Basil - this years plant to next years plants

rj_hythloday(8A VA)October 16, 2008

From what I've read I trim the flowering parts of my basil to keep it from taking flavor from the leaves. I've also read the best way to get a new plant is not from a cutting but to let it go to seed.

Should I harvest leaves now, then let it go fully flower and go to seed? Or could I just let one branch flower and go to seed or would that affect the flavor of the whole plant?

I was also wondering if a cutting that was already flowering would do the trick. Just keep the cutting alive long enough for it to go to seed, with out affecting the plant.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The best cuttings for rooting are small, new growth, non-blooming cuttings 2-3" long and will work best if you use some rooting hormone. Seeds are much easier. Harvest the leaves and then let the plant go to seed.

As an alternative if it is in ground is to dig up part of the root ball and transplant it to a pot.

In your zone it may well live year round if no freezing weather or can be brought in and treated as a house plant if it is potted.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 2:38PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I actually dug it out of the garden and put it in a large terracotta pot in hopes of bringing it indoors over winter. Then I found out it was an annual.

I read that flowering will bring it to an end, so just keep pinching it like I have been and give it a shot indoors?


    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 5:58PM
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catlyne(z5b MI)

I have a similar question. Not just basil but any perennial herb. This is my first year growing various herbs here in Michigan. Do people in my zone bring some of their herbs indoors for the winter and get fresh cuttings throughout?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 1:31PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

I'm no expert in Columbus, Ohio, but I just winter sow my annual herbs each year. I have no room indoors for indoor sowing, but I love to cook and enjoy my annual herbs.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 7:46PM
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For Basil I just cut off the flowering part when I see it. It grows so quickly that I don't worry about the seeds and at the end of the season I just let it grow and spread the seeds for next year.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I can't see why you don't just grow more plants and let one go to seed from the start. If you plant the seeds you get from your plant they do 10 times better than if you buy seeds and you can plant them anywhere. Then if one of your plants gets too large and woody you won't have to worry about how good it will taste. If pruned enough it wil be very large and give you plenty of flavor. One plant will give you enough seeds to take care of you and all your neighbors. I just strip the seed pods off and plant them with the pods still on a whole lot less mess and waste of time.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2008 at 11:20PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I only have one plant this year. I'd like to harvest it, while I also want to let it flower and seed afterward.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 1:42PM
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