Ask a Question forum: Basil Dying

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Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
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Garden10
May 12, 2017 2:22 PM CST
The four plants in this container all looked like the healthy two do a couple of days ago, now these are drooping -- one other plant in another basil container is starting it a little bit, all the rest of the basil standing strong. HELP! Thank you.




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"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
May 12, 2017 2:44 PM CST
Hi Abbey! I'm wondering if the soil is too wet. When you water, is the excess water draining out of the pot? Also, are you watering when the pot is in full sun? If so, try watering while it's in the shade. I hope this helps!
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
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Garden10
May 12, 2017 3:02 PM CST
Hi June!! This is the thing, I haven't watered it this week because it hasn't needed it -- we had such a deluge last weekend that I've just been letting everything dry up a little, but you know, the only things that came through last weekend unscathed were the lavender, which is actually blooming, the rosemary and the marigolds. I have some yellowing on chamomile, all the sages and mints, parsley and even some of that "burnt" thing on a couple of other basil plants, a leaf or two here and there. Is all of this because of too much water? All the planters have a lot of drain holes drilled into them, and any organic potting soil that wasn't new (I brought a trash-can's worth from the other house) I amended with this organic compost especially blended for "tired" container soil. We're supposed to get a storm late tonight that goes through Sunday, they changed the dire accumulation forecast from 1-2 inches Saturday to a half inch but "locally heavy downpours possible," way to cover the back end, is this going to wipe out my herbs??? Sad
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Beavers Region: Canadian Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Deer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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JuneOntario
May 12, 2017 3:28 PM CST
Abbey, at this point I'm not sure what is causing the plants to wilt. If the soil is not sopping wet, then my theory of overwatering is moot. I saw some detached leaves with brown marks on them, and wondered if drops of water on the leaves had caused them to be burned by the sun (the magnifying-glass effect). But, if there has been no watering, maybe the roots got too dry? If the roots are all near the surface, they could dry out quickly, even though there is damp soil deeper in the pot. Try pulling gently on one of the ailing plants to see if it is firmly rooted or not. If it easily comes right out of the soil, then you'll know the plant hasn't rooted properly, and is probably a lost cause. Sad
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
May 12, 2017 4:16 PM CST
Sweet Basil is also very susceptible to Fusarium Wilt so that is another (unhappy Sad ) possibility.
https://growingsmallfarms.ces....
http://extension.cropsciences....
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
May 12, 2017 5:10 PM CST
I noticed you are in zone 6a. If your nights are in the 30's like around here that can be too cold for them.I have seen Basil wilt in the 40's.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
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Garden10
May 12, 2017 5:52 PM CST
We have had chilly weather, I don't think the regular temp has gone below 45, 44, but there's a wind here that can make you cry -- damn, it was a given that basil could be planted after April 15, but I guess all bets are off these days. I don't know if it's that or that disease Danita told me about -- thanks Danita, and that's not sarcasm -- I bought these at a respected nursery here, not a big box store or anything, I'd hate to think they used infected seed, but...I know it won't come back from the disease, Bob, will it come back from cold? Starting Tuesday, it's supposed to get warm and sunny, even up into the mid 80s next week, I'm thinking it's going to be one of those stretches where everything explodes in the garden. But until then, should I put them against the wall on the deck where there's a little shelter, and maybe even cover them with a garbage bag until Monday, because this weekend is going to be lousy, it's not supposed to go past 52 here tomorrow -- does that make any sense??
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
May 12, 2017 6:55 PM CST
We are not that far apart and safe planting here is considered May 15. I have had a few make it back from the cold but not many. I hope they come back for you.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
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bxncbx
May 12, 2017 7:15 PM CST
Abbey basil, peppers & tomatoes like heat! I'm not putting any of mine outside to harden off until the temperatures are consistently warm. These high 50s days may not kill mature plants but will take a toll on little seedlings. At this point I don't expect to plant my tomatoes out until Memorial Day. I'll start some basil & peppers outside then. They should germinate quickly at that point & I'll get plenty to harvest despite starting them "late". Since I usually am still harvesting around Thanksgiving I think the Springs are getting colder but autumn is getting warmer.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
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Garden10
May 12, 2017 8:11 PM CST
Thanks Bob, but I used to live closer to you, although we're the same zone regardless, and we always planted herbs April 15, veggies and annuals May 15. Even a local nursery, in fact the one I bought these particular plants at, has signs up giving the planting dates, and herbs and perennials had April 15.

Hi Elena, I don't do seeds, these are mature plants that I buy, and they were doing great, I even made sauce Tuesday night with it (so good!) but given what you've all said, I think that last weekend really took a toll on the herbs because they are all outside my kitchen, on the upper deck, and a lot of them are in railing planters. The wind that comes down off the mountain must give them a chill, and along with that miserable rain, and the week itself wasn't exactly a sun bath either...so I took everything down and put them on the floor of the deck next to the wall of the house, there's even a bit of an overhang. You know that netty stuff that you put under a rug to keep it from slipping? I have a big length that I use folded up as a kneeling pad in the garden, so I opened it up and covered the plants with that -- some protection, but they can still breathe. I'm hoping to get them to Monday when it's supposed to be in the 60s, and then let's hope the sun's restorative powers do what they're supposed to do next week. Shrug!

Elena, I think you're right about the temps and the seasons, I have had plants go through the autumn like they never did before, back at the old place, the little rhodo like I have here bloomed a couple of times in late November/December. I'll let you know if I see Sol, Myrna, Nick, Honey and the Lone Ranger running in circles out back Sad Thank You! all for your help!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 13, 2017 9:00 AM CST
Basil really is very cold intolerant. I wouldn't plant out mine as yet as I am waiting for warmer nights. Hope yours comes back.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
May 14, 2017 7:43 AM CST
Thanks Rita, it is only two plants, and it's supposed to heat up this week, 90 on Thursday, they say, I just hope it is the cold and not disease so I can at least make clams with the drooped leaves Big Grin
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
Garden10
May 14, 2017 9:16 AM CST
Post mortem -- didn't survive the storm, stems turned black and squishy and then this stuff on it -- so what's the verdict, definitely, cold or disease? Thank You!


Thumb of 2017-05-14/Garden10/c6c7c5

"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
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)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
May 14, 2017 10:04 AM CST
I would say a fungus.

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