Siam Queen Thai basil comes from Southeast Asia. It is known as horapha in Thai, and húng quế in Vietnamese. It is an annual which produces lush dark green leaves with contrasting purple stems. It has a wonderful liquorice aroma that makes it popular in Thai (Horapha) and Vietnamese (Hung Que) cuisine. Highly regarded for its distinctive, spicy flavour. This vigorous, highly ornamental plant with purple stalks and pink flowers, provide a nice contrast to its dark green leaves. This variety is particularly productive in hot weather or in a greenhouse, and it performs well in containers. Pick young shoots regularly to extend the harvest.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost or sow seeds outdoors after the last frost. Basil requires well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, and it prefers full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep and 15-20cm (6-8”) apart. Keep the soil consistently moist until the seedlings emerge, which can take 5-10 days. Once the seedlings have emerged, water them deeply once a week, and allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. Pinch the growing tips regularly to encourage bushy growth, and harvest leaves regularly to encourage continued growth. Basil can also be grown in containers, which can be brought indoors before the first frost to prolong the growing season. Basil can be harvested once it has reached 15-20cm (6-8”) in height, and regular harvesting will encourage continued growth.
Soil Conditions: Well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Planting Depth: Sow seeds 1cm (½”) deep. Germination: 5-10 days. Height at Maturity: 30-60cm (12-24”) tall. Days to Maturity: 60-90 days. Watering: Water deeply once a week, and allow the soil to dry slightly before watering again. Sun/Shade: Full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. Spacing after Thinning: Space seedlings 15-20cm (6-8”) apart.