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Sweet basil thrives year-round if you grow it indoors, but it is an annual plant outdoors. If your choice is to purchase from the nursery, pick up a rosemary plant as well. Thai basil leaves are at their fragrant, flavorful best just as flower buds emerge. If you make a mistake, cut the stem all the way back to the next set of leaves. They can also be bruised and rubbed beneath the eyes and on the forehead for a relaxing reprieve from a long stressful day. Fertilize plants every three weeks with a half-strength dose of micronutrient-enriched, 12-4-8 liquid houseplant food. Water weekly but keep the water off the leaves; water from the base. Basil plants are one of the most popular herbs to grow and also one of the easiest. Adding compost at planting time provides garden Thai basil with the necessary nutrients for the entire growing season. Basil can also be grown as a window ledge plant all year round. Keep plants bushy and productive by pinching the tips of branches regularly and re… When you harvest your growing Thai basil plant, take it down to about 6 inches (15 cm.). All Rights Reserved. Sun is a key ingredient. If you use clippers, disinfect them between cuts in rubbing alcohol to avoid spreading disease. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Work in the early morning after the dew has dried from the leaves, and be sure to leave at least three sets of leaves on each stem. It is closely identified with Italian cooking, although it is originally from India. Growing Cultures. 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. In order to grow Thai basil plants indoors, it’s important to mimic the outdoor conditions of summertime. Keep reading for more information on Thai basil uses. In loose, well-draining soil, 1 inch amounts to roughly 6 gallons for each 10 square feet. 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). 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. 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. Thai basil prefers soil that is lightly moist, slightly acidic, well-drained and rich in organic matter, such as compost. When flowers appear on your plant, … Thai basil may also be used as an aromatherapy treatment by bruising the leaves and inhaling their aroma. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish. The United States National Arboretum: Basil-icious! 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. In a pinch, you can bruise the leaves of basil and rub the oils on your skin as a mosquito repellent. 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. Seed can also be sown outdoors in drills from May -June 6″ apart. Care should be taken not to plant basil outdoors until after the last spring frost has passed. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family. There are actually over 100 varieties of basil that all have slightly different tastes, from Italian sweet basil to Thai spicy basil. At the end of the growing season, keep your basil. Plant outdoors in early spring as long as temperatures don’t drop below 50°F. 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 growing basil indoors for transplant, start them 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date. Thai basil can be purchased from the nursery or started from seed. Choose growing basil seeds or plants. Leaf colors span from rich green to deep purple, with smooth or crinkled leaves… Handle the plants carefully, as they are quite delicate. 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. The reason to grow buckets of basil is classic pesto, which freezes well in small jars, or ice cube trays. 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. 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. Sunlight: Basil is happiest in a warm spot in full sun, however in hot regions it will benefit from some shade. 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. How to Grow & Use Basil; where to buy thai basil seeds Outdoors, containers (sow direct in final pots, or in plugs and later transplant to final pots), and hydroponics. Take the number of stems or leaves you need by pinching them off directly above another set of leaves. 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. **Adding compost at planting time provides garden Thai basil with the necessary nutrients for the entire growing season. 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. A container plant, however, needs regular fertilizing to compensate for the nutrients rain and watering leach from its potting mix. Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. Follow along with this handy How to Grow Basil from Seed Guide and grow some flavour.! Thai Basil has aromatic, pointed green leaves with a hint of licorice flavor. Well-drained soil is good soil for basil. To get a quality crop that lasts from early spring to mid-autumn, it’s best to grow basil in a container. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Grow potted Thai basil in a dark plastic container with multiple drainage holes. 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. Grow basil in well-drained, fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position out of direct midday sun. 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. It's a warm season annual, it will grow 1 to 2 feet tall and wide. When to Plant Basil. 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. Basil plants like moisture. Care needed to grow a sweet basil plant varies slightly between indoor and outdoor cultivation. The extremely aromatic leaves also have a delightful variety of flavors, from the slightly lemony-mint of sweet basil to cinnamon, and licorice. If the temperature drops below 39°F, basil will turn up its toes and die. 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. Basil hates having wet roots overnight, so aim to water plants in the morning if possible. Will you start by growing basil seeds or basil plants? More increases its risk of root rot. Thai basil plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to flourish. Seeds germinate slowly, a bit faster when heated from below, and basil enjoys hot weather and full sun. 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. thyrsiflora) finds its way into curries, stir fries and other Asian specialties. 3. 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. Plant basil outside after all danger of frost has passed, choosing a sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil or grow plants in containers. The basil seeds may germinate naturally in an outdoor garden and provide tiny new basil plants come spring. Basil should be fertilized on a regular basis with organic fertilizer. Sign up for our newsletter. One inch of weekly water through the growing season keeps a garden plant healthy. Always follow label recommendations for the amount and frequency of fertilizer applications. Select an 8- to 12-inch diameter planter with good drainage. Nighttime temperature must not go below 50° Fahrenheit or 10° Celsius. In comaprison to the common basil it has got white flowers. Thai basil plants do best with at least **six to eight hours of daily sun. Basil is a popular, fragrant herb with a variety of culinary uses. 