Basil is in Bad Condition

(Question)

Over the last 4 years, I have totally been unsuccessful with the growing of basil. When purchased they are a clean green. They are planted in a commercial soil that minimizes the need to water; however, the plants are watered on a regular basis without going dry or having a soggy soil condition. The leaves start to turn a lighter shade of green before areas turning white and transparent. It looks as if the leaf has been burnt by the sun. Eventually the leaves fall off.

I have planted some in full sun while others are in afternoon shade. I fertilize with a higher nitrogen component. What am I doing wrong?

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiry. Basil is one of the most popular of herbs to grow.

Basil is cold sensitive, as a result it should not be planted outdoors until mid-to late spring, when both the soil and air temperatures are approximately 20C. Ideally, basil should be planted in full sun ( 6-8hrs) in well-draining soil and protected from high winds. If you plant basil in a container make sure to use potting soil.

Basil will struggle with lack of water and high humidity. During the growing season, make sure to water frequently and evenly, being careful to avoid watering the foliage. Basil does not enjoy overhead watering.

Basil is a heavy feeder. Yellow leaves are often a sign that the plant is beginning to suffer due to a lack of nutrients. As you water your plants, nutrients wash away, as a result you will need to replenish the lost nutrients with  a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10).

Good Luck !