Basil is a popular, fragrant herb with a variety of culinary uses. A commercial, sterilized, soilless potting mix containing organic compost or peat provides the light texture and good drainage a container basil needs. During summer, the plant may need watering twice a day. thyrsiflora) finds its way into curries, stir fries and other Asian specialties. Plant the new basil in a sunny area, water in and fertilize with a nutrient rich fish emulsion or seaweed solution two to three times during their active growing season. When growing basil indoors for transplant, start them 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. If you choose to add fertilizer, a light application of a liquid fertilizer twice a season is all you really need for basil growing outdoors. Planting basil from seed is truly enjoyable. It prefers full sunlight (6+ hours a day of direct light) and a warm climate, meaning more than 70 °F (21 °C) during the day and no colder than 50 °F (10 °C) at night. A rain gauge helps determine when to water. You can put basil in bouquets, tisanes, soups, and almost any fish dish. How to Grow Basil Make sure that the soil is moist. Sun is a key ingredient. soil Expect to use between 60 and 90 pounds of compost for each 10 square feet of soil. A container plant, however, needs regular fertilizing to compensate for the nutrients rain and watering leach from its potting mix. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. If your choice is to purchase from the nursery, pick up a rosemary plant as well. Thai basil prefers soil that is lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained and rich in organic matter, such as compost. It's a warm season annual, it will grow 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. In a pinch, you can bruise the leaves of basil and rub the oils on your skin as a mosquito repellent. To be able to mature fully, this herb needs to be exposed for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. Also referred to as ‘Sweet Thai,’ Thai basil plants grow to a height of between 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm.) The United States National Arboretum: Basil-icious! Basil prefers a rich well drained soil in a sheltered yet warm position.. More information on Thai Basil seeds. All the time you are growing basil indoors the light will coming from only one direction and the plant will tend to grow towards that light. **Adding compost at planting time provides garden Thai basil with the necessary nutrients for the entire growing season. During the first 2 months of the growing period, fertilize every 2 weeks. Like sweet basil, Thai basil is a perennial. Thai Basil has aromatic, pointed green leaves with a hint of licorice flavor. Thai basil plants do best with at least six to eight hours of daily sun. More increases its risk of root rot. It can sustain much larger plants, and they don’t dry out quite as quickly. Plant basil outside after all danger of frost has passed, choosing a sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil or grow plants in containers. Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. If in doubt, plant in a greenhouse, tunnel house or inside. It thrives in full sun but will tolerate part shade. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Missouri Botanical Garden: Ocimum Basilicum, Napa Master Gardener Column: Your Garden in June, Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science: Growing, Selecting, and Using Basil. Fertilize plants every three weeks with a half-strength dose of micronutrient-enriched, 12-4-8 liquid houseplant food. In order to grow Thai basil plants indoors, it’s important to mimic the outdoor conditions of summertime. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! The basil seeds may germinate naturally in an outdoor garden and provide tiny new basil plants come spring. How to propagate Thai basil An annual herb, Thai basil is best grown from seed sown in punnets or trays before being transplanted out into the garden. long on purple stems with purple flowers. There are actually over 100 varieties of basil that all have slightly different tastes, from Italian sweet basil to Thai spicy basil. In any case, it’s better to avoid growing Thai basil at a temperature below 68°F (20°C) during the … Thai basil may also be used as an aromatherapy treatment by bruising the leaves and inhaling their aroma. Thai basil … Either … Potted Thai basil dries out quickly. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors, from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon, and licorice. Rosemary and Thai basil work well planted together as they enjoy similar well-drained soil, water, and fertilization. Pinch the leaves or stems off between your thumb and forefinger, or remove them with clean, sharp stem clippers. National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Basil. Boasting maroon-stemmed, glossy-green leaves and blue-violet blossoms attractive enough to grace flower arrangements, Thai basil grows equally well as a garden or container plant. All Rights Reserved. Popular among the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, growing Thai basil has a pleasing aroma similar to sweet basil and is generally used fresh in recipes. Based on testimonies, basil is best grown around parsley, oregano, chamomile, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. with leaves 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) To test it, insert a finger into the top 1 inch of potting soil. Unless, you are growing Thai basil as an ornamental, cut the flower off several days before harvest so the plant can focus all its energy on the leaves. