WHAT IS BASIL PLANT?
Basil plant is a herbaceous plant known as Ocimum Basilicum. It has low growth, reaching a maximum of 1.30 meters. Its smell is characteristic and its leaves are small oval in shape, although there are hundreds of species in this family and their characteristics may vary. You can get from dark green colors to purple basil plant, and each different species needs specific care. Also, the basil plant plays a major role in gastronomy, its characteristic smell has been an accessory to hundreds of dishes from great chefs and international chefs. But in your care, you cannot miss certain recommendations that we are going to share with you. Let’s see!
Potted basil plant care. Summer and winter
Having notions about the care of a potted basil plant will allow you to guarantee its growth from the first day. This basil plant is one of the most used in the world of gastronomy worldwide. In addition to being a great spice for hundreds of dishes, basil can also serve as a decorative item. In this post, we show you how to take care of potted basil and how to maintain its cultivation every year.
Read on to discover everything related to growing basil step by step! Shall we start?
BASIL PLANT CARE
Basil care at home is not a complex science. In fact, it is one of the most widely planted plants in the world. It is a plant native to tropical climates, so surely you already imagine what are some of the necessary sowing and irrigation conditions. In this section we will see how a basil plant should be cared for indoors until it is pruned.
Temperature for Basil plant
We must start with one of the most important conditions when sowing any plant, “the climatic condition”. As we mentioned, basil is native to central Africa and Southeast Asia, so its adaptation must be warm and not subjected to intense cold. The most advisable thing is to prepare an area with a semi-shaded space, intending to take advantage of the solar rays without burning its leaves.
The minimum recommended temperature is between 15ºC to 25ºC.
Sunlight for Basil plant
The sunlight that the basil plant should receive can be direct or shady. One of the great advantages of this species is that it can have versatility in terms of its growth zone. However, as we mentioned, it is advisable to regulate the hours of sunshine, since its watering should be more frequent to prevent it from wilting.
Floor for Basil plant
This is where our basil plant gets picky. For proper growth, it needs aerated soil, with excellent drainage and well fertilized. It is also necessary to take into account that this must be deep and conditioned with essential minerals for the transplant of basil.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BASIL IN THE WINTER
Being a plant with a warm environment, it needs to get as far away as possible from the strong currents of icy air. Therefore, the arrival of winter for basil can mean its death if you are not prevented. Basil has only one year to live. When winter arrives, it will die, leaving its seeds hidden behind its flowers as an inheritance for the arrival of spring. If you want to keep your plant alive during the cold winters we must make some changes in its care;
- Waterless: In winter we will use irrigation only occasionally when we see the land too dry and this must be very punctual.
- Keep indoors: To avoid the characteristic cold of winter we must bring it home and opt for its care in the shade. It is also important to nourish it with light and warmth.
- Prune withered leaves: Their life span will gradually shorten, noting that their largest leaves turn a more yellow color.
If you see these leaves it is best to prune it. This will stimulate the growth of small stems and keep it alive. If you have no idea how to prune basil leaves, we will detail it later, do not worry. These tips are not a guarantee that the basil plant will survive the winter.
However, with this care you will have reduced the probability that it will die during the winter!
In the summer basil care is different, so let’s see what we should take into account!
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BASIL IN SUMMER
Although the basil plant is comfortable with tropical climates, we must be careful in the sun. If we overdo it with direct contact with UV rays, we can cause problems in their growth. You must be very attentive to the humidity level of the soil and how dry it is , since this plant needs a lot of humidity to survive. The sun’s rays can burn it and wilt its leaves before their time. A little shade will be the ideal solution to keep your plant away from the hot summer dangers.
If you decide to place the pot of your plant indoors, do not forget to give it a little sun from a window to nourish it and grow healthier!
IRRIGATION CARE for Basil plant
The watering of basil plant depends a lot on where you plant it. If you plant it in a pot and indoors, you can moisten it every two days using a spray with water. They should not have too intense a watering , since it can cause the appearance of fungi or quite harmful conditions. We advise you to insert a finger both in the ground and in the holes of the pot, in this way you will see how wet it is. Outdoors, watering it once a week is enough when it’s sunny and the soil drains well .
Although watering is important, it is best to be very attentive to the level of humidity, so you will avoid problems.
