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7 Reasons on Why Is Basil Not Growing (With Solutions)

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Basil is one of the most popular herbs for cooking. From creamy sauces to Asian curries, it’s a key ingredient in many dishes. This is why most home chefs decide to plant it in their gardens. A healthy basil plant should give you heaps of leaves to use in your cooking.

But what if your basil isn’t healthy? Are you always asking yourself the question, ‘why is basil not growing?’. In this article, we have the answer for ‘why is basil not growing?’.

There are many reasons behind ‘why is basil not growing?’. And if your plant is experiencing growth problems, it is probably because some of its needs aren’t fulfilled.

So if you wanna know what you’re doing wrong, and how to correct it, keep on reading and find the answer to ‘why is basil not growing?’.

Why Is Basil Not Growing
Why are my Basil plants growing so slowly – via Reddit

Why Is Basil Not Growing?

There can be many reasons why your basil plant might not be growing. Basil plant doesn’t react well to drastic changes in their environment. It’s a sensitive plant, whose growth can be affected by multiple reasons. Let’s get into them.

Fungus Problem

Basil grows in moist, rich soil, which is also an environment many fungi thrive in. Cloudy, puffy, or slimy soil near your basil plant is a clear indicator that your plant has a fungus problem.

Root Rot

Basil plant roots might not be able to grow properly if they are affected by root rot. Root rot is a disease caused by pathogens who use the plant as a living host.

Many soil-borne fungi can lead to this disease. They usually grow in wet and moist soil, and they produce spores that can survive in the soil for a very long time.

Root rot will prevent the absorption of water, as it will cause the roots to decay. This won’t just stop the plant’s growth but might end up being fatal.

Too Much Water

Adding too much water to your basil plant will stop its growth. If the top layer of the soil always has a film of water, this means you are over-watering your plant.

As the surface level dries very quickly, a dry top layer of soil is by no means an indicator of a lack of water. Moisture is only necessary about one to two inches below the surface.

Too Little Water

Even though over-watering a basil plant can be harmful, dehydrating it will harm its growth as well. Basil plant requires plenty of water, more than many other plants. And by not letting it absorb enough, you’re killing it. So it’s very important to ensure that there is water available for your basil plant.

Incorrect Temperature

A basil plant likes a moderate environment. They aren’t adaptable to extreme temperatures and will react very badly to drastic changes in temperature. An environment that is too hot or too cold can lead to your basil plant suffering.

Too Little Sunlight

Sunlight holds a lot of importance to plants. Sun gives plants the light energy it needs to photosynthesize. It helps plants produce the food they need to grow. If you put your plant in a spot where it doesn’t have access to enough sunlight, it can lead to reduced growth.

Basil plant has large, green leaves which aren’t just for aesthetic purposes but can be used to add flavor to your dishes. If your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, the leaves won’t get to the size they’re supposed to.

Too Cold

Basil is a Mediterranean herb. It is evolved to grow in warmer areas. If the temperature is too low, the plant won’t sprout or grow properly. The leaves will end up being too small, and the plant won’t be as bushy as it’s supposed to be.

Lack of Nutrients

Natural soil’s nutrients aren’t enough for the growth of the basil plant, as they need extra nourishment. If the owner doesn’t make sure that the plant’s nutritional needs are being fulfilled, its growth will be affected.

Why Is Basil Not Growing 2
Why is my basil not growing up? (Zone 7B NYC) – via Reddit


Now that we’ve discussed all the factors that can reduce the plant’s growth, we need to know ways to avoid these problems.  We can end up with a healthy basil plant if we implement appropriate solutions.

So let’s take a look at all the solutions!

Select a Good Location For Your Basil Plant

Put your basil plant in an area where it doesn’t experience drastic environmental changes. Avoid spots like near an air-conditioner or a fireplace. And try picking a place with an ample amount of sunlight.

Remove Fungus From Soil

Fungus in plants can lead to many fungal infections and root rot. Removing it is an easy job. Just add one teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water, and spray it all over the soil around the basil plant. Baking soda’s alkaline pH will remove all fungus and prevent it from ever coming back.

Get an Effective Watering Routine

Basil plant doesn’t like flooded soil, nor does it survive dehydration. The one to two inches of the top layer of soil is supposed to be dry and the soil underneath is supposed to be moist.

Try to stick to a watering routine that works. Use a measuring cup as a watering can to keep the water intake under control.


Now that you know this, you’ll be able to ensure a healthy basil plant. It might not be growing well because of problems like incorrect temperature, lack of nutrients, lack of sunlight, an incorrect amount of watering, and fungal diseases.

But all these problems have simple solutions. If you select the right location and fertilizer, ensure consistent watering, and avoid fungal growth. Because of this, you can have a beautiful basil plant.

We hope this helps you! If you have any questions, leave them down below.