Holy Basil

Holy Basil

Ocimum tenuiflorum. 

Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi or Sacred Basil, is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is considered sacred and is much sought after in Indian culture often called the Queen of Herbs. The health-promoting properties of Holy Basil are said to help the body combat stress, aid in digestion and support the immune system. In Thailand, it is commonly used as a culinary herb. The flavour of Holy basil is hot and spicy – a combo of black pepper, anise, and clove. When eaten raw, it has a slight tingling effect on the tongue that is like that of Szechuan pepper. Make a delicious and healthy tea by steeping the 1 1/2″ (4 cm) long green leaves. The flowers can be added to intensify the flavour.

Once the very fragrant plants are about 6 inches (15 cm) tall, pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushy plant habit and to increase yields. In mid-summer pinch off flower buds to promote more foliage. Frequent harvesting will prolong the life of the plant.


Maturity60 days
Height12 - 36" (30 - 91 cm)
Spacing12" (30 cm)
LightFull sun
SoilRich, organic and well draining.
pH Range6.0 to 7.0
WateringKeep soil moist not wet. Basil is not drought tolerant and can be damaged by heat stress. Regular moisture throughout the growing season helps to ensure a good crop. Overwatering will encourage root diseases.
FertilizingBalanced fertilizer at time of planting; side-dress to encourage continued growth.
Nutrients RequiredNitrogen=high; Phosphorus=moderate; Potassium=moderate

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