I'd like to begin by saying I'm devastated. I live in an apartment on the first floor and I recently got a basil plant. The problem is the window in my apartment has a tree in front of it and sunlight is scarce. So I thought to myself, "it's plenty of sunlight in my car!". So I took the plant and left it in my car for a few hours. I just went and got it and it looks like this:

enter image description here

Before I put it in my car it looked like this:

enter image description here

Is there anything that can be done? Is my plant dead forever? I cut all the leaves off now it's just the brown stems. Please help.

  • @GiacomoCatenazzi no answers in the comment section, please! (Side note: This is not a new rule, but we moderators will be more strict in this regard from now on.)
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


Major bummer. Your car got too hot, too much light. Over 85 degrees F the plants 'turn off'...above 90 and they start dying. Your basil is toast, literally.

Take those leaves, lay them out on a sheet of parchment and allow them to finish drying. Put the leaves in a jar, open the jar once a day for a week and then you have freshly dried yummy basil.

When you purchase a plant take note of its environment. If it is inside, it has to be inside, if it is out side in the sun, it has to be outside in the sun, if it has been in a greenhouse, you need to get as close to that same environment until you are able to acclimate that plant to a new environment.

Heat will kill plants, changing the environment too quickly before helping the plant to grow thicker or thinner epidermis (skin) to handle full sun or full shade...will easily kill plants as you have found.

This is a bummer but please know it takes mistakes to be able to be successful as a gardener and this site can greatly help diminish mistakes, we all had to make to become professionals.

I hope this does not deter you from trying to grow plants! This pot of water beneath your plant is not at all a good idea, not the reason this plant died but it will kill future plants, unless they are water lilies. Next plant please holler at us first and we can walk you through the steps and make sure you are successful the next time! You still have a year's worth of dried basil that will be far superior to store bought dried basil! (Try Thai Basil next time...)

  • 1
    Thank you so much! I was really sad about the plant but you made me feel a lot better. I'm definitely going to get another!
    – Gabriel
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 3:24
  • 2
    Babies and dogs do poorly as well in cars Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 3:57
  • I used to walk the parking lots when I lived in the city. Looking for animals and babies and plants. With a window breaker! Never found one I am so very glad. I do walk through with a cutter and cut ties to stakes for the trees.
    – stormy
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 22:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.