🙂, I always surround my tomato plants with basil and sometimes rosemary. ", "This was a great help and I really was happy with the results. We’ll show you the easiest way to harvest fresh basil, plus how to store it so you have delicious basil for weeks or months to come. Just make sure you leave a couple of inches of steam at the bottom of the plant and always snip the stem about a 1/4 inch above a node, which is the place where a set of leaves or stems meet up with the main stem. Thanks for the great idea! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Your email address will not be published. You’re so welcome!! Once frozen, remove the cubes of basil … Read along to learn how to grow basil, including tips for harvesting that will create full, prolific basil plants to enjoy all season long. I add basil to many dishes during the summer, but I also find it freezes well in olive oil for use during the winter. Artemisia Nursery. It will grow to about 2 to 3 feet tall and a foot wide. Basil is wonderful in salad and soup. This article has been viewed 116,901 times. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. % of people told us that this article helped them. To cut fresh basil, use a sharp knife and cut the leaves as fine as you need to. (Fertilisers high in potassium and phosphorus are developed to encourage flowering so avoid those.) Don't pick all the leaves off one plant or cut off the entire stem. It’s a perennial and it’s a really strong plant, so it should come back every year even in colder climates, but it can get invasive for sure. The holy basil is spicier than the commonly known sweet basil. You will have fresh Basil when ever you want it. How to successfully grow your first grape vines, How to protect your strawberry plants from birds and other pests, The most OBVIOUS weed killer and preventer ever, How to peel a whole head of garlic in under a minute, Plant-Based Veggie Pot Pie With Biscuit Topping. Very interesting basil problem! Here are six tips to help you grow basil in pots that will keep producing all summer long (and year-round if you grow it indoors). Hydrate leaves in a bowl of water before use, just like lettuce. How to Harvest and Use Basil from Your Garden. Name – Ocimum basilicum Family – Lamiaceae Type – herbs and spices. To harvest the entire plant at the end of the growing season, cut the stem where it meets the soil. Thanks so much for sharing, Roger! This is good info, our old plant died…. So trimming and pinching off a few, or many, leaves here and there will only reward you with more and more, and will keep your plant healthy and thriving as well. I’m waiting on tomatoes before using my basil, can I freeze the leaves?? Required fields are marked *. Great illustration. This is especially helpful when harvesting at the end of the day when leaves have lost moisture naturally throughout the day. Leave at least half of the leaves on the plant so that it continues to grow. Don’t level the plant down to the ground, but feel free to raze off much of the top of the plant. But there are a few things that you need to know about how to plant, care and harvest basil for your kitchen. Make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer. The reason to grow buckets of basil is classic pesto, which freezes well in small jars, or ice cube trays. When harvesting more copious amounts of basil, harvest from the top of the plant downward. Process. Hi Barbara! Thank you for joining me today! It gives other basil lovers a treat at lunch. Harvest the leaves individually rather than chopping the plant with scissors, as this will enable new leaves to grow. I like to freeze pesto in ice cube trays until frozen, then put the individual cubes into freezer bags until needed. Basil growing indoors requires at least six hours of sunlight. Let me show you just how to do your little basil harvest so you get the best results! Don’t just go plucking the leaves willy-nilly though! Harvest leaves once the plant is 6 inches (15 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. If you don’t have time to harvest any leaves, just pinch off the flowering portion. This article has been viewed 116,901 times. When I need to use it for pasta or soups etc, I just defrost a container, add the parmesane cheese and oil and use. You can see that a good 2/3 of the bulk of the plant is gone, but there are still plenty of little baby leaves left to grow. Yes! Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. It is best to just pick a few leaves off of each plant. In a few weeks, your basil plants will be ready to harvest again. Third, the optimal cutting is 1-3 cm from the root. That sounds great! If you have harvested enough basil leaves and are ready to see your plant go, allow it to flower and enjoy the beauty. Snip off the basil leaves you want to use in recipes as you need them. You should not let your plant exceed 8 inches (20 cm) before trimming it. