Scientifically known as Ocimum sanctum, Tulsi plant is an herb that is known to have medicinal properties. Hindus all over the world worship this perennial plant.
You can grow Tulsi plant in full sun and partial shade. To thrive this plant need well-drained organic rich soil.
Out of curiosity, most new gardeners often overwater the plant resulting in stunted growth and root rot.
Apart from this underwatering, choosing wrong potting soil, unfavourable climatic conditions and pests can kill the plant.
So, you must be aware on how to save your Tulsi plant from dying and steps to revive the plant.
How to Save Tulsi Plant from Dying?
If you are worried that your Tulsi is about to die, follow these steps, and you will get an idea as to how you can take care of you Tulsi plant
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Prior to that, it is very important to know the signs of Tulsi plant dying.
If you notice, yellow leaves on Tulsi plant, an algae on surface of the soil and the plant stopped growing. Probably, you’re overwatering your plant.
When you underwater the plant, leaves start drooping and surface of the soil turns bone dry.
Apart from this, pests and infestation can ruin the growth process.
Once you diagnose the plant with yellow leaves, root rot, stunted growth, drooping leaves and pests then you must act immediately to save Tulsi plant from dying.
Below mentioned are few important tips that will avoid above mentioned gardening issues.
#1 Start by learning how to water your Tulsi plant
If you want to boost your Tulsi plant’s life span, make sure that you are not overwatering it. Always make sure that the soil is dry before you water it again. Lastly, amidst the rainy season, try not to water it frequently.
#2 Be aware of the surroundings of your Tulsi plant
Though your Tulsi plant can survive partial son, like other plants, your Tulsi plant prefers to get soaked in sun rays for about 6 to 8 hours; they grow extremely well if they receive this amount of sun rays.
On the other hand, make sure you are keeping your Tulsi plant under the shade in winters, as the falling temperatures don’t work in their favor and can rot them.
#3 Repot your Tulsi plant very carefully
If you have planted your Tulsi plant from its cutting, then repotting the plant can be a difficult task. In that case, start by taking care of the roots and remove them properly. Otherwise, your plant may just not grow after getting repotted.
#4 Make homemade pesticides for your plant
Pests are those leechers that can completely harm your plant. You will have to keep your tulsi plant pest-free, and you can do this by applying a mixture of water and few droplets of dish soap on your plant and keep it protected from the pests.
Here are some recipes that work as natural pesticides for your plant and save it from getting harmed
#1 Spraying water technique
Before you go an impart chemicals on your plant, try using a water jet spray technique. Take your garden hose and throw a strong stream of water on the plant that is infected.
#2 Spraying soap
As stated above, you can use a soap spray and get rid of pests from your plant. All you need to do is take about 4 to 5 tablespoons of non-detergent dish soap and mix it in about 7 to 8 mugs of water.
Once they are mixed properly, fill this solution in a spray bottle and start to spray the parts that are infected, especially the leaves. This needs to be done early morning.
#3 Using a salt spray
Salts repel insects and certain pests and are known for increasing the soil’s nutrient absorption capability; all you need to do is mix one tablespoon of salt in one liter of water, and you are good to go. Start by sprinkling the solution near the base and the infected part of the plant.
Use plants as a natural pest repellent
Plants like marigold, onion, garlic, chives, etc. have a very pungent and sharp smell; this smell keeps aphids away from their surroundings. You can plant these plants near your tulsi and then save them from all sorts of pests.
How to Revive a Dying Tulsi Plant?
If the stem is still green, then there is a chance that you can revive or save your Tulsi plant from dying.
Know the cause
Why your plant is dying, is it due to overwatering, underwatering or extreme cold?
If it’s overwatering, then stop watering the plant and allow the soil to dry completely. Once, you’re sure that the growing medium in the pot is well-drained and fertile, water the plant generously.
In Summer, if you’re living in tropical region then water daily in early morning.
In Winter, you must reduce watering frequency.
To make it easy, insert your finger in the soil and check for moisture. If the soil is sticky don’t water now. When the soil gets dry by 1 inch from surface of the soil, start watering.
Underwatering issue can be rectified simply by watering the plant. Within few days you’ll notice that leaves turn healthy. This time, mulch hay grass around the Tulsi plant to hold moisture for longer time.
