How to Keep Basil Alive

How to Keep Basil Alive

A perennial herb known as the Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is generally a simple to grow plant that produces steady harvests for months. Need to know how to keep basil alive? Keep reading!

Basil is a typical container plant, usually planted on windowsills, but it can also be used in gardens. To keep the basil plants in good health and healthy, you must take care of them and inspect the plant frequently for any insects.

It’s also an excellent plant to plant close to tomatoes to keep out pests. Keeping the basil plant healthy gives it adequate soil, light, sufficient water, and plenty of development space.

However, during winter and colder weather, the tolerance of basil will be test-driven. It can withstand temperatures about 40 degrees Fahrenheit range.

Unfortunately, when the thermometer falls to around 32 °, the basil will likely become damaged. The plant isn’t going to die completely; however, its damage is evident. The leaves will turn dark as they wilt and then begin to fall.

Basil doesn’t like to be in a crowded space, so you should repot or transplant small supermarket Basil Plants if you wish to ensure that they survive and flourish.

Types of Basil

Basil is available in a wide range of aromas and flavors because of the various kinds and amounts of essential oils in every variety. Basils can also be different in terms of size and appearance.

The ‘Greek Column-Lesbos’ can be quite large, reaching three feet. The larger basils are better suited to be placed in a flowerbed or the garden.

“Marseillaise Dwarf” is a French Basil that is said to have the best taste of all kinds. The basil is also compact, growing to just a foot high, and is suitable for almost any area.

How Do You Cultivate Basil?

Growing basil is easy as it is among the easiest herbs to cultivate. Basil isn’t the least of a challenge, and, with the proper gardening, care, and harvesting, you’ll be able to take advantage of the season all year long!

When to Grow Basil?

Basil is a well-known perennial herb that grows in the summer. However, there are a few perennial varieties. It is a favorite and flourishes in hot climates.

An excellent alternative to environments with desert climates. It takes temperatures well and prefers well-drained soil. If you plan to start a basil plant, the latter part of spring or early summer is the ideal time to plant it.

close up of basil plant in ground

Basil Soil Constraints

Basil plants that are pre-potted don’t usually utilize soil designed to last for quite a while. The nutrients will be sufficient in the ground that it can last for two weeks (the planned duration). Finding out how to keep the basil plants alive begins with the proper soil nutrients.

  • Basil thrives best in well-drained soil and is not too pH-sensitive or acidic like most other herbs. A pH range of 6.0 up to 7.0 is ideal. If you’re planning to plant your herbs outside, it’s a great idea to utilize the soil tester to check the soil and alter it according to the plants.
  • To plant herbs in the garden, it is possible to enhance your soil by adding either cottonseed meal or blood meal, both of which boost the nitrogen content and improve drainage in compact and sandy soils.
  • If you are growing in containers, all you need is the soil to be draining, and the pots to have drainage holes that will stop the roots of the plants from being buried in water that is not draining.

Growing Basil with Root Propagation

In most cases, these tiny grocery store seeds are several plants that are potted together. To allow the basil to expand and increase your harvest, you can cut down the plant’s root ball then transplant the seeds into various small containers.

Reduce any root systems to 3 inches and then plant them into the potting soil, ensuring you don’t overly cover the stem.

Growing Basil by Stem Propagation

The growth of basil is based on root propagation. Basil is easily propagated by cutting tiny pieces off some of these plants.

Put the cut side with the cut side facing downwards in a glass filled with clear water, and then place it in a sunny spot.

Replace the water each day, and after a couple of days, you’ll see roots sprouting. When the seeds are 2 inches or more, and the basil is at an adequate size, it’s in good shape to plant.

How to Pot Basil?

When you plant the basil in the pot, choose the giant pot. Choose a pot at least 4 inches deep and add enough soil to be in line on top.

You can put two or three basil seeds in each pot. Scorching temperatures can dry soil in pots and damage plants like basil in the summer.

Pinch Out the Growing Tips

Like many other plants, pruning stimulates leaf growth. Ensure that your basil leaves continue producing plenty of flavors; frequent pinching is required when the plant is only six inches tall.

Once your plants have been potted, then pinch off the growing tips. This is to cut the top part of the plant to the point that it is just above the last leaf node. It’s the place on the stem from which the leaves are sprouting.

Use your fingers to squeeze back the basil plant leaves, beginning at around six inches in height. Don’t use cutting tools or scissors. The more leaves you pull from your basil plant, the more leaves will develop.

Common Causes of Basil Plants Dying

For your plant to stay healthy and flourishing, you have to take care of it and regularly check the plant for any insects.

Keep the Soil Moist

Plant the basil by putting in a half-inch of water as soon as you plant it, and make sure the soil is damp but not entirely overly saturated. In autumn and spring, each two to three days may suffice. The plant’s root is designed to keep water away from the foliage.

It is recommended to water the plant in the morning to ensure that any moisture that comes in contact with the plant will dry out throughout the day, preventing certain fungal diseases. To gauge the amount of water you give your basil plant, place and shallow dish near the plant during the initial watering.

