Whats wrong with my basil

vickgeo1981January 19, 2014

Hi everyone,i bought my basil back in July,i placed it on a pot,and it grow to a very big size. A few weeks ago,a few days before christmas we had a sudden drop of temperature, from 86 farenheit(30Celcius) to 41 fernheit (5Celcius) whitin days,it was a shock for humans and i am guessing my basil,because after that the leaves where very very small. Like in the picture i put, my basil was producing leaves the size of the sweet leaves,and after that the size of lime leaves.

I cut almost all leaves to make it stronger,but the new leaves where the thai size. I am sure that it wasn't dying cause basil flowers on top,and i heard that you have to cut the flowers and if i put my basil directly in soil it will grow stronger.

So i did, but i also heard that it needs direct sunlight and temperatures above 53.6F (12C) and our lowest is 51.8F(11C),so as the sun goes down,i rapp my basil with a plastic bag.

But my biggest question is, why really did the leaves start making leaves smaller,is it biggest it only produces big leaves in summer??Is it because it's too cold for it??

Is it okay that i put it on a soil even with out a direct sunlight??

Is it ok that i put a plastic bag??

Did i did anything wrong in what i did withy my basil??

What can i do to make it better..

Thank you very much

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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

A couple things I would think: First, basil is an annual, and although you can extend it's life by pinching the flowers and leaves regularly, it's not meant to live for more than one season really. It may just be winding down. But...Second--41F is too cold for basil. It's not enough to kill it outright like a freeze would, but it does tend to send it into a dormant type state. I would try to keep babying it a bit, and it may come back or may not. The small leaves may be either the end of life cycle, an I got too cold thing, or something else entirely. Basil also does require a lot of light, so placing it out of direct sunlight will not be good.

Hopefully, someone else can address the wrapping in plastic part--I would think it could smother the plant and lead to pest/mold issues, but maybe for just the night it's fine?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:47AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Basil performs very poorly here at the end of summer/early fall when temps are in the 50's F. Anything below 60 F is too cold for good basil performance.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 5:51PM
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