> Basil Herb
Information on, uses of and how to grow basil:
Originally from India. Keats wrote a poem about it "Isabella and the pot of Basil".
(Over 20 varieties of both Organic and Non-Organic
seeds) from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings. Seeds and Spices - Buy Basil
How to grow
Propagation from seed grown in the greenhouse or very warm
sheltered place outdoors. Put 2-3 seeds per pot and harden off for planting out
in the summer. Plant out 20cm apart and keep well watered but beware of
over-watering as the plant can develop damping off disease.
Plant out in a sunny, sheltered position in light, rich
soil. When the plants are established you can pinch out the centres (use the
leaves in the kitchen) to encourage bushy growth.
Basil has large shiny leaves and white flowers. There are quite a
few different varieties of Basil: Lemon, Lime, Lettuce Leaved, Genovese to
mention a few.
Add Basil to butter sauces for fish dishes and use in tomato, egg and
mushroom dishes. Basil has a very strong flavour which increases with cooking.
If you have a question about basil, have a look at our reader's
question page on Basil
If you have a question or comment relevant to this page, then please post it below.
How do you know when basil is ready to use? Do you have to dry it out first?
Basil can generally be used when you have a good sized leaf. It doesn't need to be dried unless you want to store it for use at a later time. The leaves are best picked before the flowers appear.
I have not trying anything since third graded science class. Recently I decided to try growing basil and the seeds appeared to be so small i put them all in a small pot. It was great when they were coming out but now they don't look as good. Is there any hope for my anxiously awaited basil?
What you have done is to grow the sort of pot of basil that can be bought in supermarkets. It is basically a pot of overcrowded seedlings.
You need to weed out as many of the seedlings as you can and hopefully end up with just one or two plants.By now, however, the roots are probably so intertwined that it may be impossible.You may need to start again. Just sow a very few seeds to a pot aiming to end up with one strong plant per pot by weeding out the surplus seedlings.
I enjoy growing basil and use it all summer long in a variety of dishes and sandwiches.
I've noted small holes in my leaves lately, wilting, and a tiny, green worm-like pest under some leaves. What is this and how do I get rid of it? Your help will be appreciated.
The little green worms sound like cabbage looper (the caterpillar of a moth). There is a biological control for this but a good start would be to remove the pests by hand. The small holes sound a bit like flea beetle damage, can you see anything jumping about when you disturb the plant?Flea beetles live in the soil and make tiny holes in the leaves.Maybe you've got caterpillars and flea beetle.
I have a Basil plant,which I am growing indoors and it is thriving very well. The leaves are quite big and fleshy, I want my Basil to last and I am afraid to pick any of the leaves, mainly because I am not sure how to, but also because I am afraid of killing the plant off. Please could you tell me precisly how I harvest it?
Thank you Mary.
Basil is an annual so it will just flower, seed and die this season. You can prolong the life of it by nipping out any flower buds but ultimately it will die. If you want to use the leaves you need to pick them while they are good and use them or freeze them. Don't pick more than a third of the leaves at any one time. For regular basil use you need to really sow new seeds every 2 weeks to have a good supply continually growing. Hope you enjoy your basil leaves in a nice pesto!
HI, In response to basil being an annual. I live in northern michigan and grow it outside. It is covered with maple leaves in the fall and comes back every year. I do not dry it as I feel it looses alot of flavor. I cut it after a nice rain, shake it and place it in a gallon size freezer bag. I do this with all of my herbs. You just pull out what you need. My question is I would like to season my vinager with basil but can't find out how and if it will work, do you have any suggestions?
I guess your basil self seeds like mine.
To make basil vinegar fill a glass container (that's got a lid) full with basil leaves. Then fill with white wine vinegar. Put on lid and leave for two weeks. Strain and pour into bottles. You can put a sprig of basil into each bottle if liked.
I've nipped all the flowers off my basil plants and noticed they have a particularly strong and unique aroma. Are there any known uses for them?
I love growing my own basil, last year a reduced plant from the supermarket lasted me 8 months!
The two plants I have going now are re-potted a couple of weeks ago, and harvested as and when the kitchen requires it.
It looks healthy and smells wonderful as ever, but recently I noticed white mini worm like creatures on the soil. they can also jump a little, and I wonder if they are the larvae of the little black flies Ive had in the last plant before it died.
Has anyone got an idea how to prevent them or get rid of them?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
My basil has a little green worm. I have been using Pure Castile soap and water to spray it but have not been able to get rid of what is eating my plant. I have also seen green spiders and green grass hoppers.
Thanks for any help,
I recently bought my second basil plant (I fried the first one in too much sunlight) and now the second one is dying too. The leaves are turning brown on the tip. What am i doing wrong?
