Most herbs are generally easy to grow, as most of them require nothing but a bit of care, water, and sunshine to flourish. Basil plants are particularly some of the best low maintenance you can pick.
With the right conditions, you can rest assured they’ll reward you with a wealth of flavorful, fragrant, and bright leaves.
That said, the fact you’re here implies disaster has struck and has left you wondering why is my basil wilting? It probably just implies that you need to tweak the plat’s growing conditions inside your home a little bit.
Why Is My Basil Wilting?
The most common causes of basil wilting are underwatering, overwatering, pests, diseases, lighting problems, and temperature stress. This guide will cover each of these reasons one by one and help you narrow down the issue through the elimination process.
Your Basil Might Have A Fungal Disease
Have you ever heard of fusarium wilt? It is a soil-borne pathogen usually affecting plants’ vascular (vein) systems. Once it attacks, the disease breaks down the basil’s veins until the plant cannot support itself anymore.
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to determine if the pathogen is present in the soil you will plant your basil without subjecting the soil to a lab test. However, you can observe all other plants in the area you’re getting the soil to see if any of them is exhibiting a similar symptom.
Even worse, this pathogen can live on the earth for a very long time and keep wreaking havoc for the foreseeable future. After it attacks, all you can do is burn all affected plants and keep the pathogen from spreading any further.
Subsequently, dig out all the soil from that area and throw it away in a location you’ve designated for treatment. If you do not know where to find one, contact your local landfill site and ask for their recommendations.
Finally, treat the whole area you’ve dug out using an organic fungicide, and do not plant any other plant in the area for one to two years.
The Basil Requires More Sun
Basil plants require lots of sunshine to thrive accordingly. As such, basil plants that are often sagging in a gloomy manner may be doing so because they are not getting sufficient sunlight. With that in mind, if you’ve planted your basil in a pot, ensure you move it to a sunny spot right away.
If you’ve already planted it into the ground, however, you’ll need to watch it over a day to see if it’s getting sufficient sunlight. If you notice that it’s shaded by tall trees or plants throughout most of the day, you have no choice but to transplant it to another location.
Do it gently, though, so you do not damage the roots.
Have you ever come across aphids before? They are teeny tiny insects known to suck out the sap (and eventually the life) out of plants. Usually, they are semi-translucent and white or pale green but note that they can also be orange or yellow.
Generally, aphids find succulents to be the most delicious and have been proved to be fond of basil. So check your basil plant’s stem and leaves to check if any bugs are present. If you see any, quickly get rid of them by introducing ladybugs into your garden or insecticidal soap.
The Basil Plant Is Getting Too Much Water
I know basil plants need a lot of water to thrive. That said, just like with all other plants, way too much water can cause its root to rot. This will especially happen if you’ve planted your basil in soil that does not drain well and is a common occurrence in containers because soils in there tend to compact quickly.
With that in mind, do not grow your basil plants in small pots. If you acquire them as seedlings, either transplant them in large planters or the ground as fast as you can. What’s more? Use your fingers to confirm how thoroughly and deep water in the soil has saturated after watering sessions.
If you poke your finger in deeply but feel wetness all the way, chances are you’re over-watering your plant. And to know you’ve given it WAY TOO MUCH WATER, your finger will come out covered in extremely wet mad.
In these cases, let the soil dry out to a healthy level and switch to watering the plant every few days.
It’s Not Getting Enough Water
There are more than 150 different kinds of basil, all of which have slightly different flavors. However, they all need sufficient watering to thrive.
The number one reason most basil plants I’ve come across wilt is that they were dehydrated. As noted in the previous reason, basils need constant moisture and have been known to flop over in dramatic manners if they do not get enough.
Just like with testing overwatering, poke one of your fingers into the soil to check whether it’s damp or not. If it is not moist all the way down to your finger’s knuckle, it requires more water.
From there, moving forward, you’ll also need to adjust to a more regular watering schedule so the soil doesn’t get the chance to dry out again.
If you’re growing your basil in a container, remember that you will need to water it even more frequently. This is due to the fact potting soil tends to compact very easily. To help the soil retain moisture, give it slightly more aeration using added perlite, then add peat moss or vermiculite.
If you want to grow a healthy and robust basil plant, offering it the ideal conditions it needs to thrive should be your priority.
In addition to that, try going for locally cultivated species whenever you can, as they’re already suited to the growing environment you’ll take them to. This immensely improves their chances of thriving.