Ask a Question forum: What happened to this basil?

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Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 18, 2015 12:01 PM CST
It's a relatively new planting and looked fine up until now. We even harvested a few leaves one morning recently to put in our scrambled eggs. Then a couple days later it started looking like this.

Thumb of 2015-08-18/Brinybay/94f1d1

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Aug 18, 2015 12:58 PM CST
Heat? Liquid fertilizer burn? Too much sun? In a pot, my basil likes a little shade. Our sun has been very strong for the past month. Unless you're collecting seeds, I would snip off those flower bud clusters so the plant energy can be directed to new leaves.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 18, 2015 1:13 PM CST
Greg, did you just recently plant that out in the planter, as a started plant? It looks like sunburn to me, which could be from the plant not having been acclimated gradually to the sunny spot, or maybe the sun in that spot is just too harsh.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 18, 2015 4:09 PM CST
If you used new potting soil that had fertilizer already in it, and then also gave the plant some liquid fert, you might have overdone it on the fertilizer, Greg.

My basil takes full-on Florida sun here, so I must admit I've never seen them get sun burn. It's one plant that goes straight through our brutal hot, humid summers without batting an eye. But it could be mine have always been acclimated, as I do raise my own seedlings. Your weaker sun up there in the Pac NW should be gentle enough, as here we are already 2 months past the summer solstice. (where'd the summer go?)

Actions to take, yes, as Cindy said, pinch off the bloom clusters, and any leaves that look bad. Give a little extra water for a few days and see if it bounces back. The newer small leaves look green, so maybe it's already recovering and it was just transplant shock.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 19, 2015 9:57 AM CST
Yes, new planting in a 6ft cedar planter (also new) with some ornamental and also a parsley plant next to it, which we also harvested a bit and it's still doing ok. Yes, it's on the sunny side of the house, (morning shade from the house, then unfiltered afternoon sun from about 1pm till 5pm) and it's been hot here in the NW. I filled the planter with general purpose potting soil. I use a bit of general purpose fert on new plantings, but usually don't add any fert after that. I haven't used liquid fert. Watering schedule is daily most mornings, watered at the base.

Sounds like sun burn is the most likely reason? Should it be moved to it's own container and a shadier area? How big do these get?
"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
[Last edited by Brinybay - Aug 19, 2015 10:06 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 19, 2015 10:05 AM CST
Depends upon the variety of Basil, Greg. Some stay about a foot tall, and others for me get to nearly 3ft. But your shorter growing season won't have that happening, at least not this year.

Recommend you take a cutting or two and see if you can root them in water to start new plants. You can grow them on a sunny windowsill through the winter then harden them off for your garden in the spring. You'll even get to harvest some leaves for your scrambled eggs in the winter as well. Such a luxury.

Another question, as I can't see in this picture, but were there multiple Basil plants in the pot when you planted it? If so, they also might be strangling each other. I know how common it is to buy a 4in. pot of Basil with 5 or 6 plants in it, just to make it look attractive for the store. But if you get one of these, buy one with small enough plants that you can separate them and give each the space it deserves - about a foot apart is good for a vigorous grower like Basil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 19, 2015 10:32 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Depends upon the variety of Basil, Greg. Some stay about a foot tall, and others for me get to nearly 3ft. But your shorter growing season won't have that happening, at least not this year.

Recommend you take a cutting or two and see if you can root them in water to start new plants. You can grow them on a sunny windowsill through the winter then harden them off for your garden in the spring. You'll even get to harvest some leaves for your scrambled eggs in the winter as well. Such a luxury.

Another question, as I can't see in this picture, but were there multiple Basil plants in the pot when you planted it? If so, they also might be strangling each other. I know how common it is to buy a 4in. pot of Basil with 5 or 6 plants in it, just to make it look attractive for the store. But if you get one of these, buy one with small enough plants that you can separate them and give each the space it deserves - about a foot apart is good for a vigorous grower like Basil.


No, just this one. Left to right is basil (pruned), parsley, celosia, and orange trumpet vine. These are all new. Also in that terra pot is some tuscan blue rosemary.

Thumb of 2015-08-19/Brinybay/b48885

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[Last edited by Brinybay - Aug 19, 2015 10:32 AM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Aug 19, 2015 10:46 AM CST
I agree that it looks like sun burn. Mostly I just wanted to say what an attractive planter that it! And I love what you did with the lattice and the PVC pipe frame. I may have to steal that idea. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 19, 2015 11:01 AM CST
woofie said:I agree that it looks like sun burn. Mostly I just wanted to say what an attractive planter that it! And I love what you did with the lattice and the PVC pipe frame. I may have to steal that idea. Smiling


Thanks. For the pvc/lattice trellis arch, see my other thread on that.

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 25, 2015 6:20 PM CST
Does your plant look any better?
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 25, 2015 11:56 PM CST
Newyorkrita said:Does your plant look any better?


Yes, thank you for asking. Pretty much as it appears in the planter picture above, minus a bit we harvested after I pruned it. I'm going to have to look up how to dry herbs.

"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Aug 26, 2015 12:23 PM CST
Good!!!
Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Aug 26, 2015 9:17 PM CST
At a garden meeting some months ago, our speaker was Robert Bowden -- chief honcho at Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando.
He mentioned that a lot of the basil plants may start out OK, but soon the leaves droop, turn yellow and just look awful. Well, it surprised me -- a lot of the plants are actually grown in Asia and shipped here -- and they had a virus. I had one that look terrible so threw it out. However, I also had a large basil plant that was over a year old and I allowed it to go to seed. I used those seeds and now have some gorgeous, healthy plants. I'm potting some up to take to our first garden club meeting next month.
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Greg
Lake Forest Park, Washington (Zone 8b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Brinybay
Aug 26, 2015 11:08 PM CST
I may have spoke too soon. This morning (Wednesday) they appeared to be turning brown again.
"Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don't." - Chiune Sugihara
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 27, 2015 7:22 AM CST
How in the world could it make any kind of sense to buy basil plants from Asia? I don't think there are many plants that are easier to grow from seed...
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
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orchidgal
Aug 27, 2015 9:18 PM CST
It's all about the cheap labor. I'd had no idea either that basil was being brought in from Asia. I know that our supermarket sells huge, white garlic bulbs (I think they're bleached) and the come from China. I will buy only from California or Mexico; and soon, hopefully, will be growing my own. Did you know that a lot of chickens are now being sent to China for processing. I didn't have a good reaction to that information. What is going on ? Why is that necessary ?
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 27, 2015 9:34 PM CST
Chickens are grown here, sent to China and then sent back?? Blinking
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Elfrieda
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida (Zone 10a)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus Sempervivums Sedums Dragonflies
Herbs Roses Foliage Fan Annuals Cut Flowers Ferns
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orchidgal
Aug 28, 2015 8:28 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:Chickens are grown here, sent to China and then sent back?? Blinking


Yes -- it's been in the news. Was talking to some girl friends about it at lunch the other day -- none of us can understand the reasoning behind this. Plus, with the "new" labeling that will be in effect, you soon won't be able to tell where it comes from anyway. Geez !
“I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen”
Eeyore
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Aug 28, 2015 8:51 AM CST
Not exactly. Here is the take on the subject of chickens and China from Snopes:
http://m.snopes.com/china-chicken-reshipped/
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Aug 28, 2015 10:48 AM CST
woofie said:Not exactly. Here is the take on the subject of chickens and China from Snopes:
]http://m.snopes.com/china-chicken-reshipped/


I don't want any food processed or raised in China!!!

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