I am usually not satisfied with my purchased basil plants. After only a few days on the windowsill, they let the leaves droop, regardless of whether I bought the basil in the organic supermarket or at the discount store. How do you make the kitchen herb last longer? I looked into the question.
The reason is quickly obvious with a little research: the original soil from the small supermarket pots is usually not of high enough quality and the pots are too small to sustain the plant. Generally, the plants offered there have been grown for little money in greenhouses for a specific date – and then intended for quick consumption.
So the basil from the supermarket has a chance
The move from the greenhouse to your own home, and with it the changed conditions, give the basil little chance of surviving longer than a week or two.
Therefore, the first important step is to repot the new basil plant in a larger pot. Alternatively, it can also – as soon as consistently mild temperatures prevail – be set out in a bed. Ideal for this is, for example, a raised bed, it also works in a larger pot on the balcony. Be sure to provide constant moisture for the plant. Even weakening canes will bloom again this way.
Repotting basil – the soil does the trick
When placed in the new flower pot, the basil plant receives a humus-containing, special herb soil as a base. If you don’t have herb soil on hand, simply mix loose, sandy garden soil with conventional potting soil. The larger pot and proper soil retain moisture better and the plant can more easily absorb the necessary nutrients.
Care for basil plant properly – just how?
Plenty of light and warmth: Generally, herbs and therefore basil need a sunny location and like temperatures above 16°C. My potted basil plant especially needs a lot of water, otherwise it dries out quickly. However, I don’t water it until the top layer of soil feels a little dry.
It is equally important that the pot does not stand too much in the water. So water more often – but in moderation – so that the new higher quality soil can retain moisture. Regular fertilization by adding liquid fertilizer, about every two to four weeks, will thank me for my basil with productive growth.
Set out in the garden in the spring
If you have a garden or space on your balcony, you should give it a try and grow basil outdoors. During the warm months of the year, it has a good chance of lasting longer there than on a windowsill indoors. Outdoors, watch out for slugs that like to eat the basil leaves.
Another tip: Basil stalks from nurseries or the market are usually of higher quality than the cheap plants from the discount store. Here it is worth spending a few euros more.
As you can see, caring for basil properly is not witchcraft. For me, at least, after these little tricks, the project basil care is successfully in full swing!