Anyone with Knowledge on Holy Basil

lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭
edited April 2020 in Making Herbal Medicine

I have this beautiful tulsi And due to all the hours I’ve been working I am never out to prune the flowers off so the leaves will grow more bushy and plentiful on my holy basil I know that they say you can remove about 30% of a plant but some people recommend only 10% and now that I have time I’m out here looking at it wondering if I should remove all of these flowers or not does anybody have any help with this? Also, has anyone used mostly flowers to do tincture or oil infusion? Sorry pictures from my phone want to be sideways always who knows why 🙄


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,505 admin

    I will be watching this closely. I have holy basil seeds coming my way soon!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    This is my first year growing tulsi and they are still babies under lights, so definitely not an expert in growing this one. However, with other basils, it seems to be best to pinch off the flowers. Usually, once they go to seed they kind of lose their vigour. Hopefully someone else has more experience growing this lovely plant and can offer advice.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,455 admin

    I planted some... nothing yet

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    I have only this year planted tulsi, back in late spring ( Oct ) but I keep picking it so it is still only smallish but very bushy! Maybe prune back 3/4 of it and let the rest go to seed. I chew fresh tulsi leaves on a regular basis.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Lol I started tulsi seeds this year as well. Mine are only an inch high right now. Being a basil I would think you could use the flowers but the taste and some properties may be slightly different. On regular and curly purple I have cut back quite a bit and they will start putting on new leaves, cut at about 2/3 of the plant. I then dried the leaves and crumbled for use in cooking but I'm sure as a tea they would be fine. Seldom does life seem to care when I need to harvest or start seeds or whatever so I'm usually flying by the seat of my pants lol. Sometimes it works out right timing wise. I plan on putting some tulsi in pots by my front and back doors, that way it's handy and I have to look at it. Also it is supposed to bring good luck when growing by the front door and who doesn't need a bit more good luck? I'm also growing some purple opal basil this year as well - they look gorgeous on the seed package lol. New year, new things to try. (I blame my parents; they used to say that variety is the spice of life. 😋)

  • Jannajo
    Jannajo Posts: 173 ✭✭✭

    I just love this basil, I find some grows so very well, others were too much in the shade, near bushy celery etc...not good!

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    My experience with Holy Basil is that you don't have to be too particular with it. I would probably harvest all the stalks that are flowering and hang them upside down to dry for tea. Or you could make tincture. They will grow back, unless you're heading into winter.

  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    I cut mine back by about half and find it to be quite hardy, it comes back even after a frosty winter

  • solarnoon.aspen
    solarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭

    I've been growing Holy Basil for a few years now and find the plants to be easy to grow, abundant and long-lasting. You can prune heavily once established and to keep the flowers from setting, although I do let some plants fully flower near the end of the season so that I can seed save. I dry them as the summer progresses on the stems then in the fall, strip the leaves and store until I use them.

    They love hot, sunny spots. I keep them under a small hoop house and uncover during the day, cover at night. I haven't noticed any predators. Such a sweet smelling and tasting plant. I add it to many of my daily teas for flavour, and benefits, especially the adaptogenic properties.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    @sallyhoward whereabouts in Oz are you?

  • sallyhoward
    sallyhoward Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    @foodherbshealth in northeast Victoria. Where in NZ are you?

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert You can do tincture or infusions with the trimmings you have. It also makes a really nice tea.

  • karen
    karen Posts: 80 ✭✭

    I planted about two square feet of seeds a few months back. I am in a subtropical moutain region. it is now very crowded. I break off the stems from maybe one plant once a day for tea ( today i am adding lemon verbena leaves), I will trim the flowers on most for salads or drying. Pull up a whole plant to dry the leaves and otherwise leave at east one plant for the seeds. I will add the flowers to the tea. sometimes i just break some off when wandering throuhg the garden for the heavenly scent. Beautiful herb.

  • karen
    karen Posts: 80 ✭✭

    BTW there are lots of sites on the internet where you can find information about tulsi and just about any other herb. Have fun.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    I have planted Tulsi twice and no luck. What is the secret to getting it to sprout and thrive? I have grown several other types of basil with no problems. The Tulsi basil eludes me.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    @sallyhoward I'm just north of Wellington. I didn't realise you got frosts there :)

  • Obiora E
    Obiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @lmrebert I am not sure. I have grown Tulsi/Holy Basil off and on for the past six or more years. I have made herbal granita with it (and other ingredients), made tea with it, and eaten it too. it has a pleasant flavor. I have used the stems, leaves, and flowers.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    Tulsi Basil is on my list this year...