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14

Some things I've noticed about basil: 1) Basil is deep-rooted. I have medium size basil plants in fairly large pots (pots which originally contained 5ft pears trees). The basil roots have grown out of the drain holes and anchored the pots to the ground. Basil roots can easily exceed 1ft of depth. 2) Basil can root from the stem like tomatoes. I ...


11

I've never heard of the need. The issue with hardening is that you're taking a plant in a largely controlled environment with low light levels, and a steady temperature, no wind, to a highly varied environment with strong sunlight, a wider range of temperatures and wind. The stems have to harden, the leaf wax increases, and probably lots of other ...


11

That might well be slug or snail damage - given there's lots of leaf litter laying around your plant, you've created a perfect environment for slugs to hide beneath during the day, and then appear at night and snack on your basil. If you want to confirm that's the problem, go out with a torch at night, especially a damp night, and see what's around. Clear ...


10

If all you want is a tall plant, and it doesn't matter whether its bushy, well grown and attractive, put it in low light levels - it'll suffer what's known as etiolation, meaning the stems gets longer and weaker and paler, and the spaces between the leaves are greater up the stem. It won't look at all well, but it will be taller. Other methods - turn it out ...


9

Water the pots thoroughly with distilled water. Most distillation processes remove the dissolved elements in water. As this water flows through the soil that is saturated with fertilizer ions it will attract and remove them. Of course you are still left with a stressed plant with leaf burn. Success is not guaranteed....


9

Bonsai means a tree in a pot and, therefore, presumes a woody perennial. Remarkable, what you've done with basil. Since you've done this, you likely can 'bonsai it' by applying some basic principles. Every plant grows, so there must be a technique to keep the canopy of foliage more or less constant. This means developing ramification: as your view moves ...


8

Lack of sunlight. Basil needs a lot of light. If you are in the northern hemisphere at this time of year it likely that you will see some of the legginess you describe no matter where you put the plant. Other than the obvious solution of more light might be to simply have more plants. Basil tends to root pretty easily from cuttings. Cut down your leggy ...


8

Basil will self pollinate, but I guess you might need to manually spread the pollen around yourself, given the lack of insects indoors (I'm not sure). Every single flower on my perennial basil seemed to be successfully pollinated this year without effort on my part, but I have had bees helping out mightily. After the flowers wilt and the stems carrying ...


8

I'm not sure how it will taste, but letting it flower is a disaster for other reasons - this plant is a half hardy annual, which means its main purpose is to flower, set seed and die - flowering means it's on the way to setting seed, so clip those off immediately. I can't say I've noticed any deterioration in flavour in the leaves on ordinary Basil when I've ...


8

The seed coat is hydrating. Perfectly normal, just not usually seen when germinating in soil. having played with "germinate on a wet paper towel and carefully plant with toothpick" method, I've seen it. Here's a lovely poster (pdf) (of the science conference type) by Dongfang Zhou, Monica Ponder, Jacob Barney and Greg Welbaum of Virginia Tech - far more ...


8

Looks like a heavy whitefly aphid infestation - they're usually underneath the leaves and suck the sap within, causing the leaf to shrivel and die. You can't treat with pesticide because it's an edible plant, so your only recourse is something like neem or insecticidal soap spray, I'm afraid. Further information on how to deal with whitefly on edible plants ...


7

Basil is a great companion plant. Have a search for 'basil' on this list of companion plants to see what's good to plant nearby.


7

Does the basil on the left side have any chances of survival? It doesn't seem likely, but there is still some green on the leaves. The plant on the left side is too far gone. It will never fully recover, and should be disposed of. The plant looks like it either took some cold, or got basil fusarium wilt. I think the latter is unlikely, but I'd keep that ...


7

Unlikely to recover - not impossible, but unlikely, and waiting to see if there's any regrowth will take some time. Given you might want some basil between now and Christmas, its probably best to get another plant. And instruct your wife to always leave some leaves on the plant next time... or buy two plants so its easier to leave some leaves in place and ...


7

Well, yes and no, or maybe. Annual plants have one purpose - to grow, flower, be pollinated and fertilized, set seed and die, all in a year. Then there's biennials - these form, usually, a basal clump of leaves one year, then flower the following year, set seed and die. Other plants that are considered 'annuals' may actually be perennial, but either look ...


