Basil is a very easy plant to grow – whether in a pot or in direct soil, and requires not much maintenance. It has medicinal and healing purposes and is generally known to promote good health. In ancient times, the Chinese made extensive use of basil in their traditional medicines (which are said to have been quite effective!). In parts of Asia, the basil plant is even revered as a holy plant. There are many varieties of Basil. The most common ones are Lemon Basil, Thai Basil, Holy Basil, and Sweet Basil. The purple-bordered leaves of the basil plant have a mild fragrance. The fragrance of the leaves is quite strong when crushed. Many people use dried basil in some dishes for extra flavor and aroma. Considering the fact that the basil plant has so many uses, it is imperative to handle them with great care. Therefore, if you own a basil plant, following the below suggestions will help you keep your plant in good shape for a long time.
How To Take Care Of Basil Plant
- When purchasing a basil plant, ensure that you get one that is standing upright and whose leaves are fresh and healthy. It is easier to care for a healthy plant than a diseased one.
- Ensure that the basil plant gets a lot of sunlight since it is a tropical plant. Choose a sunny spot in your garden and move the plant over to that spot. When you put the plant into the soil, ensure that the soil is well composted, and well-drained. Protect your plant from wind and frost.
- Water the plant regularly. However, don’t overdo the watering because if the soil gets saturated, the plant will rot. It is advisable to water the plant only when the soil is dry. In warmer climates, you could sprinkle water on the plant twice a day to cool off the warmth around it and help it thrive. Regular tilling of the soil will also prevent the soil from hardening and improve water drainage.
- Fertilize the plant twice a month with a well-balanced organic or liquid fertilizer (avoid the ones that are made to increase blooming). Do not over-fertilize the plant, and never fertilize in seasons with extremely hot or cold weather. Water the plant after every application of fertilizer and ensure that the fertilizer is added away from the plant’s main stem.
- Trim the plant by pinching only the center leaves. If you do so, you will ensure that the plant stays productive longer, apart from getting yourself a tasty addition to an exotic dish.
- Remove flower stocks since the flower stocks sap all the plants energy and the leaf production is decreased.
- Fungus, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs are the pests that usually attack a basil plant. These can be got rid of by using a good and appropriate anti-bacterial or anti-fungal pest repellant.