Basil from seed - not growing

jennieboyer(8)April 5, 2013

Hi - I am trying to grow basil from seed. I started it in mid-February. The seeds germinated, but have not put on any true leaves. They don't seem to be dying, just "stuck" in time. They are in a miracle grow seed starting mix in red solo cups with holes in the bottoms. Any ideas on how to get them going? Do I just need to start over? Thanks!

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What are you using for light?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:37PM
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I love basil. I once watched about 100 seedlings grow about 3 millimeters. This was last spring through into mid-July, before I gave up. (I never put 2 and 2 together until recently, and until not I thought it was lack of sun).

I heard a few days ago it actually gets stunted (grows slowly) if it gets too cold. As in, colder than 60 F, at night.

I would just start over once it's over 60F at night consistently, or start indoors. I'm not sure how you can snap them out of it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:46PM
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Ahhh - good question. I am growing under 6500K fluorescent shop lights.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:48AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

I grow basil from seed every year. Basil loves warm soil, warm weather and bright light, best in direct sunlight. Plus well draining soil. If your plants look healthy enough and just aren't growing yet, I would be patient. They should take off when they get the temps/light they prefer. I'm assuming you will move them outside when the weather permits. I am in Georgia. It is usually June before the basil I plant really starts growing fast. You can even wait and do direct seeding outdoors when the soil warms up, Basil germinates quickly in warm soil.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 2:48PM
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OP, you are in zone 8 and I am in 9, however, I had the same problem (which turned out to be a non-issue!)

Not only did mine seem to be "stunted" as you said, but my seedlings also essentially "died" and grew back. The "germ leaves" (forgive my current lack of proper terminology) turned yellow and died, and I thought all was lost, but then about a week later, not only did they start growing back, but they grew back with vigor. Now they have 3 sets of leaves each, and are moving along very nicely. So my advice is to just wait it out and see what happens. Start a few more "replacements" perhaps, just in case, but as long as you keep your current ones from freezing weather, they will turn out fine (:

Honestly though, I would get them out of that nasty miracle grow ASAP, regardless of what happens. That will not help them at all, trust me. Get them in some nice "clean" (organic) soil, and begin feeding them NATURAL fertilizer when the weather begins to warm up a bit more.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:48AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

We all have our favorite methods of growing things and I'm not questioning what works for others. I have read of some people having bad luck with Miracle Grow seed starting medium, or others like it but I have used it for years and years to start herbs and other seeds with very good results. I have used natural fertilizer often with my in ground plants (composted manure mostly). I had a very bad experience with a Natural Fertilizer Concentrate I bought at a local garden center. It smelled SO BAD, I could not stand to use it or be around it. I used it on some container tomatoes and wound up needing to move them away from the patio. I thought the odor would air off quickly (nope!) and I'm glad I did not use it on my basil containers. I'm afraid I would have needed to dispose of the basil plants.

I use Osmocote for my basil, and it works great. Best of all, the only scent coming off those containers is the sweet smell of basil :~)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:58PM
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I have to say that I agree with Big N. Growing in real soil with natural fertilizers will make a world of difference. Check out the Alan Chadwick method of growing vegetables organically at http://www.alan There is a section on growing sweet basil that is excellent. Click on Techniques, then basil.

Hope this helps,


Here is a link that might be useful: Alan Chadwick

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:09PM
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My basil seedlings havent form true leaves, now the future true leaves on one seedling turned black, maybe its burned under the sun? And the other seedling suddenly fell to the ground! The stem near the ground turned brown and very weak it couldnt hold the tiny seedling up. Is that a common problem?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 6:31PM
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