Lovers of the popular Vietnamese street food ‘Pho’ will be familiar with the assorted condiments accompanying the dish, including Queenette Thai basil. Crushed into the comforting soup, the basil ‘Queenette’ releases its heady flavors and aromas reminiscent of cloves, mint, and sweet basil. Its complex flavor and versatility makes growing Queenette basil a must-have in the herb garden.
What is Queenette Thai Basil?
The basil ‘Queenette’ is a true Thai basil that hails from Thailand. It is a strikingly ornamental herb with small, densely clustered, green leaves surrounding the brilliant purple stems. Newly emerged leaves are also purple but green up as they mature. Its spires of purple flowers make it a beautiful edition not only to the herb garden but interspersed amongst other annuals and perennials.
Thai basil is a common ingredient in Thai and other Asian cuisines in everything from chutney to stir fry to soup. Queenette Thai basil grows to about 1-2 feet (30.5-61 cm.) in height.
Queenette Basil Care
A tender annual, Queenette basil can be grown in USDA zones 4-10. Sow seeds either indoors or directly into the garden 1-2 weeks after the average last frost date for your region. Sow in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter and a pH of between 6.0-7.5 in full sun, and make sure the plant gets at least 6 hours per day of direct sunlight.
Keep the seeds moist and when they have their first two sets of true leaves, thin the seedlings to 12 inches (30.5 cm.) apart.
Once the plant has established, growing Queenette basil requires very little care. Keep the soil moist and pinch off any seed heads to extend the plant’s life and encourage bushing. Because Queenette is a tender herb, protect it from frosts and low temperatures.