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Why Is My Basil Plant Dying – 5 Main Reasons

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Basils are one of the most common plants that culinary gardeners have in their gardens. They’re generally pretty easy to grow; they can sometimes be very complicated to take care of.

If you find yourself facing a wilting plant, this article can provide some help. You will no longer have to ask yourself the question, “Why is my basil plant dying?”

Now without further ado, let’s get right to it!

Why Is My Basil Plant Dying
Basil dying for unknown reason – via Reddit

Why Is My Basil Plant Dying – 5 Main Reasons

1. Underwatering

The most common thing that can go wrong with a basil plant is the soil in which it is planted. Although basil plants only thrive in sunlight, they also will need to be moist constantly in good soil with decent drainage.

If your basil plant is dying, you need to inspect the soil around it and reconsider your watering schedule. The basil plant is a little sensitive to moisture. Therefore, you need to have the perfect ratio of water to soil for the plant to thrive and grow successfully.

If there’s not enough moisture in the soil, the plant will start wilting early. Basil is a little tricky to plant because the plant constantly wants wet soil and the sun.

The best way to ensure your soil is getting adequate moisture is to use organic materials to prepare the ground before you put in basil seeds. You can also get a soil meter and monitor the water present in the soil.

2. Overwatering

Just as lethal as underwatering, overwatering the soil can also be problematic for the plant. Soil that is too wet can be detrimental to the basil plant’s health and damage the plant’s growth.

The roots can also rot when the soil is waterlogged. Another sign of overwatering is that the leaves of the plant start turning yellow. It would help if you had proper drainage in your container to ensure that the soil is getting adequate moisture and not more than what it needs.

If you have a wilted flower, consider changing your watering routine.

Why is my basil plant dying from the bottom up
Why is my basil plant dying from the bottom up – via Reddit

3. Container Is Too Small

Another reason your plant might be wilting is that the pot it’s in is too small. When you buy plants from supermarts or established stores, they usually come in small plastic pots.

These small pots are a cheap solution that these big marts use to cut their costs. They are not an ideal situation for the plant to live in continuously for a long time.

These pots have limited capacity for soil, which is a big problem. This means that the pots have a limited capacity for moisture. This little moisture means that there might be a shortage of humidity for your plant.

These pots can’t maintain moisture for long periods of time, which is necessary for the basil plants to grow. Also, plastic isn’t an excellent material for a basil plant to be in. It absorbs heat from the sun and heats up the soil, which makes the ground extra dry. This isn’t good for the plant.

It would be best if you used a larger pot that is explicitly made from a natural material. This raw material should stay cool in the sun. An ideal material would be clay or stone, which is fantastic for basil plants.

The ideal size would be 12 inches in diameter and at least four inches deep in terms of size. If you have a small pot, you will need to moisture the soil and monitor it more closely.

4. Growing Cycle And Flowering

If the basil plant is left on its own, it will start flowering, and if that happens, the plant will likely start dying.

The plant starts producing flowers and seeds. If that happens, it will become less productive in terms of growing leaves.

You’ll likely notice that the leaves start wilting as soon as the plant begins flowering.

If you want to stop the plant from flowering, you need to stay on top when it comes to pruning. It would be best if you pruned from the top of the plant. The leaves that you prune can be used for plant recipes. This will also make more sunlight reach your plant’s lower leaves.

This process also encourages leaf growth for the plant. If you follow this routine consistently, you can extend the plant’s overall life. On the other hand, if you would leave the plant to its own natural growth, it will wither away sooner.

However, regardless of whether you prune or not, mostly basil plants last a little less than a year.

But if you prune, the productive life of the plant will increase, and when it goes to seeds, they will start growing seedlings in a year.

If you ask yourself the question, “Why is my basil plant dying?” This is probably the answer.

5. Massive Changes In The Growing Conditions

Basil plants are relatively sensitive to the conditions in which they are growing. They prefer full sun and consistently moist conditions.

But when those conditions do change, whether it is a change in the weather conditions or a season change, the basil plant will likely drop soon after that happens.

Sometimes, the basil plant wilts due to a sudden cold snap. A cold snap can potentially make the basil plant wilt. When a basil plant exhibits signs of stress related to cold weather, you will notice curling leaves and wilting.

You will have to prune these and then take some extra care of the plant for the next few days. You may also have to move the plant inside when this happens.


Basil plants may die because of a lot of reasons.

This answer contains the answer to your question, “Why is my basil plant dying?” Next, see if you are doing any of the things mentioned in this article and take extra care of your plant.

I hope this article helped you and answered your question.

Happy gardening!