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basil pruning

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by tkhooper on March 09, 2005 06:23 PM
Hi all

I am a beginner gardener with an indoor herb garden in my windows, and my dinning room table and everywhere else i can set a pot. The basil has been with me a year and is huge. It has evidently decided that it is the growing season and i have flowers everywhere. From reading the basil chats i see i have overwatered and over fertilized a huge amount. now i am very affraid to prune. What should i do and how please? I don't want to kill it, it feels like a member of the family. And is it really an annual?

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by obywan59 on March 09, 2005 06:56 PM
Welcome tkhooper, I'm from Virginia also, about 20 miles south of Roanoke.

I've read to pinch all the tips of your basil shoots when they reach about 6 inches in length. This will prevent the flower shoots from developing and will put more energy into growing new leaves.

It sounds like your flower shoots are well developed though, so you may have to use a scissors or hand pruners to cut them off.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by tkhooper on March 09, 2005 07:50 PM
Thankyou Terry,

I'll serilize my knife and get right on it. I hope the basil is still talking to me after this. Poor thing has been very patient with me.

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by Elfinone on March 09, 2005 10:09 PM
when I clip mine I wait to see the new shoot split, then I take out the center one. I do this early in the morning when I have my herb garden growing outside. I get tons of it to dry and give away.
[Wink]
by tkhooper on March 10, 2005 02:49 PM
Hi Eli

I did it at night i hope that won't be a problem. And thankyou for responding to my message.

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by weezie13 on March 10, 2005 05:02 PM
TK,
I saw some really neat looking purple basil
the other day...
I got a small package of seeds to give them a
try this year for the first time..
(I don't eat basil, but it looked like such
a neat color and plant and flowers, I thought
I'd grow it for something different)

Dark Opal it was called,
I found it in Wally~World for a whole 25 cents..
The name of the seed package was
AMERICAN SEED....

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Elfinone on March 10, 2005 06:20 PM
I have not tried Dark Opal yet. I usually stick with sweet basil. I use it in my kitchen. heck I grow all my kitchen herbs that I can. that is going to be one of the new beds I am going to make this spring.

Indoor herbs are pretty much exempt I think from when it is time to clip them. when out doors even in pots it is best to clip them in the early morning as they are cooled off and all the good stuff is best then. I alos never clip them for use after they flower. I always clip them right before the little flowers are getting ready to bloom.
[Wink]
by tkhooper on March 10, 2005 09:49 PM
I don't have a wally world store but I have a dollar store that has seeds sometimes. I'll look there. Since I'm by myself I don't use much seasoning at all so the basil is basically just a friendly presence. I do use chives alot and i'm running into a problem with my home grown ones in that they don't get as thick as the ones I buy in the bottle at the store and they don't seem to have any flavor either. Thankyou for responding to my message.

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by tkhooper on March 12, 2005 06:35 PM
My basil has forgiven me!!! [grin]

Inspite of all of my misguided mistakes with this plant it still loves me.

After pinching off & cutting off all of the flower heads it has sprouted new leaves all over the place.

Of course I still have questions. If it is an annual and I got it last summer does that mean it is going to die this summer?

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by Longy on March 16, 2005 09:27 PM
Basil is an annual but i've had them last a few years. I live in a semi tropical area. Thing is, they seed very heavily and are easy to grow so if you can pollinate a flower or two, yes it will put out more flowers, you could save some seed and do it all again if this one gives up. Hope you have many more happy seasons together:)
by tkhooper on March 18, 2005 01:34 PM
Thank you for responding.

I really do get attached to any plant that stays alive longer than a week in my company.

[trying to turn brown thumb green]

I've noticed recently that the base of the plant is getting woody looking and so is this one branch where it connects to the main [stock/trunk]? The branch is very long and heavy with leaves. Is this because I haven't harvested the leave or pruned anything other than the flowers?

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by Longy on March 18, 2005 06:27 PM
It's normal for the older growth to get woody. It's not from anything you have or haven't done. If the plant looks like it's gonna die off, it will drop all its leaves and start to look unhealthy, Give it a serious prune and it may well shoot again when the weather warms next spring.
by butterflylover_52 on July 04, 2005 11:27 AM
Hi!
I'm new, but also italian and have been growing the stuff in the garden w/ my mother since I could walk. Congrats that you kept it going for so long. Basil is a annual and although people make it last for a couple of years, it gets tired, produces less, and eventually goes. If it does- it's nothing you did. So good luck and enjoy your basil. [kitty]
by tkhooper on July 04, 2005 01:02 PM
Thanks butterflylover

I have some new seeds for a different basil that I may start soon. I love having it as an indoor plant even though it gets very large in my kitchen window. They usually take over by spring and I'm moving branches to get to the microwave. I should probably prune more but I love the jungle look lol.

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by GiraffeMSW on July 04, 2005 09:30 PM
I saw some of the dark purple (Dark Opal) basil at Home Depot last weekend. I was sorely tempted.

I really appreciate this thread. I have been growing some sweet basil as well this season. It is now about a foot tall, starting to get woody for the first couple inches of the base, and I was feeling guilty for letting it get so far out of control.

I am going to go prune some of it back right now. Thank you!

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The higher the point of view, the broader the horizon...said the giraffe.

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