Growing A Holy Basil Plant

The holy basil plant is an aromatic plant that naturally grows in India and Asia.  In its natural environment, it is a perennial plant, however when it is grown elsewhere it can be an annual plant due to differing weather conditions.  In India and Asia it grows as a perennial.  In other less tropical parts of the world it grows as an annual. Three main types of the holy basil plant exist in a family of over 200 varieties of basil plants.  Sri or rama holy basil is the most common type and is green leafed.  Krishna has dark green to purple leaves.  Vana grows wild and is frequently located in forest regions.

The sri or rama variety is the most commonly grown variety of the holy basil plant.  It grows as a bush that can reach 2 feet tall and can reach 2 feet in diameter.  The plant has long purple flowers and green leaves.  The leaves are slightly toothy in shape and ragged in shape.  The stems also have tiny hairs on them.  The holy basil plant is also a natural mosquito repellant and has a naturally spicy flavor.

One of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of the holy basil plant is to grow one for yourself.  Many Hindis today have a tulsi plant growing by the front door for good luck, prosperity, and wellness.  To begin growing your own holy basil plant, first purchase seeds from a reputable distributor.  The best time to plant the seeds are between April and May.  The seeds can be planted either in a greenhouse or in the ground itself.  It is best to plant the seeds in full sun or partial shade and does best between 65 and 70 degrees.  If the plants will be exposed to conditions that are not within this range, it is important to plant in pots that can be transported during extreme conditions.  Transporting them in adverse conditions also allows the plant to survive both winter and summer which gives them an annual growth in non-tropical environments.

You should use 1/3 grit soil when planting.  Lay the seed on top and cover with a thin layer of compost.  When the seeds are germinating it is important to water twice a day and maintain the moist soil environment.  The soil should be moist to the touch but not too dry or too wet.  In addition, using a water hose too early in the germination process will wash the seeds away instead of promoting growth and a water pitcher or mist setting should be employed.

After the plants begin to grow, you will need to move the plants and transplant them to approximately 1-2 feet apart.  This will allow for maximum growth.  Remember to water daily.  After hearty growth is experienced, the leaves and flowers can be harvested and brewed into tea or ingested.  It is best to harvest the long shoots in the morning to maximize both the flavors and the scent of the plant.  In addition, it is best to harvest from multiple plants instead of utilizing only one and stripping it of leaves and shoots.  When seeds are formed the plant can be pruned back and the seeds replanted or cultivated.

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