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family. Thai basil plants do best with at least six to eight hours of daily sun. And growing basil outside rather than indoors is the easiest of all — it grows throughout USDA zones 2 to 11, according to Missouri Botanical Garden. Space the plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Basil is an annual plant, and like me, it enjoys a somewhat tropical environment. It will grow quite well in part-shade or diffused light, but it tends to stretch and become leggy. If you're planning to grow basil in a pot and want to add fertilizer, your plants will require only a very weak liquid solution every 3 to 4 weeks to compensate for nutrients washed away by frequent watering. If the temperature drops below 39°F, basil will turn up its toes and die. Sun is a key ingredient. Florida Gardener: Can You Imagine a Garden Without Basil? Select an 8- to 12-inch diameter planter with good drainage. Thai basil can be purchased from the nursery or started from seed. A windowsill is often a good place to grow your basil but make sure that it is free from draughts - some windows, even double-glazed ones, sometimes let small draughts in and basil hates draughts. One inch of weekly water through the growing season keeps a garden plant healthy. Grow a few basil plants in containers so you can bring them indoors before fall frost. Simply add basil to mayonnaise for a basic aioli. An 8-inch lettuce bowl or 6-inch pot has room for a single plant. Sign up for our newsletter. To get the highest yield of tender and flavorful leaves, pinch the tip of each branch, starting in early summer when the plants are 6" tall, to encourage bushiness. Amend the soil before planting by working a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic, well-aged compost worked into its 6 to 8 inches. 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Handle the plants carefully, as they are quite delicate. Sweet basil thrives year-round if you grow it indoors, but it is an annual plant outdoors. Adding compost at planting time provides garden Thai basil with the necessary nutrients for the entire growing season. It thrives on the same conditions as basil nice sunny spot with well drained soil and water regularly. Basil hates having wet roots overnight, so aim to water plants in the morning if possible. Choose growing basil seeds or plants. You can keep a plant in a pot going all summer long by moving it into a slightly bigger container every time roots show through the drainage holes in the bottom – plants could end up in a 20cm (8in) container. Start your seeds off in pots of moist peat-free multi-purpose compost on a warm but not sunny windowsill. If you use clippers, disinfect them between cuts in rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading disease. It grows very much like common basil except when it flowers it has nice deep purple flowers. Seed can also be sown outdoors in drills from May -June 6″ apart. Take the number of stems or leaves you need by pinching them off directly above another set of leaves. Mix the water-soluble liquid with water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply it at the same time you water your plants. Because it holds up better to heat, Thai basil is ideal for wilting into sauces at the end of cooking. Growing Thai basil tends to be more compact than other types of basil, so harvest at the top of a group of leaves; otherwise, the stem will rot. With their lovely purple stems and purple-veined leaves on a shiny, dark green background, Thai basil plants are grown not only for their culinary uses but also as an ornamental specimen. When to Plant Basil. Fertilize basil plants with liquid plant food every 2-4 weeks. Keep reading for more information on Thai basil uses. Yum! Basil plants are easily grown and trimmed to form protective hedges. Thai basil can be grown alongside common sweet basil. Always follow label recommendations for the amount and frequency of fertilizer applications. If you would like to know how to grow a big harvest of basil watch this video for my five top tips on basil growing! For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Basil should be fertilized on a regular basis with organic fertilizer. Leaf colors span from rich green to deep purple, with smooth or crinkled leaves… When you harvest your growing Thai basil plant, take it down to about 6 inches (15 cm.). It is closely identified with Italian cooking, although it is originally from India. Be sure to try Thai basil, holy basil, and red rubin basil — each variety has its own characteristics. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. If, at the week's end, it registers less than 1 inch, provide enough supplemental water to make up the difference. If you live in a hot area, use mulch around the plants (the mulch will help hold in moisture and suppress weeds). In comaprison to the common basil it has got white flowers. Thai basil plants are great to grow in a kitchen window, not just because it provides quick access to the tasty herb, but also because it is a fly repellent. How to Grow & Use Basil; where to buy thai basil seeds Once frozen, remove from the tray and store in resealable bags in the freezer for up to two months. Grow potted Thai basil in a dark plastic container with multiple drainage holes. Harvest the leaves in the morning when their essential oils are at their peak and the flavor of the growing Thai basil will be at a premium. