Common name: Thai basil
Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. Thyrsiflora) is an aromatic herbaceous plant native to Southeast Asia. It has thin, oval, pointed leaves, dark green to purple in color, with purple stems. Thai basil gives off a strong, spicy smell, and its taste is slightly aniseed.
Light: Thai basil prefers a sunny position, with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. It can also be grown in partial shade, but the plant will grow less vigorously.
Temperature: It requires a warm temperature to develop properly, between 20°C and 30°C. Avoid temperatures below 10°C.
Watering: Thai basil needs regular watering to keep the soil slightly moist. Be careful not to overwater it to avoid root rot problems.
Soil: Prefer a well-drained and fertile soil for your cultivation of Thai basil. You can also grow Thai basil in pots with a mix of potting soil and compost.
Sow the seeds to a depth of about 0.5 cm in moist potting soil. Place the pot or seedling tray in a warm, bright place. The seeds will germinate in 7-14 days. Once the seedlings have reached a height of about 5 to 10 cm, you can transplant them in the ground or in individual pots.
Prune stem ends regularly to promote branching and bushy growth. Remove the flowers as soon as they appear, as they can affect the quality of the foliage. Fertilize the plant every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can start harvesting Thai basil leaves about 60 days after planting.
Pick the leaves as you need them, cutting the stems just above a pair of leaves. Thai basil is often used fresh in cooked dishes, soups, salads and sauces.
Diseases and pests:
Thai basil is generally disease resistant, but it can be susceptible to powdery mildew, root rot and insect attack such as aphids and whiteflies. Regularly monitor your Thai basil crop and address any problems as they arise.
Besides sowing, growing Thai basil can also be propagated by cuttings. Take cuttings 7 to 10 cm long from healthy stems and place them in a glass of water until they develop roots. Then transplant them into pots or in the ground.
To extend the harvest period, you can pinch off the flowers as soon as they appear, as this encourages the plant to produce more leaves.
If you are growing Thai basil indoors, be sure to provide it with a warm, sunny environment, or use grow lights to compensate for the lack of natural light.
Thai basil is a delicious and aromatic herb that can add an exotic flavor to your dishes. By following these growing instructions, you will be able to enjoy this fragrant herb in your garden or on your balcony.