Herb Challenge Week #2

Sarah asks, ” I would love to know how to grow basil nice, bushy and green! Every single time I do it, it dies on me. Help!”

Basil can be finicky sometimes, but I bought myself a basil plant and did some research. Here is what I learned!

Basil likes partial shade and well-drained soil (basil grown in poor soil yields more fragrant leaves). Water it regularly to keep the soil moist, minding that you don’t get water on the leaves. It is important to pinch off the buds when they appear, or else the plant will go to seed, and then die. And if you don’t cut it all the way to the ground, you will get a second crop! Combine all these facts, and you should get a nice healthy basil plant. And if you still have trouble? Here are some troubleshooting tips.

  • Your plant is beginning to lose color and die: It could be root rot. Don’t water it for awhile until the soil dries out. You might have to try re-potting it.
  • Stunted growth, withering and yellowing leaves, twisted stem, brown spots/streaks on the stem: This is Fusarium Wilt. Sadly, if your basil plant has this, you must destroy the plant, as it is contagious and will harm your other basil and mint plants. Don’t plant either in that area for two to three years.
  • Spots on the leaves: This is leaf spot disease. Pinch off the affected leaves. To prevent this, try and water your plant in the morning, and don’t get the leaves wet.

Also, something else you could try is putting your basil plant in a jar of water. I know someone who did this and set it in her kitchen window, and it did just fine!

Well, I hope this helps! You should have a nice basil plant in no time.





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