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16

Some things I've noticed about basil: 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. Basil can root from the stem like tomatoes. I discovered ...


15

If I get your question right, should you pinch the buds of the basil plant before they flower in order to maximize leaf production? Answer yes. If you don't trim the buds off, then they will flower, growing up into a tall stalk on your basil plant and producing a tower of seeds. Producing seeds will become Basil plant's "Job 1", and it will neglect leaf ...


13

I would suggest a slightly different approach: Make cuttings from the top(s), that way you will get smaller and compact plants (that you can then prune before they get long and leggy) and with a bit of luck see new growth from the bottom of the old one as well. And it won’t matter if not. For shaping, note that basil will always favor the tops / ends of the ...


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

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

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

The larger leaves don't necessarily have poor flavor. It's more about age than size. Old leaves don't taste as good as new ones. That's why a good harvesting system is key. Most people try to do this by harvesting the oldest (lowest) leaves as the plant grows, before they get too old. While this can work, it's not the most awesome method for plant form and ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


7

Your plants will have to compete with each other for light, and root space. Because they are so packed and crowded, none of the plants will grow optimal this way. If you just want basil cress, you can harvest already, but if you want real and healthy basil plants you need to trim (or pull) away most of it. I think you have to leave 1-2 cm between plants at ...


7

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. ...


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

It appears to be normal. In climates (or in your case, artificial climates) where basil is allowed to grow for more than three months or so it begins to turn into a small woody shrub. I think that is what is happening to your plant. October update: Just harvested my whole plant to get it in before the frost. The base of the main stems are cracked and woody ...


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 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.


6

The Planet Natural's website has good information about the problem. here is some information they have on the subject. The common ladybug or lady beetle — every school kid’s favorite insect — is a great, natural solution to aphids. It’s reported that a ladybug will eat some 50 aphids a day. If you’re lucky enough to have ladybugs in your garden, ...


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