I let my basil grow from seed, and I very seldom trimmed it. My aim is to understand the plant life cycle, so I did it on purpose.
The plants are so arranged: Three vases sitting in a larger, long vase which I keep constantly with 1cm of water with an upside down bottle. Water gets to the plants through the drain holes of the internal vases.
The first vase has two plants. Both are in good health. Large leaves but no flowers. Thick main branches, almost wooden at the base. They seem resistant enough to stand without the glass of the window they normally rest on.
The second vase is really crowded, having 5 major plants plus 5 minor ones. They are also rather close to each other (I did not trim the seedlings). This vase has the greenest leaves (dark green) but not at the base, where they are pale green, almost yellowish. It's also badly wilted, but it's also the one where the flower seems to be extremely well developed.
The third vase contains five robust plants as well. It's the one in the best shape of all the batch. A couple of flowers are emerging, and the leaves are green (not a strong one, but decent) and perfect consistency.
The plant receive sunlight for a part of the day, they are indoors, at the window.
My main questions, arising from the second vase situation, is the following: is letting basil loose without trimming a bad move for the plant health? I am of course aware of bolting (which I am trying to achieve to experiment and hopefully get seeds) but provided you cut the flowers and nothing else, can the plant stay alive without trimming or is there a limit where the plant can't sustain itself anymore and wilts ? It may be just overcrowding, but I want to know first.
Second question is: will this strategy give me seeds ?