Seed Count: Approx. 300 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 64 Days
Description: Thai basil is a type of basil native to Southeast Asia that has been cultivated to provide distinctive traits. It is widely used throughout Southeast Asia. The flavor is described as anise- and licorice-like and slightly spicy. It is also more stable under high or extended cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil, and is a great addition to any dish.
Mint2Grow Tip: I live in south Florida, and anyone that follows my Instagram knows that I frequently get my Thai Basil to grow to 4 ft. wide and tall. It literally grows like weed for me here, and the only basil I have great success with in my heat. Once every 4-5 months, I'll cut the plant completely down to its base stem, and it'll always grow back just as vigorously as it did before. It is my favorite basil for its drought tolerance, and its ability to withstand even Florida's brutal summers. I also find that Thai basil withstands bugs much better than the other varieties I've grown, and its flavor is my absolute favorite. I dry this basil in huge batches, both the leaves and flowers. I crush it and keep it in a huge mason jar for my culinary needs. It lasts me for months while my basil grows back. I literally add this to all of my meals, and it's an essential ingredient in all of my curries. Thai basil also makes for a delicious tea.
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.