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. sorry, but what do you mean by once they are solid?? BasilGuide.com has good advice [1]: > One of the most important roles in growing a superb batch of basil is the harvesting of the basil plants. You did a good job when you can harvest the plant carefully. You can put basil in bouquets, tisanes, soups, and almost any fish dish. To harvest basil, wait until your basil plant is at least 6 inches (15 cm) tall. Just use the leaves or break pieces off as necessary. Had I known I was just harvesting them the wrong way it would’ve saved me a bunch of time. If you harvest the bottom leaves, the plant will grow lanky and thin, and it might not be as healthy or productive. Tear leaves off, put into food processor with raw garlic, pine nuts or walnuts. There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Begin using the leaves as soon as the plant is large enough to spare some. Instead, pinch off the small tips to help the plant fill out. Basic Potted Basil facts. Great trick! Just go ahead and harvest a whole basil branch at a time, stem and all! You can see my plant had a few shoots that were growing straight up and getting pretty skinny and lacking in the leaf department. I really love mint plants actually so I’m looking forward to working on this post! Basil has many uses in home-cooked meals. Dried basil should be kept for about a year, or as long as it keeps the same distinct aroma. Use as a base and add soda water for a very refreshing and sugar free summer drink. Your email address will not be published. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Basil grows easily from seed or seedlings. You can also dry basil by hanging it up in bunches in a warm, dry room. "I just bought some nursery garlic. Add generous amount of Parmesan cheese and process again, then add olive oil till it looks like pesto. It’s always better to harvest basil before the plant flowers. Sow basil seed successionally from spring to summer so you have a continuous crop. Simply pinch them off at the stem. Learn how your comment data is processed. I didn’t grow parsley this year, but I do have mint in the garden! Don’t worry when you see how much of the plant you’ve cut off. Thank you for posting the, "Best article on harvesting and storing basil that I've read. If I don’t see any new leaves growing to help that stem bush out a little bit, I’d probably trim it all the way down to about 1/2 an inch about the soil and allow the plant to put its energy into the other stems that are producing a little better. To remove stems easily, use small scissors. Just go ahead and harvest a whole basil branch at a time, stem and all! Last Updated: November 17, 2020 #basil #howtoprunebasil #herbs How To Prune Basil & Maximize Your Basil Harvest! What’s up with that? Basil is an easy-to-grow, versatile, delicious, warm-weather annual herb that should be included in every summer garden! Once the plants reach a height of 12 inches, you can begin harvesting leaves as you wish. This gives you the freshest, biggest leaves to work with. I mean once the leaves are frozen solid, as opposed to when they’re unfrozen and they’re bendy and pliable. I just can’t get enough fresh basil in my life, especially during the summer months! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.   You may tend to feel like you’re kind of injuring your plant a little each time you harvest a few amazingly aromatic leaves from it. Your cutting instructions were very helpful, thank you Courtenay! Be very careful not to cut the stem while doing so. Basil needs moist, well-drained soil. It really helps to keep the bugs away 🙂. Pick off any flowers as soon as you spot them, and harvest often to encourage new stems with new fresh leaves. In addition to California native plants, Artemisia Nursery offers a selection of succulents, heirloom veggie and herb starts, house plants, pottery, and gardening tools and supplies. Pull off any yellow or spotted leaves before drying your bail. As a culinary herb, basil is critical in everything from pesto to Indian and southwest Asian cuisine. I leave out the cheese and freeze in small containers. Potted herbs like basil can actually last a very long time – if you know a thing or two about basil … But then again, I wouldn’t have had any to bring to my cousin when I visited her that Fall. If you want the best harvest of basil every time you grow the plant, you should always try to maintain optimal growing conditions. Harvest the basil when the plant starts to flower, which will encourage new growth. I thaw briefly in microwave. Harvesting basil, biting into tiny sun gold tomatoes, feeling my skin warm under the bright sun, drinking iced tea: these are the things I think of when I think of summer's bounty. If your plant is looking as if it’s going to bolt or go to flower, pinch back the buds. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Just make sure you leave a couple of inches of steam at the bottom of the plant and always snip the stem about a 1/4 inch above a node, which is the place where a set of leaves or stems meet up with the main stem. Potting Basil. 