Can I save this basil?
- Does the basil on the left side have any chances of survival? It doesn’t seem likely, but there is still some green on the leaves.
The plant on the left side is too far gone. It will never fully recover, and should be disposed of. The plant looks like it either took some cold, or got basil fusarium wilt. I think the latter is unlikely, but I’d keep that plant away from the other, just in case.
- The one from the right has some leaves with black spots. Should I remove them entirely or only the black spots?
This is probably cold damage. There is a slight chance that the spots are infected, so to be safe, remove the leaves with black spots, or if the spotting is all at the end, you can cut the spots off and leave a portion of leaf on the plant.
- I live on the second floor of a big building. My apartment has windows facing east and west. Is it recommended to move the plan during the day in order to have more sun, or is it recommended to leave it in the same place?
Basil likes as much sun as it can get, especially indoors (and even more especially in Poland). It will benefit the plants if you can move them to whichever window has the most light at the time, but be gentle.
Your plant looks fairly healthy, but there are some good points to know, for a beginner trying to grow herbs indoors.
Do not overwater. This is probably the number one reason indoor herbs fail. Indoors, the plants don’t grow as fast, and the potting mix doesn’t dry out as fast. water only when the top layer of mix dries out, becoming several shades lighter in color.
Provide as much light as possible. Move to the sunniest windows whenever possible.
Gas ranges can put fumes into the air which will kill plants. Be aware that even if you can’t smell the fumes, they can still kill plants. If you have a gas range, keep the plants as far from it as possible.
Basil likes humidity, so spraying with pure water now and then will benefit the plant, while cleaning off the accumulated dust. Air conditioning will cause a loss of vigor, and maybe eventual death.
The temperature matters to basil. The warmer the better, indoors. As long as it stays above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be fine.
Below are links to more information on this subject which may be helpful in your case:
Starting growing herbs inside, is there anything I should worry about?
How do I help my kitchen window herb garden thrive?
How long will my basil plants live inside?
How can I grow herbs in my kitchen?
Growing Tips for Herbs: Why Is My Basil Dying?
Tips for Keeping your Basil Alive
• If your basil is taking a turn for the worse, it may be because of the location. Pick a location that is sheltered from harsh wind and yields lots of sun exposure. Basil thrives in warmer conditions, especially in the summer months. Choose a site that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day. (Explore the Bountiful World of Basil)
• If your basil meets the location requirements and it is still not holding up, the cure may be in the soil conditions. Like most herbs, basil loves rich, moist and well-drained soil and the ideal pH range should be close to or around 6.0. Your local nursery or hardware store will have pH test kit that comes with a color chart.
• If the location is spot on and you’ve achieved a balance in the soil, it might be a temperature issue. Anything below 50 degrees is too cold for basil, and the herb will start wilting and turning brown.
• Keep in mind that the lower leaves which are closest to the soil may turn a yellow-brown and fall off. This is normal and healthy, due to the larger and higher up leaves soaking in the majority of the sun.
What do you do to keep your basil alive? What other herbs do you have problems keeping alive? Drop me a comment or email The Herb Companion magazine at [email protected]
A pot of supermarket basil is an almost universal starting point for timid first timers making an initial foray into horticulture. Coming as modestly priced, ready-grown plants on the shelves of the veg aisle, they seem like the perfect “gateway drug” – a spot of gardening you can do even in the dark days of December. However, after just a few days on the kitchen windowsill most wilt and die. But this doesn’t have to happen.
When you buy a pot of basil, you are not buying one plant, but a tightly sown clump of more than 20 seedlings. This gives the appearance of an extremely healthy, bushy plant in far less time, which looks great on the shelf and comes in at far lower cost. But the reality is that these seedlings soon start to compete with each other for space, causing the plants in the clump to succumb to lack of light, water and nutrients once out of the cosseted confines of an industrial greenhouse.
To fix this, simply take the clump of plants out of their pot and divide the root ball into quarters by gently tearing it apart with your fingers. Trim out the smallest and weakest plants by snipping them off at soil level to leave a maximum of five strong seedlings per clump. Plant up each clump into its own plastic pot, the same size as the original, using a soil-based potting mix such as John Innes No 2. The high percentage of soil in these mixes holds water better than compost and provides a wider range of nutrients. It may also provide a better habitat for soil microbes, which a 2009 Argentinian trial suggested could boost flavour compounds by as much as 10 times.
