Siam Queen Basil
Seed Count: Approx. 300 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 90 Days
Description: Siam Queen basil is an attractive Thai basil variety, with strong clove like flavor. It adds great tastes to soups, and is a must to add in curry and other Thai dishes. It's also known to be used in some Italian dishes. Plus, its more stable at high cooking temperatures than other basil varieties. The medium green leaves grow to about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, and have an intense licorice basil aroma and flavor. It has cute, deep purple-maroon flower clusters that add to its decorative qualities. The only hardship you'll have while growing Siam Queen, is whether you should grow it for culinary or decorative purposes! It does well grown in shade and in full sun, and grows to about 2 feet tall. If you pinch back the stems, it'll encourage bushier plants with lots of side shoots. It's a great variety to grow in small space gardens and in containers. It even has great bolt resistance, making it a perfect variety to grow in warmer areas.
How To Grow
Sowing: Since basil loves warm weather, it grows best when the soil has warmed and there is no chance of frost. In cool climates, start seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost, sowing them thinly and providing heat to speed up the germination. Transplant 15-18" apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds 1/4" deep, in rich soil and full sun, thinning to 15-18" apart when the seedlings develop. Basil also grows well indoors or as a container plant.
Growing: Basil needs well draining soil, yet needs to be watered often. If the weather drops below 50 degrees, provide protection. As the plant grows, pruning it helps it to develop into a bushy, healthy plant; pruning is also important because once the plant flowers, it will begin to wilt and die. To prune the plant, remove the top several sets of leaves on each stem, taking care to leave at least three sets of leaves on the lower part. Try planting basil with tomatoes. It will help deter tomato hornworms by masking the tomato plants’ smell.
Harvesting: Basil can be harvested as soon as it reaches a height of 6-8". The best time to harvest the leaves are in the morning after the dew dries. After the plant is established, harvesting often actually improves production; once the flowers develop, the leaves grow bitter in taste. Remove single leaves or parts of a stem as needed, taking care to leave at least three sets of leaves on the length of the stem for healthy growth. Fresh basil will keep for several days at room temperature, with the stems in a glass of water; if refrigerated, it tends to wilt and turn brown. Basil also freezes and dries well. Dry by using a dehydrator, an oven, or by hanging and drying in a dry, warm location.