I'm a gardening beginner and recently pruned my first basil plant (about two weeks ago). I bought special pruning shears because pinching the stems took a bit of a pull, and I didn't want to harm them and thought that a clean cut would be better. I also washed the shears before using them. I'm not sure if this is normal, but the main stems have turned brown where they were cut. Those bits are also pretty dry and I've noticed some browning on the uncut smaller stems at either side of them. Is this a sign of infection due to the cut? If so, what's the best course of action? Do I attempt to cut/pinch the brown tips? Any advice would be helpful as I cannot find a similar case online. Thank you!

  • 1
    Adding a photograph would help to give an accurate answer, if you can.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 13:21
  • I would prune it with hands. I think shears are too hard, and they could damage the bottom part of the stem. Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


Two possibilities. One, it could be normal die back from the cut point, or Two, it could be a fungal disease that has entered the cut point. A Copper based powder can help to kill any fungal disease. Also, if you're trimming your basil, don't water from above. Water at base of plant so you don't get moisture in the cut sections of the plant. Moisture will lead to fungus growth. HTH.

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