The Q&A Archives: Basil

Question: I buy potted, healthy looking basil and within a few weeks or less the plants just wilt. not a problem w water or soil. I'm told that not all basil is VTF resistant and that this may be my problem....where can I get VTF resistant basil.

Answer: Basil is particularly susceptible to fusarium wilt. It usually appears as brown streaks on the stems and the eventual wilting and dying of the plants. There are reports that much of the world's basil seed supply is now contaminated. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this. Affected plants (and soil) should be destroyed and the containers sterilized with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Avoid contact with healthy plants when handling diseased plants. There are varieties of basil which are resistant to fusarium wilt, such as 'Special Select FT Genovese Basil', and 'Compatto FT Genovese Basil'. Both are available from Richter's Herbs. You can visit their website at

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