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What temperature stunts young basil? (and a parsley question)

Posted by gamebird 6b (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 14, 09 at 12:58

I've got some basil growing in 8 oz cups that I started from seed indoors. There's 50-60 plants, about an inch or two tall and just getting their first true leaves. They look basically healthy right now and I've been bringing them in at night any evening that the temperatures are going to be less than 50. Tonight it will get down to 43. They're out on an east-facing back porch with an overhang. This last weekend it rained during the day and soaked the boxes they are in, so the boxes are now ... not that sturdy. I can re-box them, or just leave them sitting where they are.

I've heard that basil can be stunted, permanently, by letting them experience too low of temperatures. But what temperature is that? Is the mid-40s too low? Should I re-box them and bring them inside tonight? The forecast says we'll have a night of 48 later this week. Should I bring them in that night too?

Speaking of temperature hardiness, I have some flat and curly parsley in the same situation, though I haven't been bringing them inside unless it was going to be in the 30s. They look a bit wimpy and I've been wondering if I should go ahead and stick them in the ground (a prepared bed next to the house, east-facing) or leave them in their cups for a while longer. I've heard they have quite the tap root and shouldn't be kept potted up for too long. Most of them have a tiny little true leaf sticking out now. There's only a dozen or so plants of parsley.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What temperature stunts young basil? (and a parsley question

I do not know the exact temperatur that may shunt basils. But I would think that mid 40s should be fine.

Parsley is a cold crop. It can even tolerate freezin temperatures, that is unde 32F. So leave your parsleys outside and don't wory. With the basils I cannot say anything definite.

RE: What temperature stunts young basil? (and a parsley question

I went ahead and reboxed them since I needed to anyway, so it will be easy to bring them inside. I think I'll plant the parsley tomorrow or Thursday, because it's supposed to be cloudy Friday and maybe rain over the weekend.


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