Examine the amount of time it takes for the water level within the container to reach 1/2 inch. This is roughly how long you will need to keep your basil plants watered every time you water them.

You should dump the accumulated water from the dish’s area to ensure the plant gets enough water.

purple and green basil plants lined up in garden

Temperature to Grow Basil:

The majority of herbs require a warming environment to grow. Place them in areas at or above 65-75℉ during the day and not less than 55-60℉ in the evening.

Although many plants can survive lower temperatures, they’re unlikely to develop much in these conditions. Some delicate herbs may fail if exposed to temperatures below 50°F for a prolonged time, like basil.

Insufficient Lighting:

When growing basil indoors, lighting is crucial. Basil indoors requires a minimum of six hours of sunshine. If not, the potted plants might require to be grown under fluorescent lighting. Under this type of plant, they need around 10 hours of sunlight to ensure sound development. But, plants are also grown indoors and provided with artificial and sun lighting by changing the number of hours per.

Overcrowding:

Growing basil outside, or maybe in raised beds, they need at least twelve” in the space. Each plant will compete to get nutrients from the soil, and there won’t be winners. This is why you should divide your basil plants as soon as you have your plants returned.

How to Get Flavorful Basil?

In addition to using soil-based pot mix, growing basil inside (even during summer) can dramatically enhance the plant’s flavor.

A study conducted by the University of Nottingham found that basil is grown in warmer temperatures produced twice the essential oil as growing in cooler temperatures. Set it on the top shelf that is hot in a greenhouse, and you will notice an apparent increase in the aroma.

How to Store Basil?

You can perform a few steps to ensure that your basil stays fresh throughout winter. By following these steps, you will enjoy all-year-round harvests and ensure your basil plant is healthy during the summer months to come:

  • Make sure your basil is healthy.
  • Regular pruning is recommended to encourage it to grow.
  • Place the roots of basil cuttings in water in preparation for replanting.
  • Utilize fluorescent light bulbs for the most significant yield and fastest growth.
  • Protect your plant from cold mornings by putting it in the shade.

It has a delicious taste, a wonderful fragrance, and a prolific harvest. Additionally, it helps keep the pests out. However, longevity isn’t an attribute of this stunning plant.

However, it is possible to follow these suggestions to extend the life span of basil to have it for a bit longer on your favorite recipes, such as pesto, and also as an excellent indoor decoration.

Basil for Pest Control

Sure, gardeners employ basil as a pest control due to the strong scent that can cause an aversion effect, and it’s fungus gnat that’s the only exception due to moisture in the soil that they are attracted to instead of foliage of the plants.

A moist soil provides the perfect environment for fungus gnats lay eggs. This is linked to basil’s overwatering and is another reason it is essential to let the soil dry between irrigation.

All eggs and larvae found in the soil are likely to die after the ground starts to dry. Add water regularly to the earth until it is moist, and the eggs will survive, and it will be a struggle to remove these gnats.

Pests and Diseases

Look for insects in the plants when you water them and collect the fruits. Take caterpillars and beetles out by hand before placing them in the soapy water bucket.

If spider mites, aphids, and other soft-bodied bugs are ravaging your basil plant, apply a spray to soak the leaves and the areas under the leaves, where pests typically are hiding, early in the evening using insecticidal soap.

If you are experiencing problems with slugs or slugs, sprinkle diatomaceous soil on top of the mulch surrounding the basil plants. Repeat the application after every rain or watering until you don’t observe slugs within the area.

Mildew

Downy mildew disease is a concern for basil that is grown in Florida. The diseases are challenging to detect because the most obvious symptoms, such as yellowing, are similar to a nutrient deficiency.

The most evident sign of mildew with a smooth appearance is the presence of spores along the leaf’s underside.

If you are still concerned about downy mildew despite an absence of spores, place the leaves upside-down on a damp paper towel and put them in a plastic bag. Place the bag in a dark area for a few days and examine it again for the presence of spores.

close up of sweet basil plant

Fungus

The diseases are virtually impossible to avoid since the spores of this fungus can be easily dispersed over long distances by winds.

The practices of a healthy lifestyle that reduce leaf moisture and decrease humidity can be employed to deter fungal growth. Growing basil in an area that receives plenty of sun and is well-ventilated could be beneficial, as is the use of drip irrigation in addition to over-watering.

If downy mildew disease is always a recurring problem year over year for your garden, think about planting varieties of basil that are less prone to disease. Unfortunately, the sweet types are at risk of downy mildew, and sorts that are Thai red basil, lemon basil, lime basil, and other kinds of basil that are spicy are less susceptible.

Final Thought

When you take your basil plant home from a supermarket or market, you’ll be able that you need to plant it immediately to ensure that it will keep growing and thrive.

Make sure your basil gets ample sunlight, water, and fertile soil. Allow spacious room to allow air circulation. Utilize these suggestions to ensure your basil is healthy and sturdy and have fresh basil at any time!

Other gardening articles:

  1. How to Grow Carrots
  2. Dark Colored Vegetables For The Garden
  3. Benefits of a Community Garden
  4. How To Grow Green Onion
  5. Winterizing Raised Garden Beds
  6. Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow

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