On Jan 25, 2013, saskboy from Regina, SK (Zone 3b) wrote:
I use red rubin as an ornamental accent plant more than for culinary purposes. the flavor is a bit sharper than other basils, but it adds interesting flavor if used sparingly in salads or pestos. It tends not to be as large and vigorous as the more common green leafed varieties. It is quite compact and full if pinched when small. The color is very dark and more uniform than with either dark opal or purple ruffles. It need excellent air circulation or it will easily rot when in seedling stage. for this reason i would not advise growing it indoors, unless you have a large already established plant to bring in in the fall before frost. Ive also found this basil to be more frost sensitive than others.
But the color simply cant be beat, it looks fantastic in a mixed pot as an accent to hot pink, red, or lavender/lilac colored flowers.
On May 22, 2012, mrhank from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Beautiful and interesting, but not the most vigorous in my opinion.
I grew four groups of Basils from seed this spring and thought I'd see how they stacked up comparatively. Genovese, Sweet, Red Rubin and Lime (not a basilicum... but another Ocimum species). Started them all on the potting bench in small seedling pots (dozens of 'em) and worked 'em up to larger pots and then into the gardens.
Only one Red Rubin has made it so far... but she's a beauty.
Bugs seem to love to eat the little seedlings down to the dirt while ignoring my other basils... but there are no bug issues at all with the surviving plant now.
My others basils are booming but Red Rubin isn't. It looks good and I'll grow it again because it is interesting and the colors are nice... but I don't think I'm going to get to have a red basil salad (as another commenter suggested). I think this might just be a symptom of my particular garden environment (humidity, insects, etc.) I seem to recall better luck in Illinois. Amazing how things do well in some places and just OK in others.
Looking forward to seeing how it makes through the whole season... and I'll try again next year.
On Aug 20, 2009, grrrlgeek from Grayslake, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Nice enough basil, but didn't keep it's color well for me.
9/12/09--Now has just about died off rather early, we did have a couple of nights in the 40's that adversely affected a couple of types of basil. Or maybe this one is just short lived. It was kept in full morning and midday sun.
On Jul 29, 2008, teachnkids from Cranberry Township, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Having previously only grown green basil varieties, I was eager to try this purple type. I love it. It has been very easy to grow, and I believe that it is even more aromatic than the typical green varieties. My husband enjoys it so much he actually asked me to make a salad using the basil as the "lettuce." (While my husband always liked the other basil I grew, he never seemed that excited about it.) I haven't made the salad yet, due to the fact that this seems a little excessive to me. But, now that I know how much he enjoys this variety, I have been VERY liberal in my use of it. My two year old son also loves to eat the leaves straight off the plants.
I grew this plant in a couple of different locations this year. I have a pot of basil in full sun that looks magnificant. The leaves are all a deep purple/black color. I wanted to use this as an ornamental/usable plant in my blue and purple flower garden. I love the way the follage reflects the colors of the flowers in the garden. In addition, when I do let this basil flower, they are lavendar/purple flower spirals.
I ran out of room for my basil seedlings, so I ended up planting the remaining seedlings in with the tomatoes. The tomatoes have now taken over the area and hidden the basil. These basil plants get little to no sunlight. While they are not as big and leafy as my other plants, they are in no way a disappointment. Due to the fact that they get almost no sun, the leaves are green. However, all the veins in the leaves are still the deep purple color, making the leaves very striking to look at. I like to use these leaves, along with some of the others as garnishes. They make a very attractive, attention grabbing display on a plate or dish.
As someone else mentioned, it is important to pinch this variety back, as with all basil, in order to keep it from getting leggy. This produces a dense, round little plant.
Also, I found that Japanese beetles like to nibble on the leaves. Left unchecked, they would consume my plants. Interestingly enough, they don't seem to have found the basil under the tomato plants. I only have to keep an eye on my basil in full sun.
On May 14, 2007, nanabest1 from Clarkston, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I purchased this plant and placed it in a pot indoors near a sunny window. I was told not to put it outside until frost danger has passed. It did not survive inside, it wilted and died within one week. Who can help?
An improved version of 'Dark Opal'. Among my favorite basils, both for taste and appearance. One of the more uniform colored purple varieties. As with most basils, keep pinching back throughout the season to keep plants compact and productive. The flowers (tall pale purple salvia-like spires) are just lovely, but if the plants are being used as edibles, best not to let them flower/go to seed until early fall.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Madison, Alabama Clovis, California West And East Lealman, Florida Gages Lake, Illinois Western Springs, Illinois West Lafayette, Indiana Urbandale, Iowa Kansas City, Kansas Clarkston, Michigan Concordia, Missouri Ramblewood, New Jersey Valencia, Pennsylvania Regina, Saskatchewan North Augusta, South Carolina Austin, Texas Elgin, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Houston, Texas Pecan Grove, Texas San Antonio, Texas Fairlawn, Virginia