The Q&A Archives: Basil leaves dropping

Question: I live in southwest Florida and have a basil plant in my lanai cage. It was beautiful, but overnight it dropped almost half of its leaves. Last week the pepper plant I had in a pot next to it dropped all its leaves and died even though it had beautiful almost ripe peppers on it. Any suggestions?

Answer: Donna,

Very strange. Could some product have recently been used on the lawn nearby, say in the past week? I would not eliminate the possibility of soil moisture extremes (especially very wet) causing the plant to stress and drop foliage. I think to get a better diagnosis you might want to take the plant(s) in to your County Extension Office and see a horticulturist about the possible causes. With the sample in hand they may be better able to pinpoint the cause. Their contact information is:

3406 Palm Beach Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33916

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