Kapoor tulsi, or holy basil, is an easy to grow selection that is one of the most prescribed herbs in Ayurvedic medicine due to its many immune enhancing properties. The aroma is a delicate balance of fruity and spicy, extremely beautiful and fragrant, attracting bees and people alike. Plant a few bushes around a sitting area and enjoy its pungent scent and its vigorous growth. Tulsi is Queen of the Tonics being one of the best adaptogenic herbs we’ve experienced.
This is an easy tulsi selection to grow. I find it is best to plant early indoors in small pots, then bring out pots to harden them up after nighttime temps are in the mid forties and day temps are well into the 70’s. Then transplant to final location a few weeks later. Basil will grow fine in pots, but you get SO much more if they are allowed to grow in the ground. You can constantly cut back at the first sign of flowering tops. Doing this redirects energy flow to the roots, also allowing surface roots to strengthen before the next push of vegetative growth. If you cut back in this manner, the plants will grow incredibly bushy! Allow enough time to ripen seed. (30 days after pollinated)
Common name: Kapoor Tulsi, Holy Basil
Botanical name: Ocimum sanctum
Type: Short lived tropical perennial
Scarification/Stratification: None needed.
Hardiness: 33 F
Sow temp/season: Sow in soils that are 75-90 F in the spring
Sow depth/spacing: Sow 1/8 inch deep and press into soil. One seed per inch.
Germination time: 1-3 weeks. Longer if it is cool and shady.
Final spacing: 1 foot centers
Final height/spread: Up to four feet if she is happy.
pH range: 5.8-7.8
Soil type: Rich well drained soil.
Nutrition Likes a steady amount of fertility.
Drainage: Good drainage is a must.
Water requirement: A good amount of water during growth, less during flowering.
Root type: Deep thin tap roots and shallow roots as well. Best to get in the ground early to get big roots, which make for big plants
Sun: Full sun. (min. of 5 hours of direct sunlight)
Time to maturity: Depends on you! Basil will go to seed quick if things are less than optimum. I’ve seen basil plants flower when they are 2 inches tall. Clipped the top, planted it well, and finished with a four foot plant. So….it depends!
Hilling: Cultivate the surface soil often and add a ¼ inch of mature compost, then water.
Suckering: No root suckers, but plenty of branches.
Propagation: Sow seed in a minimum of a 2 inch pot then transplant up to a 5 gallon bucket. But ideally, transplant to garden in the sun.
Hybridization: Basil will cross pollinate quite easily so if you intend on saving true seed, plant different basils at least 100 ft apart.
Uses: Tulsi can be eaten in salads, made into a tea or tincture from fresh or dried leaves, flowers, young stems and root. The taste is tangy and spicy with a hint of fruit and clove. Medicinally, tulsi is a tonic herb that boosts your immune system, regulates your blood pressure, tones your hair and skin, strengthens your teeth, helps treat impotence and low libido, so many others! It literally adapts to your body’s needs and goes right to the issue.