First time basil, did I prune this right?


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This is my first time doing any kind of gardening. Did I cut this basil correctly or will I need to restart them? Also, how long will it take for it to grow back out and become a bigger plant again?

Thanks!
 

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Looks fine to me. Too little to prune....I grow basil every year and pinch off the higher leaves and flowers as they're happening (and eat them!) :)

Let that baby grow, and pinch off the tall leaves and flowers, that will encourage more bushy growth.
 
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Awesome! What do you mean by the "tall leaves"? Do yyou have a picture so I don't accidently cut the wrong thing?

Thanks
 
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Well there's really no need to prune basil. But if you want it bushy with lots of tasty fresh leaves, whenever you want to use some, pinch off the tips of the tallest part of the plant. And when it gets real big (you should say where you live, because that's relevant to growing stuff) ;) then pinch off the flower spikes before they blossom. Your basil, like most plants, will direct growing energy to flowers at the expense of leaf growth.

Here's a sweet basil this morning, sharing a pot with mint. Just planted two weeks ago from a starter plant. It's low and bushy which is what you want. Last night I pinched off the two tallest stalks and leaves to put in some pasta. One or two basil plants will give me fresh basil for cooking from now until Sept-Oct
20160608_070829.jpg
, our typical first frost here.
 
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If this were me, I'd give it 2 days of good Sun and water. Then clip those bigger leaves off. I also just started growing stuff and I've loved working with it. I just chopped down what looked like a pound of basil and tried drying in the oven. So far my dry process needs help but I k ow my basil will be back in a few days.
 
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Looks fine to me. Too little to prune....I grow basil every year and pinch off the higher leaves and flowers as they're happening (and eat them!) :)

Let that baby grow, and pinch off the tall leaves and flowers, that will encourage more bushy growth.
That's basically what I do, too! We love basil so much that I don't really "prune" to cut back as such, we just pluck a few additional leaves off if it's starting to get out of control - but they all get used! Pesto!!
 
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If you harvest the larger leaves and there are small leaves starting at the base of the larger leaves--those small ones will be "harvestable" in a few days. Don't let your basil flower--it changes the taste.
Midwestnoob, just cut basil, place the leaves on a tray lined with cheesecloth or a thin towel, and let the leaves air-dry out of direct sun/light. Oven drying removes so much of the essential oils that gives basil its flavor.
Try "basil balls" which are chopped basil made into a slurry with water, dropped on waxed paper in one tablespoon blobs, or placed into ice cube trays, frozen, then popped into a freezer bag. The basil balls taste the same as fresh, but do not have the same appearance. Same thing can be done with oregano, parsley, and dill.
 
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If you harvest the larger leaves and there are small leaves starting at the base of the larger leaves--those small ones will be "harvestable" in a few days. Don't let your basil flower--it changes the taste.
Midwestnoob, just cut basil, place the leaves on a tray lined with cheesecloth or a thin towel, and let the leaves air-dry out of direct sun/light. Oven drying removes so much of the essential oils that gives basil its flavor.
Try "basil balls" which are chopped basil made into a slurry with water, dropped on waxed paper in one tablespoon blobs, or placed into ice cube trays, frozen, then popped into a freezer bag. The basil balls taste the same as fresh, but do not have the same appearance. Same thing can be done with oregano, parsley, and dill.
Thanks for the drying advice. My girlfriend keeps saying we can borrow her dad's dehydrator. !But I must not stoop that low! How can I take care of his daughter and grandchild if I'm constantly needing things!? Haha

I just add a drop or two of evo and puree all of it and freeze it. Works great for cooking.
 
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I live in Chengdu China, it's very hot here now. It's been high 80's low 90's every day for the past couple weeks.

I just noticed that the very bottom of the stems on both my basil plants are blackish color where they start going into the soil, is this normal?
 
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I live in Chengdu China, it's very hot here now. It's been high 80's low 90's every day for the past couple weeks.

I just noticed that the very bottom of the stems on both my basil plants are blackish color where they start going into the soil, is this normal?
@jmido8 , my guess would be some variety of fusarium (fungus)...it's in the soil and if that's the case I'm not sure there's a cure for your basil. If the discoloration increases and the plants start to wilt, best to harvest and freeze or dry what you can now.

If you've been getting lots of rain, or you're watering frequently, that combined with clay soil isn't good for most plants. Are yours in the ground or in containers?
 
