How to Grow Holy Basil | Guide to Growing Holy Basil

How to Grow Holy Basil | Guide to Growing Holy Basil  



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Revered in India as a sacred plant, Holy Basil, or Tulsi, is believed to help bring purity and serenity to the heart and mind. The medicinal virtues of Holy Basil are no secret to modern herbalists, who consider it to be a safe but effective adaptogen capable of alleviating stress and strengthening the nervous system. Fast growing with beautiful multicolored leaves, Holy Basil is a welcome addition to the intrepid herbalistís garden.


Annual (zones 10-11)

5 - 10 days

2 years

Moderately rich, moist

Full sun


8 - 12" apart

60 - 80 days

Growing Guide
Holy Basil will grow to a height of approximately 20" and produce green and red leaves along with delicate purple flower bracts from mid summer on.


Holy Basil does best with full sun to some shade and rich, moist soil. Be careful to plan accordingly to prevent excessive heat and dryness as these can stifle crops.

Holy Basil can be direct-seeded in the spring after the last frost as you will see higher germination rates at temperatures between 65-70 F. Tamp seeds, or cover with a thin layer of soil (approx 1/4" or less) as seeds require light for germination. Firm soil over seeds to discourage seeds from coming to surface.


If starting indoors, start seeds in late winter about 6 weeks before transplanting. When planting seedlings outside, allow around 6" between plants and 18" between rows.


Harvesting Guide
You can start collecting leaves once the plant has become established, just be careful not to over-harvest. Full harvest can be undertaking by cutting aerial parts higher than 5" prior to flowering. For more vibrant leaves, harvest in the early morning to discourage wilting.



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