User avatar
Roseamore
Cool Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Barbados

What will happen to my basils after a year?

Hi Everyone,

I understand that sweet and lemon basil are annual plants. Most of the documentation I've seen indicate that they will die off when the weather gets cold.

I was wondering what will happen to my basils in the absence of cold weather? Will they just continue to grow well beyond the year (especially if I don't let them flower?) or will they still die off.

You answer will help me decide on when to sew seeds or when I should start getting cuttings to start new plants.

Looking forward to your answers and comments.

Thank you in advance.

Roseamore
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

valley
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1335
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:25 am
Location: ranches in sierra nevada mountains California & Navada high desert

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Hi Roseamore, That's your assignment, let us know how long and how healthy it is as time goes on. I think it will go to seed and shut down but we'll see.

Richard

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

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Certainly try the experiment. I have tried to keep annual basil going, but I have to do it by bringing it indoors for the winter, not as good an environment for it, less light etc. In my conditions, even though I kept it cut back all the time and did not let it flower or seed, it got pretty woody and tired, less productive. It eventually got to the point that it didn't seem worth maintaining. Your results might be different, being able to keep it outdoors year round. But you will have to be vigilant about cutting back, not letting it flower or seed.
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

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Yes, you tell us how the basils do!! I suggest starting a few seeds every few months to always have some new plants coming along. It takes up to 3 months to harvest much, from planting seeds. If you have new ones, the older plants can go to basil heaven (compost?!) if woody and a bit bitter.
Have fun!
Susan

User avatar
Roseamore
Cool Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Barbados

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Hi Valley and Rainbowgardener,

I will try the experiment and let you guys know how it goes.

However I think that such an experiment would be best served by someone who is accustomed to growing basil. This is my first time growing herbs and my first time doing container gardening of any type. So far I manage to overwater (got past that) and burn the leaves with an (organic) insecticide (the basil are recovering). Therefore if the plants don't survive it may be more indicative of my bad gardening than anything else. :(

Thanks for your responses.

Roseamore
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

User avatar
PunkRotten
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:48 am
Location: Monterey, CA.

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

I had a plant survive through the winter with flowers. I wanted to collect seeds so I stopped watering the plant and let it dry out in early spring. It seemed pretty healthy so I really don't know what would have happened had I kept taking care of it.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Basils last an average of 10 months. You can keep it going longer by continually pinching off the flowers, but basil get more bitter once they start to bloom, and as the plant gets woodier, the leaves get smaller, so I usually let nature take its' course. When the seeds drop you will have plenty of more basil coming up.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

I love basil and have very mild winters. I have tried keeping them cut back to avoid flowering and ended up with woody plants, smaller leaves and just too much trouble for the end result. I always have several plants in various stages of growth. I let them go to seed and just keep planting new ones. Even with mild winters we do get frost and an occasional freeze. Late in the season I harvest and dry the leaves. In February I plant seeds indoors. They are ready to go into the herb garden after the last frost. I would say that I manage to keep fresh basil in the garden 9 or 10 months out of the year by continuing to plant seeds.

I make a basil mayonnaise that is wonderful on sandwiches or as a salad dressing. When the tomatoes are ripe I love a tomato sandwich with basil mayonnaise. The taste of summer.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Susan W
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1859
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:46 pm
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Another thing to remember about basils, is they don't like to go below 40. They are the 1st to droop in the fall, and last of the herbs to go in come spring.
Have fun!
Susan

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

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Probably never does get down to 40 or even 50 in Barbados ... :)
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
Roseamore
Cool Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Barbados

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Rainbowgardener, you are right temperatures do not get anywhere close to that here. The lowest we get is about 21 degrees centigrade (69 F).

Tried making some vegan pesto earlier this week and the family liked it. Definitely will continue to grow basil from year to year (one way or another).

Roseamore
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

User avatar
Roseamore
Cool Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:11 pm
Location: Barbados

Re: What will happen to my basils after a year?

Hi Guys,

I recently came across someone who has let his basil grow for a few years. As was noted by some of you, the leaves are smaller and the branches and stems became very, very woody. Check out the pictures I took of it.

Roseamore
Attachments
The arrow is pointing to the stem.
The arrow is pointing to the stem.
Basil stem.png (196.91 KiB) Viewed 993 times
Woody "branches" which were growing more horizontally than vertically.
Woody "branches" which were growing more horizontally than vertically.
100_0959.JPG (67.44 KiB) Viewed 993 times
Patience and plants grow side-by-side.... The art of gardening cultivates them well.

Return to “Herb Gardening Forum”