Thai, Licorice Basil

The delicate leaves of Thai basil have an intense smell and taste of licorice, prevalent in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. It grows both outdoors in full sun and containers. It blooms with lovely purple flowers.
Native to India and ancient Persia, basil has a long history and is revered as the "king of herbs." In mаny cultures, basil symbolizes love; it is given a sign of friendship, protection, and truth. English kings loved basil for both its culinary and cosmetic purposes. It has gained widespread acceptance throughout England for its wonderful scent, sometimes added to bouquets and used as an air freshener in their homes. Medicinally, basil oil is often used to treat various conditions such as depression and anxiety, colds, coughs or sore throats, and insect bites.

How to grow Thai Basil from seeds:

  • Sowing: Basil is thermophilic and grows well in warm weather. You can grow lemon basil seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in regions with a short growing season. Then transplant at a distance of 15-18″. When hung, directly sow 1/4″ Thai basil seeds in rich soil and full sun. When the seedlings develop, thin them out to 15-18″ apart. Basil grows well indoors or as a container plant.
    • Plant Spacing: 8-18".
  • Growing of Thai Basil: Basil needs well-draining soil and moist soil. Needs protection below 50 degrees F. As the plant grows, pruning helps it develop into a bushy and healthy plant. Remove the top few pairs of leaves on each stem, making sure there are at least three sets of leaves on the bottom.
    • Thai Basil Soil Requirements for: Rich and well-drained. 
    • Thai Basil Seeds Days to Germination: 14 days. 
    • Light Preference of Thai Basil: Full Sun.
  • How and When to Harvest Thai Basil: Harvest the leaves when they are 6-8 ″ tall. Once the plant is rooted, collecting the leaves is the impetus for new growth. Don't let the plant bloom as the leaves taste bitter. If necessary, remove individual leaves or portions of the stem, being careful to leave at least three sets of leaves per stem length for healthy growth. When harvesting, pinch off the stem just above the next set of leaves. Store fresh basil at room temperature in a glass of water. Use a dryer or oven to dry basil. Due to the high water content in basil, mold can quickly form.
    • Days to Maturity: up to 75 days
  • Thai Basil's Seed Saving: The basil seeds will develop when the flowers have faded. Collect the brown pods and lay them out to dry out of direct sunlight. Thresh the heads of cabbage to remove the seeds and clean as much of the trash as possible. Stоre the seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS:

  • Latin Name: Ocimum basilicum
  • Type: Open Pollinated, Warm Season
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Seeds per Ounce: 21,000
  • Planting Method: From Transplant
  • Sunlight: Full Sun
  • Height: 16 Inches
  • Color: Green
  • Bloom Season: Blooms Late Summer, Blooms Early Fall
  • Uses: Aromatic

 

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