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. During summer, the plant may need watering twice a day. Or make a second sowing outdoors in June in order to have small plants to pot … Simply add basil to mayonnaise for a basic aioli. A temperature of around 75°F (24°C) during the day is optimal for Thai basil. Either … Grow a few basil plants in containers so you can bring them indoors before fall frost. 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. There are as many uses for basil as there are types. Based on testimonies, basil is best grown around parsley, oregano, chamomile, lettuce, peppers and tomatoes. Basil plants are easily grown and trimmed to form protective hedges. Once frozen, remove from the tray and store in resealable bags in the freezer for up to two months. Her thousands of published articles cover topics from travel and gardening to pet care and technology. If you grow yours in containers like I do, the container itself … Florida Gardener: Can You Imagine a Garden Without Basil? Also, water the Thai basil prior to harvest to intensify the flavor. Herb Society of America: Basil Growing Guide, Landreth Seed Company Newsletter: Container Gardening -- Things Every Container Gardener Should Know. It will grow quite well in part-shade or diffused light, but it tends to stretch and become leggy. To test it, insert a finger into the top 1 inch of potting soil. Start your seeds off in pots of moist peat-free multi-purpose compost on a warm but not sunny windowsill. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Basil prefers a rich well drained soil in a sheltered yet warm position.. More information on Thai Basil seeds. 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. Fill the planter half-full with potting soil. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. If you live in a hot area, use mulch around the plants (the mulch will help hold in moisture and suppress weeds). Thai basil … It thrives on the same conditions as basil nice sunny spot with well drained soil and water regularly. It also dries and freezes well so you can have the herb to use all winter long. Sun is a key ingredient. Now that you have harvested the basil, what are you going to do with it? It is from the same family as the common basil. One manufacturer recommends a solution of 2 teaspoons of fertilizer in 1 gallon of water; reduce that to 1 teaspoon for Thai basil. Thai basil plants do best with at least six to eight hours of daily sun. Basil is an annual plant, and like me, it enjoys a somewhat tropical environment. That temperature should then drop at night to somewhere around 68°F (20°C). It thrives in full sun but will tolerate part shade. Plant Height. Because it holds up better to heat, Thai basil is ideal for wilting into sauces at the end of cooking. 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. Mix the water-soluble liquid with water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and apply it at the same time you water your plants. A rain gauge helps determine when to water. To me, Thai basil lends a bit of mystery to a dish with warm licorice or anise flavor. 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! 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. You can put basil in bouquets, tisanes, soups, and almost any fish dish. 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. Be sure to try Thai basil, holy basil, and red rubin basil — each variety has its own characteristics. A commercial, sterilized, soilless potting mix containing organic compost or peat provides the light texture and good drainage a container basil needs. Fertilize basil plants with liquid plant food every 2-4 weeks. Thai basil plants do best with at least six to eight hours of daily sun. Pinch the leaves or stems off between your thumb and forefinger, or remove them with clean, sharp stem clippers. Yum! Potted Thai basil dries out quickly. 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). Growing Sweet Basil Indoors. Aspect: The stems of basil tend to be quite brittle, so are easily broken by wind. As basil stems aren’t very strong it doesn’t fare well in windy conditions so it is best to keep it protected. It grows very much like common basil except when it flowers it has nice deep purple flowers. long on purple stems with purple flowers. How to Grow Basil Make sure that the soil is moist. If the plant is between 6 and 8 inches tall, it's large enough to harvest for the kitchen. Also referred to as ‘Sweet Thai,’ Thai basil plants grow to a height of between 12 to 18 inches (30-46 cm.) It can sustain much larger plants, and they don’t dry out quite as quickly. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Likewise, it should be kept watered to avoid drying the soil quickly. soil Expect to use between 60 and 90 pounds of compost for each 10 square feet of soil. For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If in doubt, plant in a greenhouse, tunnel house or inside. Space the plants 10 to 12 inches apart. The deeper root zone makes a huge difference when growing basil in containers. 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. If it feels dry, water the plant until liquid runs from its drainage holes. During the first 2 months of the growing period, fertilize every 2 weeks. Rosemary and Thai basil work well planted together as they enjoy similar well-drained soil, water, and fertilization. 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. 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. with leaves 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm.) 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. For the most vigorous garden plants, choose a well-drained, fertile site with a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Thai basil can be grown alongside common sweet basil. Start seed indoors for 4 weeks before introducing to the outside environment for 2 weeks prior to planting. In any case, it’s better to avoid growing Thai basil at a temperature below 68°F (20°C) during the … An 8-inch lettuce bowl or 6-inch pot has room for a single plant. Planting basil from seed is truly enjoyable. Learn more. National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Basil. Growing Basil Outdoors or In thyrsiflora) is a member of the mint family and as such has a particular sweet flavor reminiscent of anise, licorice and clove. If, at the week's end, it registers less than 1 inch, provide enough supplemental water to make up the difference. 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. 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To be able to mature fully, this herb needs to be exposed for at least 6 to 8 hours every day. 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.
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