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Pinch off Basil flowers?

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:49 am
by MaggieMD
I have four basil plants -- genovese (2), sweet basil and Greek basil. Some of them are putting out flowers now, about 2 inches long wih small tight white blooms. I am wondering if I should pinch those off so that the plants put their energy into making leaves, which is what I use of the plant. I know when I planted cilantro (with little success) it "bolted" and someone told me I should have snipped the flowers off it .. is this the same for basil?

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:43 pm
by Inamon
Basil once it flowers tends to produce a more bitter taste in the leaves. Picning off the flowers is recommended unless you are specifically looking to seed.

In our household we remove about 2/3rds of the plant leaving just enough for regenration. this gives us an abundance of basil (quick grower) and elongates the growing period.

As a secondary comment it is worth growing new seeds now so that you will start to crop in the next 4-6 weeks. this continues your harvest but allows you to let others go to seed. Worth while mentioning, don't let them drop seed. Wait for the flowers to to bloom and seed. Once the seed pod is a fibrous brown collect them. not all will germinate but the majority will, thus saving you $3 per species.

We have some black opal basil that seems to have a gentic mutation going on. The opal is green and not purple, although it has purple spots running through the plant. We have decided to collect the seeds and run with them to try and collect the taste and perhaps name a new variety. (Although I'm sure that other people have non-purple black opal we are calling it Inamon basil!, or perhaps Bulglish basil (Bulgarian-English)

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:58 pm
by MaggieMD
Thanks!I'm going to go out and snip the flowers as soon as the temperature drops below 95 here :lol:
Your new varity of basil sounds interesting... let me know if it tastes good. I use mine in bruscetta with the fresh tomatoes...

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:02 pm
by Inamon
Ina tends to snip early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun has moved around. Even on the hottest days if you follow these instructions that plants shouldn't come to any or much harm As I said that are a fast regenerator so it is worth while staying on top of them. Also don't forget to plant more seeds noew so that the will be grown by the time you are ready to kick the other plants to the curb.

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:32 pm
by MaggieMD
Thanks, I'll do that!