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Purple Opal Basil Questions

Posted by galiana 5a (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 21:45

This year I decided to try a new variety and I've started a few purple opal basil seeds in containers (organic soilless seed starter in sterilized yogurt cups with holes drilled in). Two odd things have been happening, though:

1. About half of the basil plants are the true dark purple shown on the Baker Creek seed packet label, while half are green with purple splotches. The plants look very healthy indeed, and there's no discernible health difference between the 100% purple ones and the 50% purple ones.

2. Two of the seedlings (out of 15) never got more than about an inch tall. The true leaves are half the size of pinky nail and very tightly curled, while the cotyledons were normal sized.

I did the microwave sterilization trick to the growing medium before filling the yogurt cups and adding the seeds, and have treated everyone alike, so I'm not sure what could be going on.

Have any of y'all experienced either situation #1 or situation #2? Do you have any insight into why this might be happening?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Purple Opal Basil Questions

Did you add any weak liquid fertilizer after they started getting first true leaves? Don't know why only 2 out of 15 are cranky, but it could explain the lack of growth.

As for the splotches--I started 2 different opal basils this year. One was a Red Rubin, the other labeled Rosie. The rosie came up opal from the start. The Red Rubin came up green with splotches, and slowly turned all opal as they grew. Was interesting to watch, and I have no explanation--maybe someone else does. I do know that the opal basils can revert to green--most of mine last year did as full plants due to our weather conditions.

RE: Purple Opal Basil Questions

I gave about 1/4 strength liquid seaweed like I usually do after the first true leaves appeared. Not sure why only those two were affected.

Guess I'll just chalk both situations up to genetic variance and start a couple more basils. Cheers!

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