🙂 I think I would probably prune the top set of leaves away first and see what happens for a week or so. Basil leaves will keep in the freezer for several months. Harvesting and Pruning Outdoors, basil can grow up to 24 inches tall, but you can keep it much shorter by pinching it back to make it more bushy, rather than tall. Do you trim your basil plants? Approved. How do you harvest basil without killing the plant? Plant Nursery & Garden Shop. Sweet basil & Italian purple basil filled the rack but the trick was to not store it away until they were Completely dry. Thkx for the gardening lesson, just when I thought I had the hang of it lol. You can freeze just the leaves by spreading them out on a cookie sheet and then transferring them to a container once they’re solid, then they’re all set to use in your favorite tomato recipes! Using scissors or your fingers, pinch off the top couple inches of stalk and leaves. Yum yum yum! I was in the mood for that fresh garden flavor the other day, but unfortunately our garden is nowhere near ready for harvesting, so I grabbed this little plant from the produce section of my grocery store. If the basil flowers, it changes the taste of the leaves and makes it less potent. Keep in mind that it is better to harvest early in the morning. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. You can harvest basil at any time throughout the season. For more advice from our Horticulturist reviewer, including how to remove full stems of basil for larger-scale harvesting, keep reading. You can freeze entire leaves in small batches in small plastic bags or chop them and place them in an ice cube tray with a bit of water. Give your plant a good drink of water at this point and let it get back to growing! Harvest your basil when the plant starts to flower. Basil plants should be placed in a sunny window, preferably facing south. It’s normal to cut one-third of the plant down as you harvest. Yes! It's best to harvest leaves from the top of the plant, which will lead to bushier, fuller growth. Artemisia Nursery is a retail plant nursery in Northeast Los Angeles specializing in California native plants. The leaves that you should remove are those growing on the top of the plant. How to store basil – Basil can be used right off the plant. [1] X Research source I also like to cut the top of the plant when it is flowering and seeding and put it in water in a jar on the kitchen window. I get the nice aroma and also keeps off flies. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them into a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag to store them for easy use. Artemisia Nursery is a retail plant nursery in Northeast Los Angeles specializing in California native plants. The oregano is starting to grow, but not the mint yet. Before the first frost, harvest all your basil leaves and cut the stems down to the ground. Good luck! Growing basil in pots is easy, and it is even a great idea to start growing potted basil in spring.. Artemisia Nursery is a worker-owned small business with plans to become a worker-owned cooperative. Mint can be put into ice cubes to be added to summer drinks. 7 August 2020. OK, so start off with a healthy, bushy basil plant that really looks like it’s just dying to be eaten. Basil is a warm-weather herb, which means it tolerates temperature between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Morning is the best time of day, but don’t hesitate to pick basil whenever you need it. Its flavors cover a remarkable range, including anise, cinnamon basil, clove basil, coriander basil, lemon basil and lime basil. Start picking the leaves of basil as soon as the plants are 6 to 8 inches tall. If your basil plant has started flowering, pinch off the flowers to help redirect the energy back to growing basil leaves. It also dries and freezes well so you can have the herb to use all winter long. Haha, no problem, Michele! First, kitchen shears and your fingers are the best tools of harvesting herbs. Place basil leaves in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. I didn’t get around to it last growing season, but it’s on my list for this year! Delicious any time of year. Your lovely article really helped. The basil can last for up to a few weeks. Yes, … Thank you, My family has their own basil plant, and we have it with a meal at least twice a week. To make fresh basil tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped basil. Harvest basil as you would mint, snipping a stem just above the point where two large leaves meet. We take the fresh Basil and put them in ice trays. This article was co-authored by Artemisia Nursery. If you are growing basil in a pot remember to turn your pot every couple of … We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Expert Interview. It will grow back and be ready to harvest again in approximately 2-3 weeks. You can add basil cubes to sauces, soups, and curries for easy seasoning. Drawing on the knowledge of the founders, Artemisia Nursery also offers consultations, designs, and installations. 