When can i start harvesting basil?

rafiaApril 22, 2013

I tried looking up when i could harvest basil but i didnt find anything useful... My basil plants have about 4-6 true leaves so far, I dont know if that is enough to start harvesting yet so how many leaves should my plant have before i can start using/picking off the leaves? I cant wait! smells really good already!

Also, how old should a catnip plant be before you start harvesting the leaves?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can harvest some now. Actually, if you snip off the top it will encourage the plant to create branches -- not all the leaves, just the topmost set.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Rule of thumb is to harvest no more than 1/3 of the living plant material - ie. you can't leave just sticks and stems. The plant needs enough leaves for photosynthesis. Some plants can tolerate more than 1/3 but start there. You'll get the idea pretty quick on how much to clip or not clip at one time.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Look up 'pinching' basil. Maybe you can get a better idea or pictures of what to do with this size plant. Both previous posters gave wonderful advice. Basil grows a leaf pair, then the stem goes up in the middle. Pinching takes out that stem, encouraging the plant to bush out more, rather than just growing one stem. Personally, I would pinch some tiny new growth to encourage the bushing, then just enjoy the scent a little longer and wait before actually trying to harvest--give your plant more time and leave the larger leaves for now.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I would say that you sould let it to grow atleast three nodes . Then pinch off the last (above node)...continue with the branches the same way. Whe the plant gets REAL big, you can trim it more vigorously.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:07AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Looking for real Italian Mentuccia
Hi All; I am looking for seeds or plants of the Italian...
Urgent Rosemary Help!
A family member bought me a beautiful rosemary plant...
What is attacking my basil? Whiteflies?
I have an indoor growlight which has allowed me to...
How should I dry my parsley leaves?
I have three large bunches of Parsley. How should I...
I'm starting to grow a small herb garden. I need help and advice
I live in the Philippines in the southern part of it....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™