Give your newly potted plants a generous soaking and place them in a sunny spot, indoors or in a greenhouse, and let them do their thing. They will soon recover, giving you months of fragrant harvests – and four pots for the price of one.
Pump up the volume
Want to get even more aroma out of your basil? Aside from using soil-based potting mix, growing basil indoors (even in the summer) could dramatically increase its flavour. A trial at the University of Nottingham found that basil grown in warmer conditions produced more than twice the essential oil of that grown in cooler temperatures. Place it high on the hottest top shelf of a greenhouse for a noticeable spike in aroma.
Email James at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Botanygeek
Basil wilting, how to preserve? [duplicate]
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Drooping Basil Indoors
This small pot actually has several basil plants in it. There are several reasons it could be drooping, and often with plants what we see isn’t the response to just one condition but a combination of conditions. Here is what may be going on:
1. Yes, you are correct that Basil likes it on the warm side. So cold from the window (especially the temps in your area on Wednesday night/Thurs AM!) can make them droop.
2. Lack of good light will cause the older leaves to yellow and fall off. So if you bought this plant to use in cooking, pick the largest, older leaves first to use before they yellow. You could put a regular lamp with a “gro light” in it near the plant and keep it on for 12 hours a day – that would help. Such full-spectrum lights need to be very close to the plant to do any good.
3. Over watering and under watering cause the same symptoms: drooping leaves. Water the plant really well and then wait until the soil is dry, but before the plant starts to wilt, to water well again.
4. You might want to put this group of plants in a larger pot asap – that will help even out your watering schedule and encourage the plants to grow. Since you’re a new gardener, here’s something you should know about plants: what happens in the soil is reflected up above. So a plant that has room to grow more roots will produce more growth up on top. But a plant that is root-bound, and doesn’t have enough space for root development, won’t produce more stems and leaves.
5. Fertilize with a general fertilizer used according to directions after you’ve watered the plant recently. (Another tip: never fertilize a thirsty plant.)
Why Does Basil Wilt: How To Fix Droopy Basil Plants
Basil is a sun-loving herb valued for its bright green foliage and distinctive flavor. Although basil is usually easy to get along with, it can develop droopy leaves that can ultimately shorten the life of the plant. Read on to learn more about why your basil is starting to wilt and what can be done about it.
Why Does Basil Wilt?
Healthy basil plants require at least eight hours of sunlight every day, well-drained soil, and enough space to allow for plenty of air circulation. If you are meeting the plant’s basic needs and your basil plant keeps falling over anyway, there may be a more serious problem.
Basil plant droop that appears suddenly on young plants is often caused by fusarium wilt, a fungal disease that causes stunted growth and droopy, wilted or yellow leaves. The first signs of trouble are decreased growth and leaves with a cupped appearance. Eventually, leaves may drop from the plant.
Fusarium wilt is difficult to manage and can remain in the soil for eight to 12 years. If you suspect your plant is infected with fusarium, you’ll probably have to start fresh with a new plant in a completely different location.
Prevention is the best solution for fusarium wilt. Purchase healthy, disease-resistant plants. If you plant basil seeds, be sure the package indicates the seeds are fusarium tested.
Root rot is another common reason for droopy basil plants. Rot is a water-borne disease generally caused by improper irrigation or poorly drained soil. Let the soil dry slightly between watering, but don’t allow it to become bone dry.
If the basil is in a pot, ensure the plant drains thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water.
If your basil plant is starting to wilt and you notice brown, water-soaked spots on the leaves, it may be infected by various fungal diseases known as leaf spot.
Remove affected leaves at the first sign of infection. To prevent the disease, water at the base of the plant and never use a sprinkler or spray attachment. If the disease isn’t serious, a fungal spray may help.
Aphids, spider mites and other insects can suck the sap from aphids, which may cause droopy leaves. Most sap-sucking insects are easily removed by spraying the leaves with an insecticidal soap spray.
Use the spray strictly according to directions. Never spray the plant when the sun is directly on the foliage, or when temperatures are above 90 degrees F./32 degrees C.