Herbs forum: Are these basil plants growing well? When can I start using some of the leaves?

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Barcelona, Spain
May 8, 2016 4:33 AM CST
Hey guys,

So, I have had these plants for about 2 months. I have a big 30 cm diameter pot. New soil and I water them using about 2 pints of water daily on the surface. I was afraid at the beginning that it might make them rot (some of them have rotted out, but it looks like it was due to competition...some bigger stems covered them with their leaves, probably making it impossible for them to grow well. I guess at "baby" stage that's normal).
So, I water using 2 pints a day, because if they don't get that much water...the leaves start going floopy and soft.

I was wondering if the shape of the leaves look okay to you guys in the second image and the color (it is not a deep color that I normally see in supermarkets that sell basil)? I guess they dont look even (in shape nor in color), because they are new "baby" leaves. As you can see in the first photo, I got them when they were plantlings. Now the leaves are bigger, but I still dont want to pick them.
So, that leads us to another question: what's the general rule for picking?
Should I start with the lower big leaves? Is it about 1/3 per stem that I can pick?

Thumb of 2016-05-08/Gabe1982/c325fe

[Last edited by Gabe1982 - May 8, 2016 4:37 AM (+)]
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Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Jun 13, 2016 7:38 PM CST
Basil needs air- 1 plant per gal bucket! Can use anything above 3 full leaves on the stem - like mint. You have a Genovese sweet basil.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Jun 13, 2016 7:58 PM CST
Gabe, you have 9 or 10 nice little plants in that pot. Each one of them is going to need its own pot of at least the 30cm. size for them to continue growing to where you can harvest leaves regularly. They're going to get all tangled together at the roots, and run out of nutrients in that one pot very soon.

Each plant will grow to a foot or more in height, a nice little bush if you can pot them up properly and fertilize them. You'll have all the basil you want.

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Name: Robyn
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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Jun 14, 2016 6:12 PM CST
Yeah, they are looking a little anemic to me. How much sun are they getting?

Once they start getting taller, I tend to pinch off the top when I harvest to encourage them to not get so leggy.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Jul 3, 2016 10:18 AM CST
I never manage to do enough pinching so my basil always ends up pretty tall. But I grow mine in very large planters near my kitchen door in only partial sunlight. They do great . And lots of plants in a pot. But they do need some fertilizer.
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Jul 14, 2016 2:53 PM CST
My African blue basils are every bit of 3' hi. The lime and Thai basils are closer to 2.5' tall. Yeah, so are the sensitive weeds I didnt get pulled...work in progress, only pics I brought with me...

Thumb of 2016-07-14/kittriana/934499

Thumb of 2016-07-14/kittriana/85fb82


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