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Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora
BASIL-THAI (SALE) is a vibrant, aromatic herb commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly in Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian dishes.  Distinct from its sweet basil cousin commonly found in Western cooking, Thai basil has a unique flavour profile that combines sweet, spicy, and anise-like notes. Its leaves are narrower and sturdier than sweet basil, with a purplish hue, while its stems often display a striking purple colour, and leaves that produce pretty pink tinged flowers that ultimately flare purple

This herb thrives in warm climates and is relatively easy to grow in home gardens, requiring well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Thai basil is a key ingredient in many traditional dishes, such as Thai green and red curries, pho, and various stir-fries, where its aromatic properties enhance the overall flavour. Besides its culinary uses, Thai basil also possesses medicinal properties; it’s rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Whether used fresh as a garnish, blended into sauces, or cooked into meals, Thai basil adds a distinctive and delightful essence to any dish it graces. 

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How to grow Thai Basil

  1. Start with high-quality Thai basil seeds or obtain cuttings from a healthy plant to ensure robust growth.
  2. Use well-draining soil rich in organic matter. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal. Mixing compost into the soil can improve fertility and drainage.
  3. Plant Thai basil in a spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. If growing indoors, place the plant near a sunny window or use a grow light.
  4. Sow seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 12 inches apart. If using transplants, ensure the root ball is fully covered with soil, and space them similarly.
  5. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plants at the base to avoid wetting the leaves, which can lead to fungal diseases.
  6. Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to retain soil moisture, regulate temperature, and reduce weed growth. Organic mulches like straw or shredded leaves work well.
  7. Feed Thai basil with a balanced, organic fertiliser every 4-6 weeks. Avoid excessive nitrogen, which can lead to lush foliage but reduced essential oil content, affecting flavour.
  8. Regularly pinch off the tops of the plants to encourage bushier growth and prevent flowering. Removing flower buds redirects the plant’s energy to leaf production, enhancing flavour. Always prune the buds off unless you plan to save seeds, othewise they change the flavour of the leaves.
  9. Monitor for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Use organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap if infestations occur.
  10. Ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases. Watering at the base and avoiding overhead watering can help reduce the risk of disease.
  11. Begin harvesting when the plants are about 6-8 inches tall. Harvest in the morning when the essential oils are most concentrated. Regular harvesting promotes new growth. And water well the day before harvesting.
  12. Grow Thai basil alongside tomatoes, peppers, and other herbs like oregano and marjoram. These companions can enhance growth and flavor while helping to deter pests.
  13. In colder climates, Thai basil can be grown indoors during the winter. Ensure adequate light and reduce watering frequency, as the plant’s growth will slow down in cooler conditions.
  14. Thai basil can be propagated from cuttings. Take a 4-inch cutting from a healthy plant, remove the lower leaves, and place it in water until roots develop. Then, transplant it into soil.
  15. Occasionally aerate the soil around your Thai basil to ensure roots receive adequate oxygen. This can be done gently with a garden fork, avoiding damage to the roots.

Heritage of Thai Basil

Thai Basil’s cultural heritage is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.  Though this is a  hotly debated subject with some believing it originated in Iran.  Whatever its origin it has become a staple herb in many cultures expecially traditional Southeast Asian cooking, where it is commonly used in numerous dishes, from aromatic curries and savoury stir-fries to refreshing salads and soups.  The herb’s historical use extends beyond the kitchen; it has been valued in traditional medicine for its therapeutic properties, such as aiding digestion and reducing inflammation. Over centuries, Thai basil has been cultivated and selectively bred to enhance its robust flavour and resilience in tropical climates. Its presence in gardens and markets throughout the region is a testament to its enduring popularity and cultural importance.

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Category Colour Guide
Planting Guide for Australia

Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Plant Height (cm)

30-45 cm (1-1.5 feet)

Season of Interest

Summer to early Autumn

Temperature Range (°C)

18-30°C (65-85°F)

Determine / Indeterminate

Annual / Perennial / Biennial

Perennial in tropical climates, grown as an annual in temperate climates

Frost Hardy / Tender


Full Sun / Part Sun / Shade

Full Sun

Sow Direct / Raise Seedlings

Sow Direct / Raise Seedlings


Well-draining soil rich in organic matter



Soil Temperature (°C)

21-27°C (70-80°F)

Seed Preparation

Soak seeds in water for a few hours before planting to enhance germination

Sowing Depth (mm)

0.5 cm (1/4 inch)

Plant Spacing (cm)

30-45 cm (12-18 inches)

Row spacing (cm)

45-60 cm (18-24 inches)


Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water at the base of the plant.

Germination Time (Days)

5-14 days

Harvest Time (Days)

60-90 days

Good Companion Plants

Tomatoes, Peppers, Oregano, Marjoram, Parsley, Chives, Borage, Asparagus

Bad Companion Plants

Rue, Sage, Cucumbers (can compete for the same resources), Fennel (releases chemicals that inhibit growth)


Aphids. Spider mites, Whiteflies, Leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, Slugs and snails


Fusarium wilt, Downy mildew, Powdery mildew, Root rot, Bacterial leaf spot, Cercospora leaf spot

More About Us

ABSeeds is an Australian owned business trading under the umbrella of Direct Compost Solutions which is owned and managed by Victoria Brun.

We as a company endeavor to provide to the public, Organic, Old Fashioned, Heritage, and Open-pollinated seeds that have not been genetically modified.

We purchased the business in November 2018 and renamed it to ABSeeds (All ‘Bout Seeds) to make the title shorter and represent what we hope to achieve with this business in the years ahead.

Seeds that we can’t grow ourselves we will acquire from people who grow for us, or we may purchase seeds from reputable heritage seed companies.

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