Basilic is one of most popular plants in herb gardening around the world, and their yummy leaves are a excellent addition to any home cooking. However, for people who do not reside in a tropical climate in which Basil can flourish throughout the year and easily reseed themselves, it might be a challenge to maintain your Basil growing healthily during the winter season.
Basil is an annual plant
Unless under an optimal condition, it doesn’t survive another season. However, you can extend the plants’ life before the winter months (or even outside) and enjoy the tastiest leaves according to these basic rules.
Many experienced herb gardeners know the secret of pinching away Basil flowers so the plant can concentrate all its energy to make the healthiest, vibrant leaves. However, if you intend to grow basil year in, year out, it could be sensible to let a couple of basil plants to flower and produce seeds, which means it is possible to gather and store them for next year.
What you need to do:
- Let the blossom blooms and then withers and turn dry. Then, if you look up from below, you may see tiny black seeds attaching to the blossom pods.
- Wait until the flower is dried, then cut them out, place them in a plastic bag and shake it. The seeds will be well collected in the bag.
- Please note that there’s not any need to shake it too forcefully — if a few of those seeds refuse to detach from the blossom, it may mean they’re not fully matured.
Transfer Basil Indoors
Basil originates from Central Asia and Africa in which the temperature never falls below the 40s. If you reside in a place where the temperature can fall below 45F (7C), you should seriously consider shifting your Basil indoors.
Give It A Nice Haircut
Before moving your Basil in pots, it’s a fantastic herb gardening practice to prune your plant. There are numerous benefits: First, during the pruning process, unhealthy or dead branches and leaves are eliminated and therefore the nutrients won’t be wasted to these unproductive area of the plant. Secondly, a proper pruning ensures good ventilation, which is quite important in maintaining the basil plant free of fungus and insects that are harmful. As a rule of thumb, Basil and many herbal plants can be pruned back by one third, and no longer than two-thirds.
Give It A Nice Shower
This is just another simple yet significant step in Basil care before winter arrives. A hearty shower into the plants can wash off the insects, larvae and eggs that may have stuck on the Basil leaves. For the best results, insecticidal soap can be sprayed on the plant, after a week for a couple of weeks, before the transfer to make sure that your Basil is completely free of those irritating small animals.
Pick A Bright Spot At Home
Basil is a sun lover, so it’s natural that you need to set the potted Basil in a sunny place. You Basil will be glad if they could get 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. An ideal place would be the west or south corner that’s typically the warmest portion of your dwelling.
Not Too near the Window
This applies if your windows aren’t well insulated. While this area is normally the most effective sunny place, the Basil can be damaged during the nighttime chill when temperature drops to 40F or below, since the window is typically the least ventilated portion of your dwelling.
Do Not Over-Water
Although Basil needs more water than the Mediterranean herbs (e.g. Rosemary), the herb can not survive over-watering, particularly if the soil or marijuana doesn’t drain well. Specifically, don’t allow the pots sit in saucers full of water for a long period because when the roots can’t breathe they’ll quickly rot and perish.
Many herb gardening professionals understand the importance of water and sun to the Basil. But most did not realize that maintaining the spot airy is extremely vital for the health of the plant, particularly for growing Basil in pots. Why? Air flow is obviously poorer in an indoor environment, and your Basil (as well as other plants and herbs ) are more succumb to fungal infections. The solution comprises a proper pruning to make more space for every individual leaves, as stated in Rule #3. The pots shouldn’t be placed too closely to each other for the same reason.
Do Not Over-Feed
Basil is not a normal herb in a manner that it loves to be fed. With that said, since its expansion decelerates when the summer is over, it’s important not to overfeed the plant as it passes its dormant period.
Check The Leaves Regularly
Because of its strong taste, Basil is resistant to many harmful insects, but fungal infection may attack the plants in a cool, stale atmosphere. It’s always a good practice to look at the leaves frequently for signs of mildews and other ailments, and all the affected leaves and stems should be removed immediately to prevent spreading to the entire plant. By”all” the leaves, I truly mean it If it means 80 percent of the plant, so be it! Having said this, if you abide by the rules above, your leaves ought to remain healthy, vibrant and strong for the remaining months at your dwelling. Enjoy your herbal crop, and best wishes to your Basil care achievement!