plasticookies
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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:49 am
Location: Canada

Basil leaves curling up lengthwise

Hi everyone,

I'm new here and seeking some advice on how to save my basil plant. I started this plant from a cutting, which was actually condiment from a vietnamese pho restaurant.

I planted it outdoors in the spring along with some thai basil that I picked up form the nursery. Although my internet research tells me that the basil that comes with pho is indeed thai basil, the plant I got from the nursery just wasn't the same. But I digress. Both plants were started in the spring, but while the store-bought plant grew quite prolifically, the basil from the cutting didn't seem to budge. I thought it would surely die, but it seemed to hold up albeit being exactly the same size as when it was potted.

I recently brought it inside to brave the winter and decided to feed it with an all purpose plant food. They day after, the leaves started to curl upwards as you can see in this photo [img]https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2BYw-ZvMHhgoRrWG_-g1lA?feat=directlink[/img]. There are also some brown spots that appeared before I brought it inside.

It's sitting in front of a south-facing window and I water it only when the soil gets dry on top. I'm sure I mixed the plant food correctly, so I'm not sure why the leaves have decided to curl up all of a sudden. Any ideas why? Advice?
Also, the plant is in pretty bad shape in general and never seems to grow. Thoughts?

plasticookies
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:49 am
Location: Canada

So it's been a couple days and the plant has pretty much completely wilted away. I still don't know what went wrong :(

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Not sure either, but I looked at the picture. If that plant has been growing since spring, something was really wrong the whole time. My basil plants that I planted in spring (well actually I start them from seed indoors in late winter) are 4 feet tall and bushy...

When a plant is so failing to thrive, then it is very vulnerable to whatever comes a long in the way of pests or diseases and not very hardy to withstand changes. Bringing it in was probably what did it in, but it never was doing very well.

If that's the cutting one, I'd take a look at it before you throw it out. My guess is that your cutting never rooted very well. When you pull it, you will find very tiny root system. Probably the "condiment" you brought home from the restaurant was too far gone already. Amazing it lasted so long.

You said you had two, the cutting and one you bought at a nursery. How's the other one doing now?

Incidentally the curling up lengthwise is likely just what they call physiological leaf roll. It's not a disease or pest, it's just something the plant does to protect itself, if it's drying out. By rolling the leaves, they lose less water. It's a small pot (which is ok since the plant is so small) so not much soil, so it can dry out fast.
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