I have several basil plants that have been happily growing outside this summer, providing much pesto-making. But now (end of Sept) lots of the leaves are developing brown spots. What's up? (Santa Fe NM)
Your basil is probably coming to the end of its life cycle.Basil is a tender annual and as such does not grow beyond one season. It will flower, seed and die and if you are lucky the seeds will fall and germinate in the spring.If you grow basil for cooking it is best to sow seeds every two weeks during the growing season. If you have more than you can use it can be frozen or dried.
Nice website, quite informative, my question is: I live near lake michigan, and my basil, in this second week of november, is starting to die, anyway to clip the stems and continue growing inside for the winter?
Scott from Milwaukee
Basil is an annual and so will flower, seed and die. This process can be extended by pinching out flower buds but eventually the quality of the leaves does decline and the plant will fail.You could try taking the plants indoors and see what happens but the best thing would be to sow more seeds on a sunny windowsill, use the basil as it comes and keep sowing more seeds.
I have a purple variety of basil and it will not flower. Any suggestions for inducing flowering?
I have just planted my basil in the garden and notice holes on all of the leaves after a week of being in the ground. Any suggestions? I don't see any slime trails.
if they are small holes I would suspect flea beetle.These can be caught using a board covered in engine grease. If they are larger holes then the culprits are probably slugs and snails. Go out at night with a torch and you will probably see them.Remove by hand and use slug collars,grit,slug traps etc.
I just discovered an unwelcome character has boared into the stem of my basil plant causing the death of the upper part of the plant. The caterpillar is 1/2 inches long and thin, has an orange/yellow head, striped with 3 brown/white stripes? Does anyone know what kind of caterpillar this is and whether or not I can prevent other caterpillars from getting to my other basil plants?
what are the medicinial helps from basil?
There is something that's eating up our basil,is there something or some spray that we can use to stop them from being eaten up ?
Have I missed something? I've never done a forum before, but I'm also trying to find out what to do about the little green worms on my basil. Are they good worms or bad? I've found the question above, but I don't find an answer. Thanks.
A garden & forum neophyte
I bought my basil plant fully grown and have kept it inside. For two weeks, it was beautiful-big, green leaves. Now, there are holes on several leaves and I've noticed a few leaves with tiny black things on them in groups of 10-15 or so...looks like tiny pieces of black dirt or something. They are easily brushed off and don't seem to be moving...are they eating the leaves? how do I get rid of them? and again, the plant has always been indoors..where are they coming from?
I too have problems with my thai basil plant. I have little green worms but they are not cabbage loopers (these little green worms have fur on them) and I also have little black balls of (looks like dirt) on my leaves that can be easily brushed off. I am wondering if this is worm poop or worm eggs. If anyone know how I can solve this problem that would be great
If you have worms/slugs or anything that is making holes in the leaves do what I did. Get a plastic bottle, example: a 2 litre empty soda bottle. Cut a hole near the bottom and fill with beer (not cider). Place very close to your plant.Slugs, caterpillars love this. They will be attracted to this. They will climb in, drink the beer and drown. Bye Bye slugs etc. It works a treat.
I too have the following problem.
Please let me know how to get rid of this green worms on my mint, thyme and rosemary. They are all in pots
I too have problems with my thai basil plant. I have little green worms but they are not cabbage loopers (these little green worms have fur on them) and I also have little black balls of (looks like dirt) on my leaves that can be easily brushed off. I am wondering if this is worm poop or worm eggs. If anyone know how I can solve this problem that would be great "
I just bought a basil plant at my local grocery store 1.5 weeks ago and it already has some tiny holes on the leaves. What is the home remedy for this? I would need the exact measurements of the home remedy please. Thank you.
I also have little black balls that look like dirt falling off my basil plant. I see the question asked above without an answer - I need to know whether I need to throw this out? The balls can be brushed off easily from the underneath of the leaves. It is like dirt but also looks worryingly like tiny droppings.
Please advise, thanks!
I'm a total newbie gardener and have a similar problem to the questions already posten but I don't see an answer. I have holes in my new basil and tiny black balls on the top of the leaves which are easily rubbed off....what is it? How do I get rid of it? Are the balls related to the leaves being eaten...because It's been raining almost non stop recently.
The tiny black balls on the top of the leaves are caterpillar droppings - their the pests that are eating up your basil leaves. You should get rid of them by catching and removing them individually (a job that requires a very sharp eye and lots of time).
I have a spider plant and have notice that something is chewing them up and then I notice that there is black dropping every where. How did pull out two green worms from the plant. I got them out, I don't see any more. Do you know what the dropping are?