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Pruning Young Basil

It's been a very strange year for gardening so far here in minneapolis. Weather all over the place. Finally getting some strong sunny days in a row now. I've been using neem oil on my aphids. The aphids are so resilient. Thinking about introducing lady bugs.

Anyway, I have a question about pruning basil. I've got some young plans that are getting very bushy already, around 6-8 inches tall. I know not to ever harvest more than 1/3 of the plant, but when harvesting basil that young (because its so bushy), if I pinch the top 1/3 of the plant off, meaning the stem, that wont stop it from growing vertically, will it? The stem doesn't grow back up where its pinched off, but the other leaves where it was pinched will turn into main stems. Is that right?

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Posts: 77
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:11 pm
Location: Barbados

Hi Eighteesix,

Pinching off the top of the main stem does not stop the basil from growing vertically. If you pinch it off just above a couple of leaves two branches (stems) will grow and the plant will get bushier.

Check out this 36 second clip which answers you questions.


Hope this helps.


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