RamaTulsi is a purple-tinged tea basil that is cultivated in India. The tea is very delicious and health giving. If protected from frost, these plants will perennialize and become quite large, with woody stems. They can also be grown as a summer annual with very good results. The leaves and flowers may be harvested and dried on an ongoing basis to make the tea. We start the plants early in the greenhouse and usually have them available for shipping from June through September. There is a lot of variation between different "Tulsi" cultivars, but Rama makes the most potent tea. The herb is a calming adaptogenic, with other effects including antioxidant, radiation-protectant, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antiviral, etc. The plant is holy to the Hindus and also to us here at Horizon Herbs and we plant it to help remind us of the sacred. It is said of Tulsi "Even the ground below it is rendered sacred."
OM SHANTI OM SHANTI OM
This plant may be grown outdoors in a suitable environment, but it is also possible to grow as a houseplant, and we realize that many people wsant to grow this plant indoors for offerings. Following, find some recommendations for growing this plant in indoor culture (an indoor windowsill, under a skylight, or in a sunroom. However, Tulsi really does require a lot of light, and to maintain healthy plants indoors, it is really best to use a full spectrum grow light. 4 or 8 bulb T5 Grow lights are recommended. Suspend the light about 18 inches above the top leaves of the plant, and turn the lights on for 8 hours daily. The light may be rigged with a timer to turn on at 8 am and off at 4 pm. This is a good schedule for Tulsi.
Pot size: Half gallon to gallon or larger.
Snipping back: Tulsi will tend to run to flower indoors. If flowers occur, allow them to express for some time, but when they begin to turn into seed (unless seed is desired and the plant is not) then it is best to pinch off the flowering/seeding heads and allow the plant to regenerate.
Soil: Standard potting soil mixture for houseplants as described on page 107 of "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech: Mix together 1 gallon of hydrated coir, 1 gallon of compost or composted manure, 2 Tbsp micronutrient mix, 1/2 gallon coarse, sharp sand, 1 gallon pumice.
Light requirement: High
Fertilization: Weekly foliar or root feeding of kelp tea, mycoblast, or compost
Potential toxicity to pests or young children: none
Setting outdoors: OK, but keep warm and protect from frost. Plants will withstand full sun exposure but it may be better to give filtered light lest the plant be burned by unaccustomed exposure to direct sunlight.
Vacations: Probably OK to leave unattended for 3 days without water. If necessary, it may help to encase the plant in an inflated plastic bag, in which case it could hold for a week, more or less.
Other recommendations: We have listed "RAMA TULSI" for indoor culture instead of the other Tulsi cultivars, because most Vedic people recognize and prefer this cultivar. It is a familiar sight in India. Other types of Tulsi may be maintained indoors with similar cultivation parameters. The "Vana" type is very woody and the leaves are thick and difficult to damage by abuses of sun and shade. Indeed, the "Vana" cultivar is easier to overwinter indoors than the other types. Therefore it may be useful to maintain vana tulsi along with the rama tulsi, in case the rama tulsi declines, the vana tulsi makes a good substitute.
Feel free to order this plant at any time, but please be aware that we SHIP PLANTS APRIL 1 to AUGUST 1 AND SEPTEMBER1 to DEC 1 only. Orders received outside these months will be automatically backordered. If you are ordering plants out of season, you may wish to order them separately from your seeds, in order to streamline the process.
If you have chosen a PLANT* (marked with a *), shipping costs are as follows:
1 to 6 PLANTS* will ship for $14.90
7 to 8 PLANTS* will ship for $19.90 (The shipping may be more if you buy other things in addition to plants.)
For 9 or more PLANTS* or if ordering plants NOT marked with a *, we will contact you with a UPS shipping estimate.