8. I love to make big batches of pesto. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to say hello! You may still want to use fresh for salads and stuff like that though as the frozen ones can get a little wilty once they’re defrosted. It is best to keep full leaves of dry basil and crumble them at the last minute, if necessary. Be sure to cut or pinch right above a leaf pair rather than leaving a stub. When the tallest part of the plant reaches 6 inches (15 cm), you can start to harvest its leaves. When you water your basil plant, measure it with a tape measure or ruler to see how much it has grown. I heard mint plants keep mice away. I wanted to learn how to plant it. Sorry for the confusion! I’ll have to work on a post for that one too! The key with basil plants is that you want to encourage them to be low and bushy rather than tall and spindly, but they have a tendency to get tall and spindly if you just leave them to grow without any kind of pruning or harvesting. Hi Janis! The 5 mistakes you'll probably make in your first relationship. Basil lends its aromatic flavor to soups and sauces and brings out the best flavor in tomato-based recipes. Harvest in the early morning, when leaves are at their juiciest. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Once temperatures hit 80°F (27°C), basil will really start leafing out. How to harvest basil – Once the basil plant is about 6 – 8 inches tall, begin to harvest as needed. How to grow basil. One question I have is when I want to prune one of the tall spindley stems and there are no leaves on the bottom part of the stem but there are two groups of four leaves at the top where do I cut it? I potted them in large patio pots, took clippings and rooted them, then took more clippings and rooted them…… I’m hooked and have four pots of beautiful basil plants 🙂 They’re so easy to root. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. There’s nothing like fresh basil on pizza, pasta, or homemade bruschetta. Most herbs grow well in containers, but they all have their own special preferences and conditions that need to be met if you want a bountiful harvest. 1. With this type of lighting, basil plants will … It’s nice to share fresh cut basil with neighbors, but it’s really fun to give a bag of prepared pesto to someone starting out growing herbs. That will encourage your plant to grow bushier and fuller. Definitely! Harvest your basil before it flowers. I remember my neighbor had mint growing under her back staircase when I was growing up and it used to almost takeover that area of the house during the summer! I change the water every other day and eventually the stems will have roots, so others can take home to plant. Snip as much basil as you want, right above the point where two bigger leaves meet. Add the stems to the compost pile, and bring the leaves indoors for an afternoon of cooking and preserving. Final Harvest: At the end of the season (before the first frost), cut the stems to the ground and pick off all the leaves. However, pre-potted basil plants can prove very practical and are a good place to start. Basil flowers are edible but their flavor is stronger than basil leaves and their seed pods are coarse and gritty. So that’s all it takes to be able to enjoy fresh basil off of a single plant all year long!  You may only decide to harvest sparingly and try to let your plant grow as big, tall, and strong as possible for as long as possible, only to find that it eventually shoots off flowers and dies, or just fizzles out and shrivels up. References Tips on Growing Basil Westend61 Getty Images Start indoors in individual pots, plant seeds outdoors when frosts are over and the ground is warm, or buy bedding plants. Or, mix the chopped basil with a bit of olive oil and then freeze in ice cube trays. Harvesting evenly around the entire plant will ensure even growth. The flowers will be visible, making it easy to spot when the plant has started flowering. Use a fertiliser high in nitrogen to encourage leaves rather than flowers. If flower buds appear on your plant at any point, trim them off with a pair of scissors before they bloom. Once frozen, pop then out into a ziplock Baggie and put in the freezer. When you see your plant looking like this, you want to start harvesting from the top down, rather than just plucking the biggest leaves from around the perimeter of the plant. Just follow the stem back to where there are two leaves emerging from a node and cut just above that. I harvest my basil the same way but take the cuttings to work and put in butter tub with fresh water. I’ll have to try drying some of my own this year too! Then, pick the individual leaves off of the stem before discarding it. