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Cool Member
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

Basil are flowering , what should we do??

My wife has a small herd garden on our porch. We have Rosemary, Basil , Solantro, and a fed others I don't recall in a planter made from cut off plastic drum with drain holes in the bottom.

So her Basil is flowering, should we pinch that off or what??? Never had this before so I'm unsure what to tell her.

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Mod Emeritus
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:04 am
Location: Oregon

I would pinch off the flowers. It can develop a somewhat bitter taste if allowed to flower. I like to toss the flowers into a salad, but you can compost them if you prefer. :)

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Hard to imagine you haven't had it before, if you've grown basil before. I spend all summer pinching flowers off the basil, it constantly wants to flower. But not only can it get bitter, but once it puts energy into making flowers and seeds, it puts a lot less energy into making leaves, so the plant gets a lot more lanky and less leafy.

I tend to leave the occasional flower here and there because bees and butterflies like them, but pinch almost all of them.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7311
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Pinch off the tops. It will make 2 tops for every top you pick off. If the plant has 16 tops it will grow more and have 32 tops. When it tries to flower again pinch it again and it will have 64 tops next time. Pinch it again then it will have 128 tops. Pinch it again and it will have 256 tops. In the fall the plant will look like a 3 ft diameter shrub. If you want seeds then let it flower in the fall. After it makes seeds it will die. Harvest the basil. You can havest all summer too I always pinch my tops and save them some times I pinch off a lot to harvest more.

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