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Growing Tulsi in Pots (Holy Basil), Planting, Care Guide

A step by step guide for growing Tulsi in pots at home

Hi, guys today we will discuss growing Tulsi in pots in your home garden. Tulsi is also called Holy Basil. This plant is mostly used as a medicinal herb for the treatment of many numbers of ailments starting from headaches to cancer. This plant can be grown in a simple way either from seed or by rooting in water. It is a very simple plant to maintain too. You can keep the Tulsi plant in pots and place it in indoor locations or you can even plant it in outdoor locations like your garden.

Tulsi is also called Vrinda and is considered to be a sacred plant by Hindus. Most of the Hindus have Tulsi plants in their houses mainly in special pits which are called Tulsi Vrindavan. Hence this plant is used for both medicinal and cultural purposes. Now, let us get into the details of Tulsi growing in pots or how to grow Tulsi in posts at home in India.

Varieties of Tulsi:

You can start these varieties for growing Tulsi in pots.

Though there are 18 varieties of Tulsi (holy basil) across the world, the main types of Tulsi in India are:

  • Krishna Tulsi
  • Drudriha Tulsi
  • Ram Tulsi
  • Babi Tulsi
  • Tukashmiya

Growing Tulsi from seeds:

  • A flowerpot has to be filled with soil that has high quality and makes sure that you are watering it in a thorough manner. Also, ensure that you are leaving a space of an inch at the pot’s top layer. Also, add a sufficient amount of water to moisten the soil, but make sure that you are not adding so much amount of water as you do not want your soil to be soggy.
  • Though you are planning to grow your Tulsi in an outdoor location, it is always better to start the growth of Tulsi in the indoor locations before you transfer it to an outdoor location. You can get Tulsi seeds from any of your neighbors if possible or you can also buy them in garden stores.
  • The seeds have to be sown at a depth of ¼ inch below the soil. As the seeds of Tulsi will be tiny, you can sprinkle the seeds on the top layer of the soil in a simpler manner, then press them down in a gentle manner into the soil surface by making use of your fingers or you can even slightly tamper them.
  • The soil has to be kept moist until the germination of seeds takes place. The seeds will start to grow in about 7 to 15 days. As the seeds of Tulsi will be delicate and sensitive, you can try to make use of a spray bottle to mist the soil surface in a light manner. If you pour water into the pot, make sure that you are doing it slowly and also in a careful manner so that you will not disturb any of the seeds.
  • You can also prefer to cover the top layer of the pot by making use of plastic wrap as doing so will help in sealing the moisture inside, but make sure that you are monitoring the soil on a regular basis and keep adding more amount of water whenever required.
  • The Tulsi plant has to be placed close to a window that is warm and sunny. Your Tulsi plant will require almost 6 to 8 hours of sunlight during the day and the temperature should be at a minimum of 21°C, The pot has to be set up in a spot where it would be able to receive a large quantity of sunlight.
  • Also, be very careful that you are not leaving the plant close to any window or door which is open if the temperature is decreasing during nighttime.

Rooting Tulsi plant in water:

How to Grow Tulsi in Pots.
How to Grow Tulsi in Pots.

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  • Cut a stem which is having a length of 4 to 6 inches from a Tulsi plant which is matured. The stem has to be taken right from the set of leaves. All the other leaves have to be plucked from the lower section of your cutting. You will have to leave a stem of 2 inches fully bare.
  • When you are cutting the stem, make sure that you are selecting one which has not yet flowering. You can take a cutting from a stem that flowers, but it will be very difficult for rooting and make it much more difficult for the plant.
  • The cut end has to be dipped into a rooting hormone for speeding up the process. Rooting hormones can be bought at gardening stores or nurseries present in your locality.
  • The Tulsi cutting has to be planted in a glass container that is completely filled with water. Make sure that you are using a drinking glass that is clear and fill it with sufficient water for covering just the bottom half of the stems. You can also keep more than one stem in the container, but you will have to make sure that it is not getting overcrowded.
  • The water has to be changed on a daily basis so that the stems will not rot from bacteria overgrowth.
  • Your Tulsi plant has to be kept in a spot that is warm and sunny. Select a table or windowsill which will let the plant get sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours of indirect and bright sunlight.
  • The cuttings have to be transferred into a pot of soil when the roots start growing. Your Tulsi cuttings will be ready for transfer into the soil when the roots reached the length of ¼ to a ½ inch. It will take up to one week to ten days for reaching this point.
  • If you are having multiple cuttings in the container, separate them in a gentle manner for avoiding the breakage of the roots which are delicate.
  • Your Tulsi has to be placed in the potting soil for about 15 to 21 days before you are planting in the outdoor locations you wish to.

