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holy basil 'tulsi'

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  • holy basil 'tulsi'

    I've tried growing this plant, from seed and most recently from buying a plant, and I just can't get them to live. The plant arrived looking good, but after a few weeks in my care, all the leaves started dropping off and now I'm pretty sure it's dead. When it first arrived, I left it outside for a few days - the weather was pretty good here,but then it changed and got very wet, windy with alternate bouts of heat and scorching sun. I moved it into a cold frame first, then into the house where, now, it is currently dying/dead.

    I'm about to order another batch of seeds to try again, and it would be good to get some input and maybe fix what I'm doing wrong. Maybe just keep it inside the whole time? Indirect sunlight or windowsill? Instructions said full sun but I'm almost confident it really didn't like that either.

    Help would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Never tried to grow it but as it's native to the Indian sub continent, I would guess that would make it a house plant in the UK.
    If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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    • #3
      The plant was apparently raised in a uk nursery in outdoor conditions so i thought it would do fine outside in summer. I have a curry plant doing well outside, which I will move in once it starts getting wintery.

      But yeah, my future attempts will keep them inside, I think. Not even the coldframe.

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      • #4
        Have you ever grown other basil varieties?

        I grow a whole variety of basils and find the Thai and holy basil varieties can be slightly more temperamental, so if you're having trouble I would perhaps try growing standard sweet basil first, and once you are confident you can keep that alive try the holy basil again.

        I doubt that too much sunshine is your problem, as all basils are sun lovers. What they really hate is cold temperatures, outdoor plants will die at the first hint of frost. The other question would be what soil you're growing them in, they need good drainage and don't like wet feet.

        It's getting a bit late in the season to start basil from seed, although if you have a sunny windowsill I suppose you could try moving it inside after a couple of months.

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        • #5
          I think it's a better idea to take it indoors. Also, it really likes the sun, so it should be placed in a full sun area. Take care of water enough water, that could bring to die too.

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          • #6
            I've just got some sweet basil growing, a few weeks old, and it is my first time since I hardly use the herb. Growing it for my sister.

            The tulsi is for my mum, since she's a Hindu and I thought it'd be a nice present.

            And yes, I'm keeping them inside. Coddling is the word!

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            • #7
              I love sweet basil i have a pot in the G/H...must sow more.

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              • #8
                That’s a lovely present idea,the thing I remember is them not liking wet feet over night. If you sit the pots on a tray of water for a few minutes,they drink how much they need,then take them away,also watering like this stops the surface of the compost from getting wet (indoor growing,fungus gnats sometimes lay eggs in the top of wet compost & they’re a right pest flying about but can be avoided watering from below like that ). Do you transplant each seedling into its own 3” pot & then a bigger pot? When you looked after the plant did you fertilise it’s after planting? I used to use seaweed,it’s got nitrogen in it,nettle tea could be used,it makes the plant survive a long time if the nutrients in the compost are refreshed.

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                • #9
                  Wet feet! I am probably guilty of that. I am terrible at overwatering.

                  I used new compost and assumed that was enough fertilising? But when I watered, I did use nettle tea - and I do think overwatering was the problem, since if basil is sensitive to that, then yeah, once again, it's my way too generous watering.

                  I try to water from below, but if I'm in a rush, I do just dollop on top - I need to have some willpower and better time management!

                  The seedlings are still tiny, just two tiny leaves, so they're two/three together in a 3inch.

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                  • #10
                    New compost has about a months worth of feed or six weeks,it depends how long it’s staying in the same pot. Good luck with the new plants

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