Mother Earth Living

In the Garden

Get down and dirty in the garden

Add to My MSN

Growing Tips for Herbs: Why Is My Basil Dying?

3/3/2009 4:49:31 PM

Tags: Growing Conditions, Common Herbs, Basil, Ocimum basilicum, Why Are My Herbs Dying, Garden, Tips, Q and A

StephanieQ: Why are my herbs dying?   

A: Many readers have called and written our office with a common frustration: Why are my herbs dying? Here at The Herb Companion, we thought everyone would be interested in the answer.

Although finding a cure varies for each herb, I’ll do my best to touch upon common herbs and their growing conditions in this series. I will cover basil (Ocimum basilicum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), mint (Mentha spp.) and lavender (Lavandula spp.) and on the final posting, I will take requests from readers about which herbs to address. Comment with your requests at the end of each blog post!   

Herbs can die for many reasons; a few being location, exposure to sun, amount of water and pests. Basil is an annual herb that is hardy and easy to cultivate. That being said, I’ve had my fair share of dead basil plants. 

8-24-2010-1

Tips for Keeping your Basil Alive 

• If your basil is taking a turn for the worse, it may be because of the location. Pick a location that is sheltered from harsh wind and yields lots of sun exposure. Basil thrives in warmer conditions, especially in the summer months. Choose a site that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day. (Explore the Bountiful World of Basil)

• If your basil meets the location requirements and it is still not holding up, the cure may be in the soil conditions. Like most herbs, basil loves rich, moist and well-drained soil and the ideal pH range should be close to or around 6.0. Your local nursery or hardware store will have pH test kit that comes with a color chart.

• If the location is spot on and you’ve achieved a balance in the soil, it might be a temperature issue. Anything below 50 degrees is too cold for basil, and the herb will start wilting and turning brown.

• Keep in mind that the lower leaves which are closest to the soil may turn a yellow-brown and fall off. This is normal and healthy, due to the larger and higher up leaves soaking in the majority of the sun.



What do you do to keep your basil alive? What other herbs do you have problems keeping alive? Drop me a comment or email The Herb Companion magazine at editor@herbcompanion.com.


Related Content

Plant Problem Q&A: What Are These Brown Spots?

One reader asked us to help her diagnose some brown spots she noticed on her basil plant's leaves.

Love Your Basil: Cinnamon Basil

Cooking with basil is fun! Each variety of basil has its own unique flavor and way of enhancing any ...

Naturopathic Health: Ocimum Sanctum for Stress Relief

Our newest guest blogger discusses her experience as a naturopathic doctor and shares one of her fav...

Growing Herbs In Texas: Planting Specialty Basils

Guest blogger Cynthia Meredith has recently invested in a wide varieties of specialty basils, which ...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.