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Avatar for lameri
Apr 28, 2021 8:38 PM CST
Northern California (Zone 10a)
My basil plants always survives the winter, but then it looks too woody.

I have just tried two tricks that I've got from the web:
- Put a stem with only a couple of leaves in water.
- Give them fresh soil (remove half of the soil, which means also cutting half of the roots.
- Separate the bunch in one pot to several pots.

Did any of these work for you? I don't want to be too disappointed if they don't.
Do you have any others?
Thank you!
Starting to plant succulents in my backyard
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Apr 29, 2021 7:57 AM CST
Taos, New Mexico (Zone 5b)
Crescit Eundo
Greenhouse Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Mexico
I would think it would go to seed very quickly and what leaves you get would be of a low quality.

My advice would be that its not worth it to nurse it back to health, but to start with new plants. Especially since basil grows so fast. But it sounds like you've done this before ("always survives the winter"). How has it turned out in previous years?
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Apr 29, 2021 8:21 PM CST
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Container Gardener Region: Texas Winter Sowing Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Heirlooms Vegetable Grower Bookworm
I grow African Blue basil. Doesn't make seeds as it is a hybrid sterile cross. In order to have it the next Spring, I take 5" cuttings and grow it indoors thru the winter. Basil is happy to grow, but yes, end of season the stems split and become woody, however, it is going to depend on the type of basil you propagate. Water roots aren't as sturdy as soil roots, and by the way, I use a 1 gallon deep pot to grow those 5" cuttings or basil isn't happy and tries to die on you by Winters end. Good luck!
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
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May 22, 2021 12:42 AM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
A fresh green stem of basil will root like crazy if it's kept warm and moist... here in NY seedling basil comes in a 4 pack for $2
Why work old stems?
You're probably like me, if it's alive you can't kill it, but basil is not supposed to live more than one summer season. It's not perennial anywhere in the world. It's not supposed to live through winter. Let it go. It's okay, your old basil will thank you for stopping the suffering you should have done in December and plant new basil.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
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Avatar for lameri
Oct 8, 2021 1:24 AM CST
Northern California (Zone 10a)
Thank you for your tips. I am seeing them only now (the notifications were going to an old email), but it is useful stuff, so better late than never :)
Henderman: I don't use much basil in the winter, so it was always the same: by the next spring, the plant was woody and produced very little foliage.
Kittriana: So you get the cuttings before it is too woody?
Turbosaurus: Exactly right--I don't want to kill plants. But you're right that I should start doing it, so yesterday I removed the last leaves of one of the pots, all at once...
Starting to plant succulents in my backyard
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Oct 9, 2021 7:34 PM CST
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Container Gardener Region: Texas Winter Sowing Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Heirlooms Vegetable Grower Bookworm
My African Blue basil is allowed to grow outdoors all year, it turns into a 5'x5' bush. I take cuttings from tender ends, may have to pinch flowers
Thumb of 2021-10-10/kittriana/369c25


Thumb of 2021-10-10/kittriana/d25b4a
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Avatar for lameri
Oct 10, 2021 1:47 AM CST
Northern California (Zone 10a)
kittriana: Interesting! Is the taste similar to Italian basil? I mainly use it for bruschetta.
Starting to plant succulents in my backyard
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Oct 10, 2021 6:18 PM CST
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Container Gardener Region: Texas Winter Sowing Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Heirlooms Vegetable Grower Bookworm
No, so very many different basils out there. This one is a cross tween a camphor basil, and Opal basil. I love the aroma and because one of the parents was a 'basilicum' it is an edible basil. I do love the Genovese basils- because they go so perfect with tomatoes, but I cannot grow them here. Too much humidity and powdery mildews here. You really should explore the different basil flavors, chuckl, the possibilities are endless.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
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