Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 04:15 pm
Thai basil, known as licorice basil, oriental basil, and Asian basil, is a unique kind of basil not just because of its strong flavor or even being compact in shape compared to the other basil species, but also because of its diverse uses for culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes.
This is why so many people today engage in growing Thai basil in their own homes.
For Thai basil to grow well, you must give it adequate sunlight, warm temperature, and the excellent quality of soil attention to. And these will better enhance its growth and development.
That said, is Thai basil difficult to grow? Thai basil is not difficult to grow if given the necessary growth requirements and proper management practice. Thai basil can be grown in two ways, either by planting the seeds or by planting the cuttings. However, both methods are relatively easy to carry out.
What Conditions Does Thai Basil Like?
Implementing best practices and management methods, consider several factors when contemplating how to grow Thai basil.
And these factors include the soil quality, position of the plant, and climatic or weather condition;
1. Soil quality:
The soil quality needed by Thai basil is well-drained, slightly moist, and rich in organic matter (compost and manure).
It also requires a slightly acidic soil PH (6.1-6.5) and a warm soil temperature (18-21 degrees Celsius).
Aside from all these requirements, it is also imperative that you mulch the soil to reduce water loss by evaporation. It is also necessary to apply water to the soil and not the foliage.
Other management practices include liming the soil when it is too acidic, applying fertilizer to treat infertility, mulching when leaching, and much more.
Even though Thai basil does well with part shade, it still thrives tremendously after exposure to sunlight.
It is also why growing Thai basil means cultivating them where there will be maximum access to sunlight (at least six to eight hours of sunlight).
Whereas in a situation where it is being grown indoors, it is very advisable to place it near the window or anywhere sun can easily reach it, like the windowsills.
The tropical regions are the best for growing Thai basil since they prefer warmer conditions with sunlight.
With temperatures of 27-32 degrees Celsius, it is known to go stunt once the weather gets to 10 degrees Celsius.
Although it can also be grown in winter, it is wise to keep it away from a drafted window since Thai basil is very susceptible to damage by frost.
How Long Does Thai Basil Take To Grow?
Although other basils, like the sweet basil, are annual herbs that can only grow in one season. Thai basil is a perennial herb that grows into the second and third years.
Furthermore, the seed is usually cultivated indoors for at least six to eight weeks. At this point, it can use one week for hardening off of the seedlings, from which point you can plant it outside.
Thai basil can grow up to 30 inches, reaching maturity within 60-90 days.
How Do You Grow Thai Basil At Home?
Growing Thai basil at home can either be done indoors or outdoors and is generally grown in two ways, either as seeds or as cuttings.
In growing the seeds, it is essential to note that seeds have a slow germinating rate, and not all seeds grown do emerge. So it is why we need to produce four to five seeds at a time.
Seeds of Thai basil are advised to be grown a quarter of an inch deep and twelve inches away from each other to allow sprouting of leaves and access to sunlight.
It usually takes ten days for cotyledons to appear or show before the sprouting of leaves.
Growing from cuttings is easy since you can do it with little or no effort from the grower’s side. All you need to do is cut a stem just below the leaf node from your friend or neighbor and take it home.
On reaching home, you would place the cuttings in a glass of water. In just a few weeks, it should have developed a few roots. It is necessary at such a point to change the water regularly.
In a case where water is not changed regularly, the stem may end up rotting. After about the third and fourth week, the developed roots should be about 2 inches in length.
At this point, an indoor planter or pot is being brought in and soil placed in it. The pot should not be less than five inches deep to give enough space for it to sprout.
It is necessary to cover the entire roots with soil next to them and let them remain in the same position by the windowsill for sunlight.
Pinching off of the leaves regularly is necessary to encourage fresh growth or the emergence of newer leaves.
In maintaining the Thai basil plant, it is necessary to cut off stems to grow bushy. Pinching off stems right above the leaf node will encourage new branches to form, and thereby foliage performance.
Meanwhile, when harvesting seeds, it is best to do it after the formation of the flower and the seed turn brown. You would then rub your hands together to separate the seeds from the flower or plant.
The storage of seeds is usually in a dark, cool place to be grown again within a year.
Thai basil is indeed a unique plant for culinary, medicinal, and ornamental purposes, and also not difficult to grow given all factors needed and necessary for its growth.
It is imperative to remember that when adequate soil type and quality are made available, the plant’s position to sunlight is addressed as well as the climate condition on which it is grown.
Thai basil plants are not annual but a perennial herb that grows up to 30 inches, reaching its maturity within 60-90 days.
Thai basil can also be grown at home, indoors, or outdoors using two main propagating methods, either by increasing them as seeds or cuttings.
And can be maintained effectively by encouraging foliage development.