The Q&A Archives: Growing Basil

Question: I have not had much success with any of the basils I have grown. I give them a rich, organic soil and good sun but they have not thrived. What do they like culturally? Are my summers just not warm enough?

Answer: Basil is usually a forgiving herb, not too fussy about anything and will grow in soil pH of 5-8. It does need excellent drainage however, and prefers a "light" soil. You might try it in a less organic rich soil. And, just barely let it dry out between waterings. It needs minimum temperatures of 50-59 F to thrive and likes full sun. Is there a chance that the plant was severely pot bound prior to planting and the roots have continued to grow in that tight mat instead of spreading out? That would affect it's growth. Loosen the roots and gently spread them out when transplanting.

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