Basil is a tender plant and is used in cousins around the world. It is well known as an Italian herb and this herb is widely cultivated from Central Africa to Southeast Asia. Herbs should be grown organically to get pure results.
How to grow Basil at home with care
Some varieties of basil are native to India such as Sweet or green basil. This herb plant is popularly known as tulsi in India. Sweet and green basil thrives best in tropical climate conditions. Other varieties such as Thai and lemon basil can also survive in Indian climate conditions.
The tissue paper method is one of the easiest methods to grow herbs at home.
Growing basil with tissue paper
However, you can directly sow the seeds into the soil but the tissue paper method is a soilless method that helps seeds to germinate comfortably. Fold tissue paper 2 times then put some seeds at equal distances. Now keep it in a sealed box try to use a plastic box because it will conserve moisture. When the seeds are germinated you have to transfer them to the outdoors.
Remember, basil is a tropical plant so it requires a good amount of sunlight therefore plant it in an area where proper sunlight is coming. Keep your plant in a place where it will get 4 to 5 hours of direct sunlight. It is very very important for this herb to get direct sunlight.
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It is not a cold climate plant and it cannot tolerate winters very much. When the temperature turns under 20 degrees celsius leaves start turning black eventually the plant may die. Once the basil plant starts flowering you can collect seeds from it and use those seeds to form new basil plants.
When you cut down the leaves for food tea or other use, to maintain the freshness of basil leaves wrap the leaves in tissue paper and put them into a plastic box then keep them in the fridge.
This popular herb requires well-draining soil rich in nutrients. Moisture availability for all kinds of basils should be good and you can add compost every season.
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When it comes to watering make sure the topsoil does not get dry. Basil is a plant that needs sufficient water every two days.
Pruning is a very important part of growing plants. Generally, basil starts to bloom when it is about 10 to 15 CM in height. This is the time when the plant will produce flowers and if you are looking for leaves then you should not allow it to bear more flowers. If basil will keep producing flowers it will not produce a good amount of leaves.
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Flowering will not allow the plant to become thicker so you should not allow it to flower. If basil will keep producing flowers the stems will become barky and woody which will surely reduce the growth of too many leaves. At this stage, it becomes important that just start pruning the plant from the top and cut out the top leaves and you can use them in your food or tea. Always cut the leaves from the top along with the stem of the basil plant when it becomes bushy.
Diseases and solution
Aphids – These are tiny white insects that cover your whole plant from top to bottom.
Mealybugs – Insects that cover the entire plant and they get stuck on the sap of your plant and they use to suck out the nutrition of the plant.
Leaf-eating beetle – Leaf-eating beetle may also damage your plant.
Solution – Neem oil spray is the best solution to protect plants from diseases and insects. Or you can use a simple soak solution to get rid of these tiny insects. There are rare cases of powdery mildew or fungal infection in this plant
What is the best time to grow Basil?
The spring season is the best season to grow this herb plant.
Can we grow Basil through the tissue paper method?
Yes, the tissue paper method is a soil-less method that helps to germinate basil better.
How much water is basil is needed per day?
This herb needs good water. The topsoil of the plant should not get dry.
How much sunlight does basil require?
It is a tropical plant and needs 4 to 5 hours of sunlight on a daily basis.
Is basil native to India?
Sweet and green basil is native to India.
What is basil popularly known in the world?
Basil is popularly known as an Italian herb.