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Tulsi or Holy Basil is one of most important herbs of the Indian subcontinent. Get some information about tulsi here. Also learn tips on how to grow the Krishna Tulsi, and care for them through watering and pruning.
Holy Basil or Tulsi plant (also called tulasi, tulasi or thulasi) is a perennial herb that grows well in tropical regions like India.
Tulsi plant is called the Queen of Herbs due to its many medicinal benefits.
Holy Basil is grown in chilly regions as an annual plant, meaning, they will have to replace the plant every year as they die in the winter.
Genetic studies have found that the plant originated in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Other Names - Ajaka, Baranda, Brinda, Green Holy Basil, Hot Basil, Indian Basil, Kala Tulsi, Krishna Tulasi, Tulsa, Manjari, Ocimum sanctum, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Parnasa, Patrapuspha, Shyama Tulsi, Sri Tulasi, Suvasa Tulasi and Tulsi Patra.
Basil leaves are the same as `Tulsi ke Pathte` or Tulsi leaves.
As there are different types of Basil (like Thai Basil and Basil plant), people are often confused by the term Basil leaves.
In most cases, Basil leaves mean tulasi leaves, especially in the Indian subcontinent.
Tulsi (Holy basil, Tulasi, Thulasi)
Leaf - Basil leaves, Tulsi leaves etc.
Types of Basil - Sweet Basil, Thai basil
Leaf - Sweet Basil leaves, Thai basil leaves
These plants have larges leaves and are known for their cooling flavor. Rama tulsi is also characterised by their dark stems.
These plants are also used for worship in the Hindu tradition.
Krishna Tulsi is the most commonly grown variety of Holy Basil.
Krishna Tulsi or Tulasi grows slower than other varieties. But it is also more effective, medicinally, than other varieties.
The word Vana means forest. Its name derives from the fact that these plants grow in the wild.
Vana Tulsi usually grows in the wild in the himalayan regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Vana tulsi is known for its fragrance but it is also the most difficult basil to find.
Tulsi seeds are widely available. If not in your local nursery, you can find them online.
Keep the seeds on top of the soil and cover it with a thin layer of soil.
Keep the plants moist till they germinate. The plant will germinate in 2 weeks.
Do refer to the soil section of this article to get a better understanding of the type soil to be used.
Buying these plants from your nursery or even better buying them online can easily get you started.
Most tulsi plants come in a grow bag. If that's the case, transplant the plant to a larger pot (2-3 inches larger pot).
Make sure to add some soil to the plant as per instruction in the soil section of this article.
A Tulsi plants requires constant care for it to thrive.
Pruning or pinching off leaves from the top that forms 10-12 leaves helps it grow better.
Cutting off flower buds and drying leaves can also help the plant direct more energy towards a leafy growth.
Keep the plant in the sun and make sure to keep it away from beating sun.
Tulsi plants need 4-6 hours of sunlight everyday.
In cold winters, it is safe keep these plants indoors. This will shield the tropical plant from the cold.
Tulsi plants grow well in well drained soil. Its ideal for the potting mix to be a mixture of peat, soil and some clay.
A soil mixture that contains clay can get us a good mixture of soil for the tulsi plant.
The ideal pH level of the soil would be 6.5 to 7.5.
Misting is an important aspect in the care of the holy basil plant.
Water thoroughly until water seeps through to the bottom. In winters reduce watering.
Overwatering of the holy basil can kill the plant.
Symptoms of overwatering can be browning of leaves and even wilting which in-turn can be a sign of root rot.
If you place the plant on a plate, empty out the plate from time to time, to prevent root rot.
The holy basil can grow to a height of 30 inches.
Tulsi plant thrives in bright sunlight.
Keep the plant in a place that receives 4-6 hours of sunlight everyday.
Although a tropical plant, arid sun can damage it, hence make sure to protect it from direct sun.