Basil help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got a basil potted plant.
Which leaves should I pick off for cooking. Only need a couple.

How/when do I prune? Online sites just confuse me. In the past I manage only stringy plants with fewe leaves


mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#2 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 03:47 PM
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You can pick any/all the leaves. I usually pick the biggest ones or if the plant is really bushy, I pick whole clusters of 4. You want to always leave at least half of the plant's leaves so it can stay strong. You don't eat the stems.

When the plant starts growing stalks of little white flowers at the top, prune the flower stalks off completely. This will extend the season of the plant and make it grow more leaves for you. Once it starts putting energy into flowering, it puts less energy into growing leaves, and if you let it go to flower it will die much sooner in the season.

Basil loves rich soil (like compost) full sun and lots of water. If you end up with tons, pesto is really easy to make, and delicious. Have fun!
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#3 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 07:19 PM
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Nip the growing tips, usually, instead of leaves along the stalk.  It will bush out that way and delay flowering.  

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#4 of 5 Old 07-10-2012, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Nip the growing tips, usually, instead of leaves along the stalk.  It will bush out that way and delay flowering.  


That's how I do it.  The smaller leaves are also better tasting/more tender than the older tough ones at the bottom, in my opinion anyway.  They grow back quickly.  

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#5 of 5 Old 07-11-2012, 06:43 PM
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What they said!  Also, some kinds of birds love basil, so I usually keep some kind of pinwheels or something near it to scare the birds away.

DD 2/08
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