7

Some plants are sensitive to light changes (such as Shark Fin Melon). I think this is partially because Shark Fin Melon is supposed to rely on light changes to know when to set fruit, but even though it may wilt for a while, it recovers. I don't know of any issues with basil. However, if there are issues, I recommend just keeping the plant as strong and ...


7

I've grown basil hydroponically using aquarium water for the nutrients and it looked a lot better than yours which needs a lot more sunlight. In fact most of the basil I see in the supermarket seems to be grown hydroponically. If you don't have any hydroponic mixes, then just chuck some garden soil in the bottom. And change the water as you are but put it ...


6

Ask mummy (anecdotal): as long as you put the basil into a large pot you can pretty much cut all of it since basil grows back from its roots. If the ends close to the soil are kind of woody you should leave more stalk over. If it doesn't grow back then it's most likely because that kind of basil would have died anyway.


6

If you want to be able to collect seeds from year-to-year indefinitely without a decline in the health (genetics) of your basil population, you should collect seed from at least 20 plants. You will also want to be careful to select seed from only the "best"1 plants. If you collect seed from weaker plants then you are not removing weak genes from the pool ...


6

First of all,you should have let the plants rest, which means you should not put it in sun. You must put it in light which is enough for you to be able to see everything (not too dark and not at all bright). Secondly, you must not prune off any leaves except those which are entirely dead, since it will only stress out your plant even more. Imagine what you ...


6

No you can't cross-pollinate basil and chili peppers. Not only are they a different species but not even in the same genus, family or order. That is, they're vastly different genetically speaking and therefore interbreeding is not possible. The definition of species is generally considered to be that there's enough genetic similarity for pollination to ...


6

You might consider taking cuttings of the basil to try to stop the progression of the fertilizer burn and save something to start over with. Not familiar with the aloysia, or whether it can be propagated in that manner.


6

Most likely a form of red spider mite, although these prefer hot, dry conditions, and you say you're growing hydroponically; this often means moist air, although not necessarily. Assuming it is spider mite, neem oil in a spray should do the trick, but it would be best to spray only one plant, or a few leaves, to see how the plant responds to the treatment. ...


6

I have had slugs do damage like that. The best thing I ever did was get some Diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it around the base of the plants, the slug won't go near it. Apparently the earth scratches their soft slimy bodies. The stuff is completely organic and available cheap.


6

The basil sold in these pots are in fact a dozen or so little seedlings grown just long enough to develop a few leaves. The plastic sleeve serves two purposes: Coralling the small plants which would otherwise tend to lean in all directions, getting easily tangled with plants from other pots and thus protecting them from mechanical damage during transport and ...


6

Basil is an annual even in the tropics. Since its flowering it wants to go to seed. Let it, then collect the seeds for the next crop of basil. If you plant basil in a large enough pot so that plenty naturally falling seed will land in the pot, you can have a near never ending culture of basil. That's how I raised basil when I lived in Florida. Living in ...


6

"Worth it" is often personal taste. Of these plants (in those store-bought pots are many young plants, not one), the smaller ones with the large leaves on top will probably bounce back and grow a bit more. The large ones with blooms possibly not really - those will focus on producing seeds, then die. I have in the past seen those pots as "disposable". For ...


6

It's nice to see a post about potential infestation and being able to calm the poster: These are adventitious root stubs, or in other words, tiny roots starting to form. There are a number of reasons why that can happen. In this case, the damage at the split stem might be a cause. Your photos are a bit blurry, but I would expect a tiny wound where you ...


6

It looks like a scale infestation. Unfortunately, Basil, being an edible plant, isn't that easy to treat because you can't use heavy duty insecticides, so its probably best to dip a cotton bud or something similar into white spirit or alcohol, dab the scale insect (the brown lumps) and remove them. There will be nymphs, the immature form of the scale, on the ...


6

Leave them be. They will either pop open by themselves, or die. If you try to help (well, when I used to try to help) the overall success of the operation tends to be less than just letting them be, as it's all too easy to kill the plant while trying to "help" it.


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