Thai basil has cult status within the multi-faceted basil genus. The question arises whether the Asian herbal plant differs from classic varieties in terms of care. The following care instructions provide all the important answers
How to water Thai basil?
Thai basil thrives in alternating moisture substrate. Always allow the surface of the soil to dry out before watering the next time. Place herb plants in pots in water for a short time to water them from below.
Fertilizing Thai Basil?
Like all conspecifics, Thai basil is one of the heavy consumers. The frequency and dosage of fertilizer take this into account as follows:
- Fertilize the bed weekly from May to September with compost and horn shavings
- Ideally, every 2 weeks add 100 grams of granulated cattle manure per square meter of bed area (10sf)
- Spoil potted plants with organic liquid fertilizer once a week
If you plant Thai basil in pre-fertilized soil, the first dose of fertilizer is given after 4-6 weeks at the earliest.
How is Thai basil cut?
The pruning pursues several goals at the same time. The priority is to harvest the spicy leaves. In addition, a cut serves the bushy branching and prevents flowering. How to do it right:
- consistently pinch off the shoots to promote a bushy habit
- Whole branches with a length of at least 5 centimeters (2 inches) are always harvested
- where buds appear, the shoot is immediately pruned
- at least a pair of leaves remain on the basil, where a new shoot thrives
Is there a possibility of hibernation?
When it comes to the need for warmth, Thai basil is no exception. Nevertheless, the lemon basil Bai Maenglak is so robust that overwintering is worth a try. How to approach the challenge:
- if the temperatures fall below 12 degrees (53F), Thai basil is allowed
- the winter quarters are sunny and warm with a minimum of 15 to 20 degrees (59-68F0
- the substrate must not dry out and not become waterlogged
- every 4-6 weeks a dose of organic liquid fertilizer is welcome
Always keep plant health in mind when caring for Thai basil. There is a risk of diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, and mosaic virus infection. A lovingly tended herb plant has the best resistance to lurking pathogens. If necessary, the use of biological control agents quickly provides a remedy.