Ask Adam #12: What does it all mean Basil?!

Cécile from France has written in about keeping the basil on the window sil in the life it’s accustomed to 🙂

So it’s about basil – I bought a plant to keep in my kitchen and I don’t want it to die. How do you water them? It seems like I’m alway giving too much or not enough

Basil is definitely one of the more trickier herbs to grow I find, and in my experience it either goes out of control or dies very quickly before you can enjoy it.

I tend to sit herbs in a container of water, like a mushroom punnet or a ceramic pot like yours – with about an inch of water. I then top it up when I see it’s empty and this allows the plant to take what it wants when it wants.

Looking at the top of the plot, it looks a little bit dry, but this isn’t reflecting at the top of the plant, for instance, it’s not wilting or tellings you that it needs a good drink.

I suspect this may down to it not breaking through the original plug when it was grown – meaning there’s little root, using only a little bit of water (or just what it needs) perhaps.

Keeping it in an inch of water is definitely a must – but, it looks like a very healthy plant thus far.

Looking closely at your pictures I’d be so tempted to repot this and see what’s underneath there at the root level. This might encourage root growth, which in turn will encourage top growth – leading to much more basil to use 🙂

I hope that’s useful and I’m sure you’ll be up to your neck in pesto before you know it!


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