Tulsi plant can grow in full sun and partial shade. However, you must save the plant from too hot days using a shade cloth.
Often Tulsi plant die in cold season due to cold weather. Shift the plant to warmer corner. This plant need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, which you can get by placing the plant on window sill.
Lastly, if things aren’t working, you must repot the Tulsi plant to save from dying. As mentioned, soil must be well-drained, aerated and should be fertilized with organic matter.
How to Grow Tulsi Plant?
Since the Tulsi plant is a warm climate plant, you can grow it throughout the year but in tropical areas.
Before we get into the technicalities as to how you can save the plant, let us learn the process of growing Tulsi plant to understand if some issue has occurred because of the way you have grown it.
Tulsi is very easy to grow as it is a perennial plant; it can be grown from seeds or cutting; you can grow it in pots and the garden. All you need is well-drained soil, and the type doesn’t matter; it can be anything, and the plant will grow. But if you were to choose one that is ideal, then Tulsi grows its best in the loamy soil.
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Collection of seeds
The seeds of the Tulsi plants are very easy to collect. You can either sow the seeds or take the cuttings from the plant and replant them as per your wish.
Just keep in mind that the soil is moist, and you have put cow dung fertilizer on it. Tulsi requires a little bit of care initially. After that, it’s a very tough plant and grows easily.
Now let us take a look at the types of Tulsi plants available.
Types of Tulsi plants
- Vana Tulsi
- Shyam/Krishna Tulsi
- Kapoor Tulsi
- Ram Tulsi
This is one of that Tulsi that grows in gardens, and itha the tendency of growing very tall and bushy. Vana Tulsi is very tough and has a velvety texture. The aroma of Tulsi is very distinct, and this type of Tulsi is used for making teas.
The leaves of the Ram Tulsi are in light green color, and their shape is a bit asymmetric. Ram Tulsi grows well in pots, and they are usually grown for religious and medicinal purposes.
Rama Tulsi has a lot more medicinal purpose than the Rama Tulsi. It is very different looking as its stems and leaves are purple, which is also why it is called Shyam/Krishna Tulsi. The leaves carry a pungent aroma, and they are broader in shape.
Kapoor Tulsi is very common in Indian households and can quickly be grown in the containers. The best part of Kapoor Tulsi is that it is super easy to grow.
Pruning your Tulsi plant
Always prune your Tulsi plant; start by removing the dried leaves and seeds whenever it is possible. Pruning your Tulsi plant will also help you in reviving it if it is dead.
Fertilize your Tulsi plant
If you feel that your Tulsi plant is dying, start by providing it with some fertilizer amount, as these will help in reviving it. You can also use some home made fertilizer like cow dung, teal leaves, rotten manure, etc.
How to Plant Tulsi Plant?
The difficulty level of growing Tulsi plants is easy. You don’t have to do anything scientific.
Process of planting
It would be best if you always sowed your Tulsi seeds in late spring or the early summer season. Keep in mind that the temperature should be between 59F to 70F.
If you are planning it in the spring season, start by sowing the seeds indoors to give then a greenhouse effect, or you can also plant them near the windows where sun rays do their magic.
Start by placing the Tulsi seeds on top of the soil and then begin to tamp them so that seeds can have good soil contact. Once done, cover the seeds by a ¼ inch layer of compost or even soil.
Spray some water on the seeds to get moist and place them in a place where they can receive warmth, shade, and some amount of morning sun. You can also keep the moist soil during the germination period that is about 1 to 2 weeks.
When you notice that the seedlings have grown and they have about two to three sets of a leaf, start by transplanting them in individual containers. Just make sure that you are not disturbing the roots.
Things you require for growing Tulsi plant
It is a bit obvious that it’s a plant and required soil. It can grow in loamy and fertile soil that drains properly. The plant can grow in acidic to neutral soil; the optimal ph should be around 6 to 7.5
Tulsi plant grows its best in full sun, and can also grow in partial shade. It is just that the plant requires about four hours of sunlight every day and can grow its best in that period.
Always water the Tulsi plant when the top 1inch layer is dry; during the summer season, keep the soil moist throughout. During the rainy season, do not water it, and also in winters, reduce the watering as it will help prevent the diseases.
