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Growing Tulsi or Sacred Basil

 
Todd Mansfield
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Location: South eastern Australia
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Hey permies!

Here's a little video we've put together on growing Tulsi in a market garden scenario. It's a subtropical perennial basil that just pumps out flowers most of the year and the bees go nuts for it!
The market gardener Joel grows it for the bees (increased pollination) for the herbal/medicinal properties and for cut flowers to make his CSA



Full article here: Seed Saving Events

Anyone here part of a seed saving network?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I liked seeing the seed saving event, but I was actually looking for info on tulsi. I got the seeds of several varieties from horizon herbs a few years ago. This year I am growing a lot of holy basil, and it is clear to me that when I gathered seeds, I mixed them. I was hoping for help in identifying the different strains so that I could separate them out again this year when I gather.

Thekla
 
Su Ba
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I've never tried growing tulsi from seed, but I'm successful propagating it from cuttings. I grow the purple type. It draws honeybees, so I keep it growing around my gardens.
 
leila hamaya
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i am really loving the tulsi tea i have been drinking every day =) since my plants finally got going... really yummy.

hoping i can get it to stay as a perennial, in the past i havent been able to, but keep trying. will mulch it up real good before winter.

i grew a dozen + plants this year from seed. kept some of them in pots, so i can hopefully overwinter a few by bringing them inside...
this is the only type i have ever grown, a few times, so i assume its the most common ?



(btw - i think i was actually aiming the lens at a bee in that picture? its camouflaged in there...)
 
Todd Mansfield
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:I liked seeing the seed saving event, but I was actually looking for info on tulsi. I got the seeds of several varieties from horizon herbs a few years ago. This year I am growing a lot of holy basil, and it is clear to me that when I gathered seeds, I mixed them. I was hoping for help in identifying the different strains so that I could separate them out again this year when I gather.

Thekla


oops! I was trying to do two things at once and got mixed up!
Heres the Tulsi video



And the article on growing it...growing tulsi

So sorry on the mix up (Can't seem to edit the original post)
 
Thekla McDaniels
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That looks like the most prolific of the ones I grow, Leila. It starts readily from seeds, and makes lots of them. I bring some plants indoors for the winter, and gather some seeds and I have tons of it. Indoors, it is wonderfully fragrant when anything brushes against it, and I can drink it right through the winter. But I wish I knew is it Kapoor? Vana? or Krishna?

I also have an anise scented basil I got from Senegal when my daughter was in the Peace Corps. It looks like a holy basil, but the scent is distinct.

Thekla
 
leila hamaya
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yes, i will be curious too, if anyone has some good information about the different types. all i am acquainted with is that kind i am currently growing, and that theres one thats purple. i think theres dozens of different varieties ? maybe...

and totally they smell sooo good =)
 
leila hamaya
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ok , google sez :




Indian Holy Tulsi

In India, the most abundant species is Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum or holy basil as it is commonly called. Indian tulsi is cultivated and also grows in the wild. Tulsi is worshipped as the abode of Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu’s consort, with several mythological references. Eugenol is the chief aromatic oil found in Indian tulsi, prized for its medicinal and tonic properties, termed the elixir of life in anyurveda.

The most commonly occurring variety is the green leafed one. Less common is tulsi with dark purple tinged leaves known as Shyam tulsi or Krishna tulsi.

Another variant is Vana or wild tulsi. Shyam tulsi is more aromatic and claimed to be more powerful.
Vana or wild tulsi is claimed to be effective against leucoderma and poisons besides proving effective in eye ailments.
A variety known as Maruvak tulsi heals bites and wounds.
The Babui variety grows all over India with less of aroma but with a sharp taste resembling cloves and is used more as a flavoring agent.


- See more at: http://www.healthbeautyblogs.com/articles-tulsi-benefits/different-types-of-tulsi-all-over-the-world#sthash.x0g30gJb.dpuf
 
leila hamaya
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AND i think the one i am growing is kapoor --->

http://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=343
 
Thekla McDaniels
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yes, I think it is kapoor too, and it is the one I like the flavor of best too. The other one I have is probably Krishna. It is pretty, but I just don't like the flavor as well. I had some vana, and rama seeds but they did not make it this many years.

The kapoor changes flavor after it flowers, but it is still delicious.

In trying to figure out what the other variety was that I have, I got reminded that holy basil is an adaptogen anti viral and anti fungal.

Yay

Thekla
 
Vera Stewart
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I pitched some tulsi into my sort-of-compost pile about a month ago, because I found that I wasn't using it, as I didn't like the taste of the tea, and I had lots, still growing where I started them this spring. Anyway, just a few days ago I discovered that the tulsi I'd buried under the soil/sod mess beside the shed, has pushed it's way through and is flowering again!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Now I purely LOVE a plant like that. It does not take over like mint, but it prevents weeds, is pretty, reseeds prolifically, is easy to pull or mow,it smells good and it is incredibly good for us. I did not know it would start from untended cuttings!

The flavor took some getting used to for me, and there are times when it tastes better than others, but it is a great plant. If I did not like it I would tincture it.
 
Stephen Dobek
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The two little plants I planted this year are huge now and I can smell them from seriously 100 yards away. I haven't tried to consume it yet, but the bees have been going nuts for it.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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If you wanted to get some without risking the bees, get it while the bees are asleep. The bees DO love it, and I just pick it when they are all over it. As long as I don't disturb them, they don't sting. They are too drunk on the fragrance and nectar of the tulsi
 
Blake Wheeler
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Interesting side note, tulsi has been found to be excellent at removing fluoride from water. Seems to be quite a useful little plant. May have to look into growing some. Could be helpful for gray water systems.

Is anyone familiar with the zone requirements? I know it's native to India, so I probably can't grow it perinneally here, but will it self-seed reliably?
 
Vera Stewart
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:Now I purely LOVE a plant like that. It does not take over like mint, but it prevents weeds, is pretty, reseeds prolifically, is easy to pull or mow,it smells good and it is incredibly good for us. I did not know it would start from untended cuttings!

The flavor took some getting used to for me, and there are times when it tastes better than others, but it is a great plant. If I did not like it I would tincture it.


Just so you don't try to grow it from little bits, the part I "threw away" still had roots. I'd just assumed that because I'd crushed it in my hands and buried it upside down under overturned sod that it would cease!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Thanks for looking out for all of us. I think it would likely root from cuttings with a little care. Right now I don't have any need to propagate that way. I get plenty from the seeds.
Thekla
 
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