I’ve had a basil plant hanging out in my kitchen for awhile now, and it’s just starting to get seriously out of control! It’s time for a trim, and this article will help you keep your basil healthy, while showing you how to trim back all of that crazy growth! Not only does trimming back your plant help it stay healthy, but trimming back your plant can even promote new, lush green basil leaves!
Begin pruning basil plants when they are about 6 inches tall, but it is not recommended that you trim back the leaves until it has reached this height.
Scan your basil plants for “young leaves” or sprouting flowers. If your plant is beginning to develop these, clip them off and use them in your dishes. They are great dried! Typically, a basil plant will need to be trimmed every 2-3 weeks, or as often as you see new flowers developing. Trimming back the new growth is necessary because it allows the plants to focus on growing the bushiest leaves possible.
Basil plants are known for their rapid growth cycle, so it isn’t the end of the world if you trim off a little bit more than you meant to! If you accidentally trim back your basil so it’s a little “bald,” rest assured that it will be back to it’s former stature in only a few weeks!
Now, it’s time to harvest the fruits..ah hem..herbs..of your labor! To properly harvest a basil plant, it’s best to cut it back to a 1/2 inch above a basil “node.” Never trim lower than 3 inches around the base of the plant! If you are looking to dry your own herbs, check out this awesome tutorial from myself. I will never NOT dry my own homegrown herbs!