When purchasing any plant, the most important thing is to make sure you buy a healthy plant. A basil plant that has been grown in optimal conditions and receives regular care should keep producing delicious leaves for about two months. Basil plants tend to produce more leaves as they grow, so expect higher yields from plants purchased from a garden center rather than a supermarket. The best way to extend the life of your basil plant is by keeping it well-watered.
Consistently moist soil will ensure that your plant doesn’t wilt and that it continues to produce fresh new leaves throughout its growing season. If you’re buying a basil plant as an indoor plant, be sure to check the packaging for information on how well it can tolerate low humidity or dry air during its time indoors.
The same goes if planning to grow your basil outdoors – make sure the specific location won’t have harsh climatic conditions that could negatively impact the health of your plant. You might be wondering just how long you should expect your basil plant to keep providing tasty leaves, especially if pest or disease problems have affected it. Keep reading to find out!
What causes a basil plant to stop producing leaves?
There are a few reasons why a basil plant might stop producing leaves. First is if you buy a plant that is already starting to show signs of aging. The leaves of basil plants grow in concentric circles, so the first few leaves you pull from the plant will be significantly smaller than the ones that grow on the rest of the stem. These first leaves will also have a slightly yellow tint to them.
Once you pull the first leaves, the rest of the stem will produce fewer and fewer leaves. Another reason why your basil plant might not be able to produce leaves anymore is if you buy an older, past-its-prime plant. These are often sold as “cut-and-come-again” varieties, and the plant might look fine when purchased, but after a few weeks, the leaves will no longer be able to produce new ones.
This can be a particular problem with “indoor” basil plants, which are often picked while still at a young, tender stage. In order to grow larger, more robust leaves, basil plants need to be allowed to reach a certain size before harvesting them.
Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are the most common reasons why a basil plant will stop producing leaves. The most common pest of basil plants is aphids, small insects that love to feed on the leaves. Aphids can cause significant damage to basil plants if they’re not controlled early on. If aphids are spotted on your basil leaves, remove them immediately and wash the leaves under running water with a mild soap.
If aphids are on your basil plant stems as well, it’s best to discard the whole plant and buy a new one. Diseases are uncommon in most climates, but they can pop up in humid areas. If you notice yellowing or reduced leaves on your basil plant, it could be a sign of bacterial or fungal diseases. Both can be controlled with proper care, so it’s best to inspect your basil leaves for signs of trouble.
Keep plants dry and cold
There are a few ways you can keep your basil plant from producing too many leaves. First, try to keep your soil evenly moist so that the plant doesn’t have to struggle too much to stay hydrated. Additionally, try to keep the soil covered with a layer of soil so that it doesn’t dry out too much. This is especially important if you live in a humid climate. If you notice that the soil on your basil plant is too wet, try to keep it covered with a layer of soil or a pot to keep it from drying out.
Another way to protect your basil plant from overwatering is to keep it out of direct sunlight. While sunlight is essential for the healthy growth of most plants, it can be damaging to basil plants, which are much better suited to the shade. Make sure your plant doesn’t get pushed too close to a window or other light source so that it doesn’t get too much exposure and risk burning its leaves.
Protect your basil plant from heat and cold extremes
There are a few ways to protect your basil plants from getting too hot or cold. First, make sure you don’t keep your basil plant in a place where the temperature fluctuates wildly, like a sunny windowsill. In order to stay healthy, it needs to stay somewhat close to a consistent temperature. You can also try to protect your basil plant from extreme temperatures by keeping it out of direct sunlight.
If your basil is exposed to the sun, try to find a shady spot for it instead. You can also try to protect your basil plant from extreme temperatures by planting it in a container that keeps it a bit sheltered from the elements. This way, your basil plant will stay a bit cooler and a bit shadier during warm summer days and chilly, winter nights.
There are few things more satisfying than harvesting fresh basil from the plant you grew. When growing basil, be sure to keep it well-watered and in an area with good air circulation so that it doesn’t get too hot and too dry. You can also try growing basil indoors as an indoor herb or as a decorative plant. This will help you enjoy the delicious basil leaves for longer periods of time.