K S said

Tulsi - growing and harvesting

I bought a Tulsi plant maybe a month ago. It is 5-6" tall and already flowering. Should I pinch the flowers off? How big should I let it get before harvesting some of the leaves for tea? One site I found said to pinch the stems at the second set of leaves to encourage fullness. I know nothing just thought it might be fun. Anyone got experience with this?

8 Replies

Um, I don’t know about tulsi specifically, but flowering causes most herbs to “bolt” aka grow really tall and sparse. This is not ideal. You should usually pinch off the flowers. You can let the flowers mature later in the season for seed.

You’ve also reminded me that I need to pinch the flowers off my sage plant. Thanks!

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K S said

Thanks! My wife says thanks for saving the sage too. We are still learning. I just found out yesterday that one of the local places has an orange mint. Never heard of it so must have.

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Heey! I found a link for you.

Turns out the flowers are the best part for tea. Oops. But don’t worry if holy basil is anything like sweet basil, you’ll be fighting back flowers until it dies at the end of autumn.

Also, mints are great! They grow like weeds though! I have a lemon balm which is part of the mint family and I’ve found it sprouting out of cracks in the driveway 20 feet away from the main plant. Good thing is, it will grow back year after year. Pinch off the mint flowers too and don’t bother trying to cultivate seeds on it. Just cut it down at the end of the season and watch it be the first green thing in your garden come spring.

Enjoy your garden!

Uniquity said

I don’t want to say it too loud in case the gardening Gods jinx me, but I have had an indoor basil plant for a year and it hasn’t flowered once. It is a bit of a jerk about growing too tall though. When I pinch the leaves to get it to grow differently, I tend to lose that whole stem. Maybe it’s going through teenage rebellion.

K S said

Uniquity have you tried grounding it? Maybe just threaten to cancel its texting plan.

Mercuryhime, thanks for the link. I will check it out. I bought some lemon balm so good to know on that one. My chocolate mint died in the pot but some we just through in the flower bed last fall is doing great. Oh, and our sage came up volunteer where we didn’t know it was growing before.

Maybe it’s because I put my basil outside. :)

And don’t worry about your basil. One day it will grow up and appreciate everything you’ve done for it. ;)

KS, it’s awesome that you have volunteer herbs! All I’ve got are morning glories, which are pretty, but not tasty.

K S said

It won’t be long before we will have honeysuckle all up and down or road. Pretty and tasty! I tried using it in tea but sadly that didn’t turn out well.

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