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Could be normal. I don't know about the soil fungus but all my basil plants are black right there where the stem meets the soil.
 
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Thanks, Ill just keep an eye on it for now, I think it'll probably be fine.

Btw, do you guys know what plant this is? The package said oregano but it doesn't look like any oregano I have looked up online. I crushed one of the leaves and it actually smelled pretty minty, but it looks sort of like cilantro.
 

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Thanks, Ill just keep an eye on it for now, I think it'll probably be fine.

Btw, do you guys know what plant this is? The package said oregano but it doesn't look like any oregano I have looked up online. I crushed one of the leaves and it actually smelled pretty minty, but it looks sort of like cilantro.
Not oregano for sure. I think you're right...cilantro or parsely or like that.
 
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I have a question about planting basil pieces that I cut off the main plant. For the pieces that are growing little branches out of them, do I plant that part under the soil or just above the soil? Right now they're just little leaves growing out but from my understanding, they will grow into entire new branches. I just don't know if they should be planted underneath the soil and grow out of it or if I should plant right up to where those branches start.

Also, it's very hot where I live, Chengdu China. Maybe high 80's or low 90's and I'v noticed that every couple hours the top layer of soil will be dried out. I'm worried about overwatering it but at the same time I'm worried that it's water deprived because it's so hot and just drying up so fast. I usually only take a small spray bottle and water it just enough for the top layer to be a little moist whenever it gets to dry. Is there something special I should do?
 
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I would start the basil cuttings in Water first to get the roots started. Just cut off a decent branch with a few larger leaves and place it in a cup of water and out it next to a sunny window. It'll take about 2 weeks to start new roots but once the little roots start they will grow like crazy. Replace the water every few days and you should be good to go. Once you have Some decent roots dip them in a root hormone and then plant them in new soil. Leave the leafs above the soil so photosynthesis can occur. Seeds need heat and moisture to start, plants need moisture and sunlight to continue. If you bury the leaves completely it won't be able to get any sunlight to grow.

Here are some propagated cuttings that I've done in the past. It took about 2 weeks for the roots to start, but once they started they grew like crazy. These pics are taken within 3 days once the root started.

Concerning your watering issue is just water heavily in the morning and that's it. Make sure your pot can drain with a hole in the bottom or side and let the soil absorbs as much as it needs. Then stop. If your just misting the top layer of soil you're not getting water down to the roots. Plants can be drought tolorant in the right conditions. For example, my mint and sage both pretty much dried up and look dehydrated but still alive. I watered them heavily and the popped right back up. Too much water is just as bad as not enough. So just make sure your pots drain well and just water heavily once every other day or so.
 

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Hey guys, I have an update on my plants. They have grown a lot larger since the last time I posted pictures and have branched off and are getting bushier. I took about 5 cuttings and stuck them in water for about 1-2 weeks. They all grew a lot of roots and I'v replanted them all and they seem to be doing really well.

However, I recently ran into a bit of a problem. I started a compost pile because I wanted to make some fertilizer for my plants, but that turned out to be a double edged sword because it attracted mice which managed to eat some big chunks in a bunch of my basil leaves. One of the propagated plants was practically destroyed. I know where the mice are coming from and set up traps and even caught 4 mice in one night! However, I know there are still more around. Just last night I heard one running around somewhere in my apartment. I'v got rid of the compost pile because it just honestly wasn't worth having mice and i'v been laying traps everywhere.

I'm still a bit worried about my plants though. I have several traps set up around the plants with peanut butter and rice but i'm afraid they'll still make it to my plants. Most advice i'v read is to set up some kind of cage but that really isn't practical where I live. Is there anything else I can do to protect my plants?

Also, should I cut off the leaves that have been half eaten or just leave them be until I do a pruning?

Thanks!
 
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I usually just snip the big leaves, and the top of branches! They seem to get stronger, and more bushy as well. When winter comes I will just dry them and then crumble them up to use in my cooking. I love basil, especially Thai basil!
 
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Are you sure it's mice and not bugs eating your basil?

Either way you don't want mice running around your home! Google electronic mouse traps...inexpensive, clean, effective.
 
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I didn't know that mice like basil:eek:
As for pruning herbs, it's very easy. I pinch off some leaves whenever I need them for cooking or simply want to smell them. All my basil plants grow healthy:)
 

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