How to care and maintain Tulsi plants:

Tulsi Plant Care.
Tulsi Plant Care.
  • Your Tulsi plant has to be watered when the soil’s top layer will become dry. You will have to check your plant a minimum of two times a week to check if it has to be watered. If the soil’s top is dry, you will have to water it.
  • The number of times you have to water the Tulsi plant will change based on the climatic conditions and temperature.
  • The Tulsi plant has to be fertilized at least one time in a month. You can make use of liquid fertilizer or organic compost like manure for the maintenance of nutrients in the soil. An application of cow manure once a month will help your plant to survive.
  • The tops of Tulsi have to be pruned on a weekly basis for the encouragement of its growth. Once your Tulsi plant will have three sets of leaves on a single stem, one set of leaves on the top of the stem, and the remaining two sets of leaves on the sides of the stem, you can start pruning. The top set of Tulsi leaves have to be removed, these will be located just above the other two leaves sets.

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Pruning of your Tulsi plant

  • Will help it to grow quickly and give rise to branches that are full.
  • Your Tulsi can be transplanted once it has outgrown its pot. As soon as you notice the roots to grow out of the drainage holes which are present at the bottom of the pot, it is the best time for transferring the plant to a pot that is larger. Based on the size of the pot in which you started the Tulsi plant, you may be required to do this at least two times.
  • Always remember that the Tulsi plant will be growing up to a length of 3 feet, so make sure that you are planning for this when you are transferring wither into a pot that is larger or to the outdoor locations.
  • You will sometimes see Tulsi leaves falling off and start turning yellow in color. This is an indication of deficiency of nutrients
  • You can also transfer Tulsi to the outdoor locations in a secure way about 6 to 8 weeks after the plantation is done. Always make sure that there is no risk of frost present and also the temperatures are at a minimum of 21°C.

Facts about growing Tulsi plants:

  • Tulsi plant is the one which is considered to be auspicious in human’s life and most of the Indians have this plant in their houses. The months of April to June are considered to be the best for growing Tulsi plants.
  • Tulsi seeds will take one week to two weeks to undergo the process of germination and start emerging from the soil. After the completion of the germination process, you will have to wait for the first set of Tulsi leaves after 15 to 20 days. Then, after that, the Tulsi plants will be reaching a length of at least 6 inches and that would be the best time to plant them in the outdoor locations.
  • It is always important to keep the tips of Vastu in your mind when you are placing the Tulsi plant in your house. The best place to keep your Tulsi plant is on the Eastside. If you are unable to place it in the East, then you can opt to place it in a window or balcony which is in the North-East or even North can be preferred. Make sure that there is the availability of sufficient sunlight.
  • The spots which are dark and water-soaked which you see on your Tulsi plant are an indication of a bacterial leaf spot infection which is caused by the bacteria called Pseudomonas cichorii. These symptoms may gradually lead to the rotting of the wet stem. The bacteria which will lead to the bacterial leaf spot is the one that is born from the seeds of Tulsi, but there are also chances that it may be caused by splashing water.
  • Tulsi plant has a life span of 3 years to the maximum when taken proper care of with a good amount of watering and by not allowing it to wilt.
  • Usually, Tulsi seeds take 2 weeks to germinate and started growing.
  • The bacterial leaf spot infection will cause the Tulsi (Holy basil) leaves to turn black or cause the Tulsi plant to have a black spot.
  • Tulsi plant is a tropical plant and you can grow it anytime in the tropics.
  • Tulsi plants can be grown on the terrace, backyard, balcony, and indoors.
  • The commercial cultivation of Tulsi in India is rapidly increasing as the Tulsi essential oil has excellent health benefits.
  • If the leaves of Tulsi are falling off, it may be due to overwatering or less water supply. It may also be the reason for Tulsi pests and diseases other than nutrient deficiencies.
  • You can save the Tulsi plant from dying by checking the soil moister, nutrients and analyzing any plant pests and diseases. Overwatering may cause the Tulsi plants to die.
  • Tulsi plants can be grown from cuttings and seeds.

That’s all folks about the techniques of growing Tulsi in pots at home.

The bottom line of growing Tulsi in Pots:

Well, it is auspicious when grown at home and profitable with commercial cultivation.

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  1. Hello. The climate I live in will not support Tulsi if I plant it outside. If I plan to keep this in a container indoors, how big of a pot/container will I need? Thank you!

  2. Well, I have been keeping Tulsi indoors for the last 3 yrs on a east side window sill. The window sill gets 4-5 hrs. of sunlight.
    Juts keep it planted in a potting mix, water when you see the surface dry and put in some organic fertilizer (1/2 teas spoon) for garden veggies once a month. Whenever you see the floral buds, just pinch them and remove from plants. Also rotate the plat every 2 days to keep all sides sun bathed.

  3. I have beautiful Tulsi plants sprouted from seeds in summer. However when I bring them indoors before temps fall below 50 Degree F, the leaves dry out and entire 2/3 feet tall plant dies down. This happens every year. I place them indoors where it gets max light/sunlight

    • When you bring Tusli plants from outdoor to indoor, if it is not exposed to sunlight for at least 8 hours, it will start dropping the leaves and becomes dry. And don’t overwater the plants after moving indoors.

  4. My tulsi is not at all growing…. Initially it grown nicely… But from past 4-5 months its totally become drought…. Still Im watering daily… But its not at all growing… All leaves have been fallen…

  5. My Tulsi plant doesn’t get sufficient sunlight in winter due to which the plant gets weaker and sometimes dried off…I need some tips to revive my Holy Basil.


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