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology. They can also be bruised and rubbed beneath the eyes and on the forehead for a relaxing reprieve from a long stressful day. thyrsiflora) is a member of the mint family and as such has a particular sweet flavor reminiscent of anise, licorice and clove. When harvesting Thai basil, remember to be gentle as the leaves bruise easily and you don’t want that to happen until you are going to use them. Passionate for travel and the well-written word, Judy Wolfe is a professional writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate in advanced floral design. For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Thai basil plants do best with at least **six to eight hours of daily sun. Seeds germinate slowly, a bit faster when heated from below, and basil enjoys hot weather and full sun. It also dries and freezes well so you can have the herb to use all winter long. Basil plants are one of the most popular herbs to grow and also one of the easiest. Start seed indoors for 4 weeks before introducing to the outside environment for 2 weeks prior to planting. Likewise, it should be kept watered to avoid drying the soil quickly. Grow basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position out of direct midday sun. To me, Thai basil lends a bit of mystery to a dish with warm licorice or anise flavor. Plant outdoors in early spring as long as temperatures don’t drop below 50°F. Basil needs a spot with full sun and a little afternoon shade in hot climates but you can also grow basil in pots indoors, window sills are the perfect spot. Growing Sweet Basil Indoors. Care should be taken not to plant basil outdoors until after the last spring frost has passed. Basil can also be grown as a window ledge plant all year round. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! To get a quality crop that lasts from early spring to mid-autumn, it’s best to grow basil in a container. If you grow yours in containers like I do, the container itself … Thai basil grow and care – shrub type of basil of genus Ocimum also known as Thailand basil, Thai basil perennial or cold annual plant used as edible plant for the leaves also used as ornamental plant and it’s fragrant, can grow in mediterranean, subtropical, temperate or tropic climate and growing in hardiness zone: 10b+ (perennial), 5-10 (as annual). In loose, well-draining soil, 1 inch amounts to roughly 6 gallons for each 10 square feet. Keep plants bushy and productive by pinching the tips of branches regularly and re… Growing Basil Outdoors or In Basil plants like moisture. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Basil from Seed Guide and grow some flavour.! As basil stems aren’t very strong it doesn’t fare well in windy conditions so it is best to keep it protected. Recipes online include one for making Thai basil beer and a recipe for Thai basil pesto with peanuts, rice vinegar, fish sauce and sesame oil, which will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Now that you have harvested the basil, what are you going to do with it? That temperature should then drop at night to somewhere around 68°F (20°C). If the plant is between 6 and 8 inches tall, it's large enough to harvest for the kitchen. Fill the planter half-full with potting soil. Herb Society of America: Basil Growing Guide, Landreth Seed Company Newsletter: Container Gardening -- Things Every Container Gardener Should Know. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish. Also, water the Thai basil prior to harvest to intensify the flavor. When flowers appear on your plant, … If the gauge holds 3/4 inch of water, for example, provide 1 1/2 gallons of water for every 10 square feet of soil. Thai basil is usually used fresh, preferably soon after harvesting, but you can also chop it up or run it through a food processor and freeze in ice cube trays. If you make a mistake, cut the stem all the way back to the next set of leaves. Will you start by growing basil seeds or basil plants? It is from the same family as the common basil. Over-watering will cause the leaves to yellow and drop, and under-watering will make flowers and buds suffer, so it is important to attain a balance when watering Thai basil. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Thai basil leaves are at their fragrant, flavorful best just as flower buds emerge. One manufacturer recommends a solution of 2 teaspoons of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water; reduce that to 1 teaspoon for Thai basil. Growing Cultures. A temperature of around 75°F (24°C) during the day is optimal for Thai basil. Plant Height. If we look at how to plant Thai basil in the home garden, our first concern is obtaining the plants. Outdoors, containers (sow direct in final pots, or in plugs and later transplant to final pots), and hydroponics. 3. Aspect: The stems of basil tend to be quite brittle, so are easily broken by wind. Nighttime temperature must not go below 50° Fahrenheit or 10° Celsius. Well-drained soil is good soil for basil. Some Thai basil uses are to infuse with vinegar or oil, to flavor Pho with mint and chilies, make tea, or pair with most any chicken, pork or beef dish. Care needed to grow a sweet basil plant varies slightly between indoor and outdoor cultivation. A licorice- and clove-infused variety of the annual sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) used to spice up many tomato-based dishes, Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. Water weekly but keep the water off the leaves; water from the base. The reason to grow buckets of basil is classic pesto, which freezes well in small jars, or ice cube trays. The deeper root zone makes a huge difference when growing basil in containers. Sunlight: Basil is happiest in a warm spot in full sun, however in hot regions it will benefit from some shade. Provide plants with plenty of sunlight - supplementing with grow lights if necessary - and keep them in a warm location to encourage strong, healthy growth of plants and the best tasting foliage. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish. Or make a second sowing outdoors in June in order to have small plants to pot … There are as many uses for basil as there are types. If it feels dry, water the plant until liquid runs from its drainage holes. At the end of the growing season, keep your basil. Don’t even think of planting the larger and more vigorous green basils, cinnamon basil, or Thai basil in a pot smaller than 12” (30 cm). Plant the new basil in a sunny area, water in and fertilize with a nutrient rich fish emulsion or seaweed solution two to three times during their active growing season.
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