Gardening & Landscaping Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gardeners and landscapers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've seen many people in one of my local forums say that their purple basil turned green a while after planting. There were no proper conclusions to this problem, so could someone please explain?

In my own experience, I planted a purple basil from seed. It started with purple leaves until it was medium sized, and then its leaves started to turn green.

share|improve this question

I do not have personal experience with this, but based on some discussion here it looks like the hybrids that generate purple basil can at times be unstable and revert to the traditional green basil.

The plant's hybrid parentage may cause its genetic instability when grown from seed; leaf color often varies from plant to plant and large numbers of pure green plants maybe be produced.

Another possibility mentioned on that page is that they will sometimes revert if they do not get enough sun.

Finally from here there is at least one type of basil that starts out purple and turns green as it matures: African Blue Basil.

share|improve this answer

The purple color is caused by reital which is the precursor of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is way more effective at processing sunlight then reital which is why plants ultimately replaced it with chlorophyll. Move your basil to a sunnier area and this shouldn't happen, but also having sweet basil (green) near purple basil will cause it to change as chlorophyll is a dominant gene while reital is recessive

Edit: retinal not reital

share|improve this answer
1  
Erm, planting a purple basil next to a green one won't affect the two existing plants - but could have some effect on their offspring in terms of genetic inheritence, Hunter, is that what you're saying? – Bamboo Jul 7 at 16:25

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.