emijean
Newly Registered
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:01 pm
Location: Parry Sound, ON

green leaves on dead plant??? see pic

Ok, I know it's not actually dead. But just look at this sad pic:

[img]https://iwr.me/basil.JPG[/img]

Most of the plant is brown and the stem near the base is brittle. We grew 4 nice basil plants in the summer then they all started dropping off but we kept this one because it started sprouting little green buds. But the stem is so long (it starts in the brown pot at the back!) I feel like if it gets any heavier the stem will snap. Can it survive like this? Can anything be done here to save it?

User avatar
digitS'
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3539
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:10 pm
Location: ID/Wa! border

Collect the seeds and start anew, EmiJean!

Basil is an annual plant.

If you want to stretch its life out a bit, do not allow it to bloom. The branches (and their blossoms) may become smaller and shorter until that is impossible but you can gain several more weeks or months by pinching blooms. Otherwise (and also), sow seed now and then for a fresh crop.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Don't know, they are annuals after all. But it would have kept going a lot longer if you had not let it go to seed like that. The long spikes are flower spikes that then set seed. Once an annual plant has set its seed for the year, its life cycle is over. When growing basil as soon as one of those flower spikes starts, clip it off to just above a leaf node. If prohibited from setting seed, it will keep going a lot longer and be a lot leafier and more productive.

If you want to see what this one is still capable of, clip all the flower/seed spikes off. Basils do get woody at the bottom, that is normal. But don't clip down into the woody part, it probably can't regrow from there.

(PS, look at the time stamps, digit and I posted at the exact same minute)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
GardenRN
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1102
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Chesterfield, Va

RG, I have to respectfully argue what you said about the woody stems not regrowing. I learned that fact this year when I decided it was time to chop down all of m basil for the year and dry it. I had woody stems a little bigger than a pencil in diameter. 2 or 3 per plant. I trimmed all the bushes down to about 4" above the soil which left no leaves at all and just woody stems sticking out of the dirt. Low and behold, about 2 weeks later when I went back over there for something every one of them had about 5" of new growth coming off of the stems. I was surprised! But they sure did want to grow.

But I wouldn't recommend cutting those ones down to the stems. Mine were very healthy plants and in the ground. The shock would almost surely kill those poor things. You could always root a few cuttings from that plant. It's a little quicker than starting from seeds.
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

OK, nice to know. Usually you cut it down to a leaf node. The woody part generally doesn't have any visible leaf nodes, so I assumed it would not regrow. I will try it in spring. I have a big basil plant which I started from seed at the beginning of the year. Grew the seedling indoors under lights and then took it out and planted it in large container. When it got too cold, I brought the container in and I'm trying to keep it going through the winter. But a lot of the plant has gotten woody. If it makes it to spring, I will cut it back hard and see what happens. If it doesn't make it, oh well, I will have lots of new basil seedlings by then.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”