Taking care of your Tulsi plant
Pinch the Tulsi plant’s tops, especially when they are forming around four to six pairs of leaves; this will help the plant grow faster and bushier. Remove the flower buds once they appear; this will allow the plant to growing lush and full and prevent seed production.
It is important to pinch the tops of the holy basil plant when forming four or six pairs of leaves; this will make the plant grow bushier. You must remove flower buds when they appear.
It grows lusher and fuller when seed production is prevented. You should also remove the wilted, discolours leaves as they will hamper the new leaves’ growth. Regularly removing the old leaves and flowers will keep your Tulsi plant healthy.
Fertilize Tulsi Plant
Every once in four weeks, pour in some balanced fertilizer on your plant. Reduce fertilization once the growing season is over.
You can replace two top-inch layers of the soil and throw in compost every year, or in six months. This can be beneficial.
Prune your Tulsi plant
You need to prune your Tulsi plant throughout the year, as this will control the plant’s size and help turn it into a lot bushier and have compact growth. When you are pruning your plant, don’t remove more than half of the growing stem.
How to Save Tulsi Plant from Dying in Winter?
During the winters, move the plants in an area where there is bright and sunny; you can also move it inside. Move it back once the peak winters have gone, and the temperature is high.
Save it from pests and diseases
Though Tulsi stays safe from pests and diseases, if you grow it in poor conditions, the plant can get attacked by pests like whiteflies, spider mites, aphids, bugs, etc.
Keep your Tulsi protected by using organic pesticides and insecticidal soaps; you can also use homemade measures mentioned above.
Let us learn how you can harvest your Tulsi
Throughout the growing season, always reap the leaves of the plant. Whenever you plant reaches the height of 8 inches, cut the large and single leaves with scissors’ help and the amount you need.
Just keep in mind that you will have to use the fresh leaves on the same day as you harvest them as they tend to fade away quickly.
You can also save them for the future, and you can attain this by keeping them in a warm and shady place and drying them.
Start by collecting the branches in a basket and then placing them in a dry and entirely away from the sunlight.
It would be best if you also tossed them around 2 to 3 times every day until they turn crispy and crush once you touch them. Since the Tulsi seeds are edible, you can store them and add them in teas.
When Should I Harvest the Tulsi?
Since it is a perennial plant, you should harvest it continuously that too, in small amounts as the herbs will grow their best
Start by harvesting the Tulsi when the plant has reached the height of a foot, then pinch back the tips that are growing; this method, as earlier stated, will increase your yields.
In about 40 days, your plant will be ready to harvest. The 40 days are counted after the germination period. If you plant the Tulsi carefully and gently and harvest it in the same manner, a Tulsi plant can do wonders for years.
Particularly in India, the bush of Tulsi can easily reach a height of 4 to 5 feet (in heat), but if you plant them indoors, they will remain small and busy, and their size will be around 1 to 2 feet.
Why Does Tulsi Die in Winter? How Do I Revive My Tulsi?
As stated above, Tulsi just cant survive winters as its an annual plant, and its life span is about 1.5 years. It is a perennial plant and grows its best in summers.
They start growing in inters but flourish properly in summers and then dire again during the next winter. But if you take care of them, you can make them survive longer. A lot of plants have grown for three years and more. This equals to someone surviving for over 100 years.
How to Save Tulsi Plant from Dying?
Water it daily, never let it dry
Protect your Tulsi from cold wind and also snow, make makeshift barriers that will prevent the cold air from hitting the plant
Always plus the budding flowers, especially before they turn into seed, sometimes the completes’ lifecycle after the seeds are formed.
How do I Revive My Tulsi?
You can’t revive your tulsi once it is dead, you can revive it only if just a small amount of plant is damaged, and this can be done by watering it and giving a good amount of sun light. (A detailed answer is written above.)
Tulsi is an easy-to-grow plant and requires a little amount of maintenance, If you provide it with enough amount of water and sun light, this plant will stay with you and also help you in treating sore throats and colds.
But yes, once it is dead, there is nothing you can do; you will have to raise a new plant and take care of it. Just make sure that you aren’t overdoing anything and giving it the amount of love, it requires.
To save Tulsi plant from dying, you must regularly inspect the plant. Once, you notice yellowing of upper leaves, stunted growth or algae layer on surface of the soil, diagnose the cause and repot if the growing medium isn’t well-drained.