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Why Is My Basil Curling – 4 Possible Reasons

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Basils are a part of the herbal mint family. They are mostly used when you need to add flavor to your food and need some nutrition. There are a lot of different basil plants which are found across the globe.

People use Sweet Basil to add flavor to food, while the Holy Basil is used for various health benefits. Therefore, you must offer your plant the appropriate environment for it to grow properly if you want to answer the question of why is my basil curling.

Let’s get right to business!

Why Is My Basil Curling 1
Why are my Basil leaves curling at the top of the plant? – via Reddit

Why Is My Basil Curling?

The curling of your lovely Basil leaves can be caused by various factors. Knowing what’s causing the problem will help you treat them appropriately. The leaves curl due to poor plant care, such as not providing enough sunshine or watering it too much or too little.

The curling of leaves is exacerbated by diseases such as powdery mildew and fusarium wilt. In addition, pests such as aphids and spider mites attack the basil plant, causing the leaves to curl.

Inadequate Sunlight

Basil plants are sun-loving and require at least 6 hours of direct sunshine to grow. Basil’s leaf starts to turn brown and curls when it doesn’t get enough light. As a result, the leaves become deformed and tiny.

If you put the plant in a gloomy spot, it will not get the necessary quantity of sunlight.

Issues With Watering

Basil leaves curl when they are overwatered or underwatered. The soil becomes moist when you overwater the plant. Basil will develop root rot if the soil remains damp for an extended period of time.

Once root rot has set in, there is only one direction to go: downhill. But, in the same way, don’t submerge your Basil. Because Basil is frequently exposed to direct sunlight, failing to provide it with adequate water quickly results in curled leaves and excessive withering.

Basil is delicate, and it lacks the ability to store large amounts of water. Because the sun dries water quickly if you water sparingly and then wait a long time, the roots won’t have enough water to transmit to the plant.

In my experience, if the basil plant is inside, it has to be watered every day. Of course, the size of the pot, the soil, the temperature, humidity, and amount of light, as well as the size of the basil plant and its root system, all play a role.

However, it is not incorrect to suggest that Basil requires frequent watering. Watering once a week is insufficient. Basil becomes malnourished when it is submerged in water. It will start to darken, curl, and eventually fall off.


Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that causes basil leaves to curl. When this disease infects your basil plant, it produces a powdery, gray residue on the foliage.

This disease might take hold of your Basil plant if you overwater it and keep it in a shady spot. If left untreated, it can cause serious issues and result in the loss of delicious basil-based meals.

Fusarium wilt is another fungal disease that can affect your plant. It causes curling and browning of the leaves. In addition, it generates a fungus that attacks and eventually kills your Basil.

Once this disease has infected your plant, there is no cure. Therefore, the only way to avoid this is to prevent it from happening in the first place.


Aphids are sap-sucking insects that attack the basil plant’s leaves. Basil leaves will curl and produce yellow leaves if the insect is not treated in a timely manner.

These bugs suck the essential nutrients from the plant’s leaves, leaving the plant with little or no nourishment. When the leaves are devoid of sustenance, the plant’s overall health begins to deteriorate, the leaves coil up, and the plant eventually dies.

Spider mites are another type of sap-sucking bug that preys on plants. The harm produced by these pests first appears as brown or yellow blotches on the basil leaves, which eventually curl.

They are quite little and difficult to notice. Shake the plant lightly to detect them, and if you find a white substance dripping from the plant, you may have an infestation of these pesky parasites.

Why Is My Basil Curling 2
What causes my basil leaves to curl like this? – via Reddit


Adequate Sunlight

Because this plant thrives in direct sunlight, it must be placed in a suitable location. Basil doesn’t get nearly enough light indoors. As a result, it’s best to grow it in direct sunlight or extremely close to a window.

Grow lights are also an option. If you find that your plant’s leaves are curling, move it to a new area right away. Place it in a location where the Basil will receive six hours of direct sunshine.

Adequate Water

When the top 1 to 2 inches of the soil surface feel dry to the touch, water the Basil. This plant necessitates a lot of water due to its location in direct sunshine. During the warmer summer months, you should water much more regularly.

You can lessen the amount of water you give it during the cold winter months. In the winter, water takes longer to dry. To drain extra water, place the plant in a container with drainage holes.

If you’re planting Basil in the ground or in a pot, make sure the soil is light and drains fast. Avoid watering the foliage and only water the plant’s base.

Treating Powdery Mildew

The last solution to your question of why is my basil curling is treating the disease

You must arrange your Basil plant in an ideal area to prevent powdery mildew from harming it. Allow the plant to dry between waterings and avoid giving it too much water.

Place it in a bright, sunny area rather than a shady, dark area. If this disease has infected your plant, you must cut away the infected leaves to prevent the disease from spreading to the remainder of the plant.

Spraying a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution on powdery mildew is a chemical therapy. Spray the sick plant with this diluted solution once a week until the disease is gone.


I hope this article helped you in answering your question of why is my basil curling. For more gardening tips and tricks, keep reading our articles!

Best of luck!