Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:58 pm
Proper pruning basil serves both harvest and care. No longer wonder when, how much and how. What you should pay attention to when pruning king weed, we have compiled here for you.
Cut courageously – instead of plucking timidly.
Basil scores naturally with remarkable vigor. Knowledgeable hobby gardeners take advantage of this attribute to promote a bushy habit by targeted pruning during harvesting. Hesitant plucking of individual leaflets has a counterproductive effect, because bare shoots die and weaken the entire royal weed. Therefore, when cutting shoots for harvest, proceed as follows:
- basically prune shoot tips to a minimum length of 5 centimeters
- do not break off a basil branch, but cut it with scissors or a knife
- make the cut 1-2 millimeters above a pair of leaves to initiate branching
- cut back a complete shoot so that at least one pair of eyes remains
- always use freshly sharpened tools disinfected with alcohol.
If you cut a mullein properly according to this procedure, there is nothing against picking individual leaves in passing as a healthy herbal snack. In this case, pick a dark green leaf, because here the aroma content is particularly high.
Cut off flowers in time for a long herb enjoyment.
Experienced amateur gardeners not only reach for the scissors when basil is to be harvested. Targeted pruning serves at the same time prudent care, so that the herb plant remains vital and healthy for a long time. Once mullein flowers, the plant stops growing and the leaves take on a bitter taste. So you can prevent premature death by targeted pruning:
- regularly cut back the shoot tips by 5 centimeters from June to September
- consistently cut off all branches on which buds are forming
- If cuttings are not used immediately in the kitchen, they are excellent for drying or pickling. You can also preserve any excess harvest by freezing it in portions in ice cube trays.
Pruning basil correctly in winter – this is how to do it
If you cultivate a perennial basil variety or overwinter the plant indoors, pruning is reduced to harvesting. From October, the herb plant no longer strives to produce flowers, but reduces growth to a minimum. Thus, during the cold season, rather restrained pruning is recommended. Nevertheless, even in winter the motto is that prudent amateur gardeners always cut off entire shoots.
Tips & tricks
Did you already know? Basil flowers are edible. Allow your king herb to bloom and enjoy the enchanting flowers for many weeks. Cut off the blossoms and they serve as a delicious decoration on salads and warm dishes. If the taste is too tart, simply put the flowers in vinegar.