How to Plant Tulsi Seeds


Tulsi is the Indian name for sweet basil, known botanically as Ocimum basilicum, an aromatic herb widely used in the Indian, Thai and Italian cooking traditions, among others. Tulsi seeds can be planted directly into the garden soil or started indoors when grown in cooler climates. According to Purdue University, tulsi seeds have a relatively high rate of germination at roughly 80 percent and will grow well in a wide range of soil conditions.

Step 1

Prepare a planting bed in the garden soil in spring after any threat of frost is well past. Till up the top 6 inches of soil in a sunny location and amend with compost only if the soil of poor quality. Alternatively, fill a small nursery pot or seed tray within 1/2 inch of the lip with fresh sterile potting mix or seed-starting medium.

Step 2

Wet the soil to make it fully moist before planting so as not to drown the tiny seeds after planting.

Step 3

Scatter the tiny seeds over the moist, prepared soil at intervals of roughly 3/8 inch. Nestle the seeds into the surface of the soil shallowly at a depth of .3 cm but never cover with soil by more than twice the diameter of the seed.

Step 4

Keep the tulsi seeds in a sunny location where ambient temperatures never dip below 70 degrees F.

Step 5

Water regularly to gently drench the surface of the soil, keeping it moist at all times. Never allow it to dry out completely, even on the surface, but do not keep it so wet as to be soupy.

Step 6

Allow seven to 14 days for the tulsi seeds to germinate and develop visible pale green shoots coming up from the soil. Once two full sets of leaves are formed and after any threat of frost, you can transplant container-started plants into the garden soil at intervals of 12 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake or hoe
  • Compost
  • Sterile potting or seed-starting medium
  • Water
  • Seed trays


  • Ohio State University: Growing, Selecting and Using Basil
  • Purdue University: Basil
Keywords: planting Ocimum basilicum, germinating tulsi seeds, growing sweet basil

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.