How to Prune Basil Without Killing It

Growing Basil in my garden comes in handy when I need to cook. The plant has a fresh aromatic smell and is rich in essential oil, which is good for one’s health. The bushy vegetable plant has other uses besides cooking and has become common in the home garden.

It is easy to grow Basil, but you should understand that trimming the plant is vital, and you must be ready for the task. The plant requires rich organic, well-drained soil and enough warmth. However, let’s focus on how and when to trim the Basil plant.

How to Prune the Basil Plant

Fresh Basil Plant

Before I show you how to prune your Basil plant, you need to understand why and it includes the following reasons:

  • One of the main reasons for trimming the Basil plant is to harvest it. You can create room for more growth when you trim your Basil plant for cooking or other personal use.
  • You should trim your Basil plant to create room for its growth. The Basil plant can grow big and bushy, which is what we want when we trim them. You can cut off the plant’s stems in a process known as pinching. Plant the fresh pinched plants to increase the yield as more leaves grow.
  • You should prune the Basil plant to remove flowers and improve the quality of its green leaves. And with the Basil plant, we need to remove the flowers to give more room for the green foliage to flourish. The less flower we have, the more green the vegetative Basil plant will dominate.

Steps to Prune the Basil Plant

Now that you have seen why you should prune the Basil plant, let’s go through the steps as shown below:

  • Get a hand pruner or a herb snip, or you can make use of your hands.
  • Search for the central stem, cut the back, tracing down to a lower set of leaves. Terminate at a point where you see two tiny leaves emerge from the axil.
  • Cut the stem ¼ inches above the leaf bud.
  • Now you can see use the leaves for whatever purpose.
  • You can repeat the process over and over.
  • Keep the leaves intact to ensure continuous growth. Experts warn that you should trim at most a third of the plant.

Please do not pluck off individual leaves when trimming because it will not encourage the growth of leaves. It would help if you trimmed by removing the top sections of leaves at a time and leaving the biggest leaves at the base. The biggest leaves at the base of the plant capture more sunlight and enable the plant to grow,

How to Remove Flower Bud

You should remove the flower buds when you notice the buds growing from the leaves. Pinching the flower bud is easy; you may use your hands or garden snip. With your hands, you can grab the bud of the flower growing from the shoot and pick them out or use a snip to cut them off.

After the initial pinching of the flower bud, you will have to monitor the plant for flowers popping up. Make your basil plant grow big and bushy by removing flowers regularly.

How to Preserve Your Basil Leaves

Basil Leaves

You may have to preserve the basil leaves when you trim them from the plant. Some of the ways you can preserve the leaves for later use include:

  1. You can dry the basil leaves to use them later, although they may be less fresh and have all its intense flavor.
  2. Or you can decide to freeze them, which I prefer more for it to retain their intense flavor.

When to Prune Your Basil Plant

Don’t prune your basil plants too early. Wait till the plant is mature and up to 6 inches before you start pruning. At this stage, the stems are mature to produce more leaves after pruning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the basil plant make it last forever when pruned?

The basil plant will have to die eventually, but pruning the plant will prolong its lifespan. It makes your plant healthy, boost the nutrient and make it big and bushy.

Why is The Basil plant not growing after I prune it for the first time?

You may have pruned the plant too early and damaged the stem. You should prune the plant for the first time when it is over 6-8 inches tall. The plant will be strong and mature to reproduce and grow more leaves.

What do I do when my basil plant is growing too tall?

A basil plant growing too tall might be a problem because we want them to grow bushy. You can avoid this situation by cutting the stem back just above where you find tiny leaves growing, and cutting the stem from this point will help the plant grow sideways and bushy.

Can I replant the stem cuttings from the basil plant?

Yes, you can replant the stem cuttings to grow more basil plants and make them bushy.

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