Basil is a delicious and fragrant herb that is often used in cooking. But did you know that it’s also relatively easy to take care of? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about basil, from how to take care of it, to troubleshooting common problems. Even if basils are known to be pretty tough, there are still a few things you should keep in mind when growing them. But first, let’s talk about…
What is basil?
Basil is a member of the mint family, and is native to India and other tropical regions. It’s widely used as a culinary herb, as well as for its essential oils.
What does basil look like?
Basil has large, green leaves and white or purple flowers. The leaves are often used in cooking, while the flowers are mostly for decoration.
How long will basil last?
Basil is a annual plant, which means it will only last for one growing season. However, you can prolong its life by taking cuttings and growing new plants from them.
How fast does basil grow?
Basil grows relatively quickly, especially when given plenty of sunlight and water. It’s not uncommon for basil to double in size in just a few weeks.
What are the types of basil?
There are many different types of basil, but the most common are:
-Sweet basil: This is the most common type of basil, and is often used in cooking. It has a sweet, licorice-like flavor.
-Thai basil: This type of basil has a more pungent flavor, and is often used in Thai cuisine.
-Holy basil: This type of basil is sacred to Hindus, and is used in religious ceremonies.
-Lemon basil: As the name suggests, this type of basil has a strong lemon flavor.
Cinnamon basil: This type of basil tastes like cinnamon, and is often used in baking.
Watering And Growing Your Basil
Basil is a relatively easy plant to take care of, but there are still a few things you should keep in mind.
How often should you water basil?
Basil should be watered about once a week, or when the soil is dry to the touch. Be careful not to over-water, as this can drown the plant.
How much water does basil need?
Basil needs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week. Misting the leaves regularly is also a good idea, as this will help to keep the plant humid.
What kind of soil does basil need?
Basil prefers well-drained, moist, loamy soil with a measurement of 6.0 to 7.0 on the pH scale.
What type of fertilizer does basil need?
Basil doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer, but you can give it a light feeding of compost or manure every few weeks. Coffee grounds can also be used as a fertilizer, as they contain nitrogen which is essential for plant growth.
How much sunlight does basil need?
Basil needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. If you live in a warm climate, it’s best to grow basil in partial shade.
What is the ideal temperature for growing basil?
The ideal temperature for growing basil is between 50-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will also tolerate some heat, as long as it gets plenty of water.
Pruning And Propagating Your Basil
Though basil may be just a culinary herb to some, to others it’s an essential part of their cooking. So, whether you use it often or not, it’s important to know how to take care of your basil plant.
How do you propagate basil?
Basil can be propagated by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in water or soil. To take stem cuttings, simply cut off a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) piece of stem, remove the lower leaves, and place it in water or soil.
How do you repot basil?
Repotting basil is only necessary if the plant has outgrown its current pot. To repot, simply choose a pot that is 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) larger than the current one, and carefully remove the plant from its pot. Place it in the new pot, and fill in any empty space with fresh potting mix. Water well and place in a sunny spot.
How do you prune basil?
Pruning basil is important for two reasons: to promote new growth, and to prevent the plant from going to seed. To prune, simply cut off the tops of the stems, about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) above the soil line. This will encourage the plant to produce new growth, and prevent it from going to seed. Pruning is important because if basil does not receive pruning, it will grow straight up, rather than outwards and become leggy.
Where do you cut basil?
When cutting basil, cutting at the base of the leaf is best so that when it re-grows, it will be bushier.
Problems With Your Basil
Since basil are used to spice up your meal, be sure to have a look at the leaves before using them. If you spot any suspicious signs of illness, quickly try to help your basil recover. Here are some of the most common problems you might encounter and some counteraction against it.
Why are my basil leaves turning brown?
There are a few reasons why your basil leaves might be turning brown. One possibility is that the plant is not getting enough water or humidity. Basil leaves will also turn brown if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight. If the leaves are turning brown and falling off the plant, it could be a sign of over-watering or a fungal disease. If you think your basil plant has a disease, it’s best to remove any affected leaves and take the plant to a garden center for advice.
Why are my basil leaves turning yellow?
Yellowing of basil leaves can be caused by too much water, lack of nutrients, or pests. If the leaves are yellow and wilting, it’s likely that the plant is not getting enough water. If the leaves are yellow and the plant looks healthy, it might be a sign that it needs more nitrogen. This can be remedied by adding compost or manure to the soil around the plant.
Why are my basil leaves wilting?
If your basil looks droopy, check the soil to see if it’s wet or dry. If the soil is too dry, water the plant and check to see if the leaves perk up. If the soil is too wet, allow it to drain for a few hours and then check back. Basil leaves will also wilt in direct sunlight, so if the plant is in a sunny spot, try moving it to a more shady location.
Why are my basil leaves dying?
A dying basil is mostly caused by too much or too little water. If the leaves are wilting and the soil is dry, water the plant immediately. If the leaves are yellow or brown and the soil is wet, allow it to drain for a few hours and see if the plant looks better. Basil leaves can also die if they are exposed to too much direct sunlight.
How do I revive my basil plant?
If your basil plant is wilting or the leaves are turning yellow or brown, check the soil to see if it’s too dry or moist then change your watering routine accordingly. Also, check if your plant is on a great spot where it’s comfortable with the sunlight it’s receiving. If that doesn’t help, you can try pruning it back to encourage new growth.
Basil is a great addition to any kitchen garden. With its delicious flavor and easy-to-care-for nature, it’s no wonder this herb is so popular. If you’re planning to have an herb garden, check out other sup-HERB plant guides on our website.