The Growing Place
Ocimum basilicum 'Thai'
Thai Basil flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 18 inches
Spacing: 10 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Asian Basil, Oriental Basil
A very ornamental variety with purple flower spikes in mid summer; medium sized green leaves at the base of the plant, with more purple at the apex; spicy flavor; great for mixed containers, herb gardens, and annual beds
Thai Basil is an annual herb that is typically grown for its edible qualities, although it does have ornamental merits as well. The small fragrant pointy green leaves with showy purple variegation are usually harvested from early summer to early fall. The leaves have a spicy taste.
The leaves are most often used in the following ways:
- Fresh Eating
Planting & Growing
Thai Basil will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. This fast-growing annual will normally live for one full growing season, needing replacement the following year.
This plant is quite ornamental as well as edible, and is as much at home in a landscape or flower garden as it is in a designated herb garden. It should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Thai Basil is a good choice for the edible garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the larger thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.