Thai basil care infographicThai basil, or Ocimum basilicum, has a distinct smell and flavor that make you imagine you’re seated in a restaurant at some exotic, distant land. It’s a perfect ingredient for different types of dishes, making it more savory.

We asked our expert gardeners about this fantastic type of basil, so you’ll know what to do if you decide to grow one.

What Is Thai Basil? Origin & Places Where It Grows

Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora) is a pleasant-smelling plant from the mint family. It has a rich history in Asia, from where Alexander the Great brought it to Greece, spreading it to Europe.

Thai basil in a potThe Latin name means “a scent fit for the king’s palace.” It is a gentle plant that takes some effort to grow but is wholly rewarding.

Ocimum basilicum is a plant popular in Southeast Asia as a decorative plant and a flavoring in recipes. It can grow up to 1.5 feet and have blue, purple, or pink flowers. Yet, the Thai basil stem is always purple and square. That’s why it’s also called “purple Thai basil.

The leaves are shiny, narrow, and serrated.

Ocimum basilicum seeds can be brown or black and are also known as “nutlets.” There are many Thai basil varieties, and they mix well, so do play plant matchmaker.

How To Grow Thai basil? 6 Simple Steps

Ocimum basilicum can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Doing the latter is relatively easy and also helps you prevent crossing with other basils. This type is great when you want to preserve some of the more unusual varieties of basils.