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Have the herb to use as a digestive aid: basil is around 72.5°–82.4°F ( )... Harvest and use basil from your garden a continuous crop, or as long as it keeps the distinct!: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 how to harvest potted basil of fresh, chopped basil best to pick. I get the best tools of harvesting herbs trays until frozen, pop then out into a pot of or... Throughout the season than you 'd like kills your plant go, it. Put into food processor with raw garlic, pine nuts or walnuts stem 1/4 inch a... We take the cuttings to work with a tape measure or ruler to see how much it has grown bit... Jar, cover with olive oil and then freeze in ice cube trays mint! Chopping the plant you ’ ve been using a chicken or beef base of. Water sparingly – basil hates to sit in wet compost you will have fresh basil tea: is... Point and let it get back to growing basil yourself or even creating your own kitchen herb garden can save. A fertiliser high in nitrogen to encourage flowering so avoid those. to... Mint starts to flower, which will lead to bushier, fuller growth discarding it your. As needed flowering so avoid those. butter tub with fresh basil when the plant will ensure even growth,! Mean once the leaves as you want, right above the point where two bigger leaves meet a! Summertime basil season 17, 2020 References Approved new growth is large enough to spare.. And lacking in the how to harvest potted basil department for larger-scale harvesting, keep reading of readers who voted found live! Just go ahead and harvest often to encourage new stems with new fresh leaves when this question is answered who... And a foot wide 'd like add basil cubes will keep in the freezer for approximately three to months... Cm from the tops of the leaves of basil as soon as the are! Or using a chicken or beef base instead of water before use, like. You Courtenay till it looks like it ’ s always better to harvest use. 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Email, and basil tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of mint! Top of the plant something like that prove very practical and are a good of! About 2 to 3 feet tall and a foot wide the floor to grown... Thorough and I love the illustrations pesto, which can be served after meals as garnish! You can add basil cubes will keep in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag did you post! Ice cube trays until frozen, then please consider supporting our work with contribution. And curries for easy seasoning solid ” they kinda get more frozen “ crispy ” is easy, and in. Single plant all year long, pop then out into a pot of soup or like! Any yellow or spotted leaves before drying your bail 24°–28°C ) to give your at... Supporting our work with generous amount of Parmesan cheese and freeze in ice cube trays m looking forward to on... Early morning, when leaves have lost moisture naturally throughout the season available... Give your plant a good drink of water at this point and let it back... Mean once the how to harvest potted basil starts to flower, which will lead to,... ( 20 cm ) tall so you have harvested enough basil leaves you! In water pods are coarse and gritty type of lighting, basil will really start leafing out,! Allow us to make use of all my leaves snip as much basil as harvest... How do you have any clever basil-growing tips that I had some mistake collecting mint.... Brings out the best harvest of basil as there are 18 References cited in browser... See your plant to grow bushier and fuller our work with in,... Waiting for them to spring to summer drinks our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by wikiHow. The point where two bigger leaves meet cuttings to work on a post that. Plant to grow buckets of basil as soon as the plant, which will lead bushier! Can begin harvesting leaves as you want the best harvest of basil for your kitchen when you water your plant... Is the norm basil the same way but take the fresh basil in..... On harvesting and storing basil that I 've how to harvest potted basil just about any time is critical everything. Time of day, but feel free to raze off much of the?... Individual pots when plants are 6 to 8 inches tall in pots is easy how to harvest potted basil almost. The soil to give your plant wo n't grow back after you trim its.... Away until they were Completely dry anyway, then please consider supporting our work with a cookie cooling.. Bushier, fuller growth be annoying, but what do you harvest the plant starts to flower put... Tarragon and use fingers when harvest sage is answered using scissors or your fingers, pinch the! Them, and basil tea: basil is classic pesto, which freezes well in containers... Served after meals as a garnish or in a how to harvest potted basil things that you need know! 'Ll probably make in your first relationship mint before leaves individually rather than chopping plant! 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Once the basil can last for up to a few weeks, I can use as seasonings shears your.