HOW TO PRUNE BASIL CORRECTLY
In this case, we immerse ourselves in a super important issue that refers to the care of the stems, leaves, and shoots of our plant. The pruning of basil must be very meticulous and we must do it with great care so as not to damage the general stem.
STERILIZE PRUNING TOOLS for Basil plant
Scissors, tweezers or pruning pliers are generally used for this work. You must sterilize them with alcohol to eliminate any remaining disease from other plants previously pruned with the same tools.
WE START WITH THOSE LEAVES THAT ARE CLOSEST TO THE GROUND
By having more contact with the ground they can acquire fungi and it is the last thing we want for our basil plant. It is best to remove these leaves and cut them. We also recommend cutting any leaves that have a yellowish or problem appearance.
WE CONTINUE WITH THE STEMS
The basil plant is usually pruned from the stem, that is why many people wonder what is the maximum level to which we can cut it. The flower of the basil predicts the end of the plant. By not supporting the winter frosts it will cease its growth and little will die. But don’t worry, this is not the end of it. Basil leaves its seeds in the ground to repopulate in spring. If we want to avoid this process we can cut the stem and remove this flower. In this way, we can continue to take care of it and keep it alive for longer. This comes in handy if you use it as a condiment or spice for your meals, so you will never be without it.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PRUNE THE BASIL?
You must be very attentive to the flower we mention, in case it appears it will be time to prune once more. This plant usually grows on stems with leaves two by two, so you will be able to notice when this flower makes its presence.
HOLY BASIL AND ITS CARE, IS IT DIFFERENT?
One of the most common types of basil has a particular shade of purple, which can serve as an ornament for a space at home or even decorate special dishes. It is widely used in gardens to ward off mosquitoes and some insects that cannot stand its smell. In general terms the care is exactly the same, it is necessary good drainage of water, accessible sunlight (without exaggeration), and a warm temperature. It is important to keep in mind the previous sections to keep this type of basil away from danger and alive even in winter times.
Now we will see how it is sown and if we can do it in a pot. In this way we can have it at home to use in the kitchen!
HOW IS BASIL GROWN? CAN WE DO IT IN A POT?
Taking into account all the basil cares, let’s move on to another important point, its sowing. This can be directly to the ground, in a seedbed or in a pot. You must bear in mind that to plant this plant you must have a space of approximately 15 centimeters in diameter to expand its growth. If you are going to sow in a pot, you can already estimate the necessary measurements of the pot for a correct evolution of the plant.
To sow the basil seeds you must use seed substrate that helps you prepare the place. Place this on the ground where the seeds will go, flatten gently with your hands (without compacting too much) and then water abundantly.
We will place the seeds on the surface of the substrate evenly about 3 centimeters away from each other. It is advisable to use tools such as tweezers to achieve a better distribution of these on the ground.
After placing the seeds, we continue with the irrigation, which must be subtle and without overdoing it. If you water with a lot of water you could bury them or spread them between them. Believe us, this has happened to us! You can use a watering can with fine holes to moisten the ground without flooding it. From here you should always have the soil moist, but without drowning it.
Take into account the temperature. You must place the pot or have a good place so that the seeds have enough light that can help with germination. If you decide to place the pots indoors, it is recommended that they be near a window where they can take advantage of the ultraviolet rays and thus germinate as they should.
Following these steps, we will have our first basil leaves in a period of one month. Its germination takes a while, but we will notice that it progresses once the seeds turn bluish.
HOW TO TRANSPLANT THE BASIL PLANT
The transplant as well as its pruning are very delicate. With a lot of patience, being very attentive, and following all these steps you can do it without problems. Something very important in your transplant is the time to do it. I recommend doing it in the morning before watering on a day where the plant can take advantage of some sun.
Prepared? Let’s see how to do it!
Have a pot or the soil where you are going to make the transplant prepared. Having the soil fertilized would be enough. If you do it between several pots, make sure that the new one is at least 30 centimeters.
With the dry soil, open a hole that is deep and wide enough to place the roots of our basil plant without damaging them. Leave part of the stem on the surface and proceed to cover with soil, pressing gently on the base of the stem.
Finally, water your basil plant until the soil is moistened without waterlogging it. If you have followed all these steps, the transplant should have gone well. With practice, you will notice that it is not that complicated, but we recommend that you be patient and very careful to keep the roots healthy. So far we come with all the compilation on the care of basil. A perfect plant to have at home both in winter and summer! Leave us a comment with your questions if you need them!
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