, Foliage Interest, Ornamental

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Customer Reviews

Pretty purple leaves, great flavor
Review by Windowsill Gardener
I'm growing these indoors in a sunny window and they are doing very well. They have a classic basil flavor and the purple color is very striking. Older leaves do begin to to turn a bit green, but I expected this, as I'm not growing the basil in ideal conditions (they only get about five hours of direct light). Overall, it has done better than any other purple basil variety I've tried to grow inside. Excellent germination rate.

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