Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY - How to Prune a Basil Plant

Basil is probably my most favorite herb.  Fresh or dried, it's an asset to any kitchen!  If you properly prune your basil plant, it will continue to grow and produce those yummy leaves we all love.  I've lost a few plants over the years due to improper pruning so I have made it a real mission to keep my basil plant healthy. 

Pruning or clipping basil must to done before the plant flowers, as with most herbs.  Herb plants have a life cycle and it's over when it flowers.  Some herbs you can slow this process down and enjoy for longer.  You can tell when your basil is getting close to flowering when the leaves at the top of the plant get smaller and very crowed.  Basil plants will just continue to grow and grow if regularly pruned.

If you get in close to your plant and look at the stem, you will see it branch off into two large leaves and then two smaller leaves popping out of the corner.  This is the place we want to snip!  Just above the leaf grouping.

Start at the ground and follow the stem up to the second set of leaves.  You can go higher if you like but don't be afraid to be aggressive here.  Your basil plant with thrive and grow stronger and thicker from where you prune.

I pruned the plant above a few months ago and you can see how the leaves left created new stalky branches.  More branches, more leaves, more basil!

While in the garden, this incredible dragonfly stopped by to visit.  He was so large, I felt like I should give him a name!  He was also very patient with my photo taking!

Then, hidden within the leaves of our hibiscus tree was this tiny tree frog just curled up in the summer sun!  Lots of life in our little garden!

So, prune your basil regularly and it will keep your kitchen stocked with fresh goodness!  Be on the look out for more basil related DIY's!

What's your favorite herb and how do you keep it healthy

                                                                                                                         xoxo Kelly