black dots on basil? (photos)

jjj111qNovember 13, 2009

Hello everyone,

A few weeks ago, I brought my potted basil indoors in hopes of keeping it alive during the wintertime. I noticed that some of the leaves have tiny black dots on them; is this damage something I can control/prevent, or is my plant doomed?

New leaves appear to be growing, but some of these small leaves also have the black dots. I have the plant in a south-east facing window.

Thanks for any ideas you might have!

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I'm no bugologist, but it's definitely a bug of some sort! (And a lot of bugs you get are different from the bugs I get in my part of the world.) A spray with Garlic Spray should fix it - it's good for multitudes of bugs. For a more accurate ID of the bug, take a few affected leaves to a nursery and get the experts there to point you in the right direction.

My guess is that the plant is indoors. Indoor plants are especially prone to bugs because there are few predator bugs to get rid of them. A spell outside might help, but it does look like a plague of them to me.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 2:07AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm not so sure that this is insect (or mite) related. It appears very much like a fungus disease at the stage where minute fruiting bodies have occurred. The only way that I could be certain would be to see these leaves in person. A hand lens wouldn't even be necessary.

Regardless, fungal disorders as well as pests can languish in a state of semi-snooze when outside, but burst into high gear when exposed to a 'hostile environment', i.e. indoors. Basil is not a good candidate for window ledge culture, especially when acclimated to the outdoors.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 10:57AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

More likely to be damage from water shortage -- the plant lost lots of those when you dug, then put it in a pot.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 1:15PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

It looks a lot like red spider mite damage. Possibly with some mold fungus which has come in after the initial harm.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 6:11AM
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