Basil plants like moisture. If you are cultivating basil strictly for its leaves it is best to remove the flowers.
I have another variety that sends up delicate white flowers.
Basil plant flowering seeds. How to grow basil. How to harvest and use basil seeds. To plant basil fill a seed container with perlite vermiculite and peat dampen it with water and drop in 1 2 seeds.
These flowers are pretty but they are also a sign that the plant is shutting down and going into reproduction mode instead of growth mode which would shoot out the necessary basil leaves for my pesto cravings. Basil produces less aromatic and flavorful oils after it begins to flower which causes it to develop a bitter flavor. Make sure that the soil is moist.
If you plan on saving seeds be sure to keep different basil varieties away from each other by at least 100 feet to avoid cross pollination. The seeds are contained in the spent flower head. Here is how to prevent basil from going to seed.
Bolting is when a plant produces a flowering stem or stems before the crop is harvested in a natural attempt to produce seeds. Cover them with a bit of soil wrap the container in plastic wrap and place it in a sunny window. Use a fine colander for basil seed collecting as the black seeds are very tiny.
Small basil plants are a staple offering at garden centers and even grocery stores but they are almost as easy to grow from seed. Leaving the flowers on basil plants tends to engender a straggly looking specimen with fewer leaves to harvest. Cut off the brown and spent flower heads and let them dry for a few days in a warm dry location.
Growing basil from seed. The intense sun will cause basil plants to bolt rather quickly. Some basil plants flower quicker than others and there s great variety in the way the flowers look.
Allowing basil to set seed at the end of the growing season will ensure gardeners a supply of viable seeds for their spring basil crop. Once seeds have developed on a basil plant the flavor of the leaves diminishes greatly. Pinching basil blooms back will allow all of the plant s energy to stay focused on foliage production creating a bushier plant with more leaves and maintaining higher levels of essential oils in the leaves.
If you live in a hot area use mulch around the plants the mulch will help hold in moisture and suppress weeds. During the hottest parts of summer the sun in zone 9 can be quite intense. Flowering also makes the stems become woody rendering them inedible.
Keep the plant in shade. Or you can plant them directly in the garden two weeks after the threat of frost has passed. Basil seed collecting is that simple.
The best plants to pair basil with are. Crush the heads over the colander and pick out the old petals and any chaff. Start seeds indoors four weeks before the last frost date in your area.
After the seedlings have produced their first six leaves prune to above the second set. During the dry periods in summer water the plants freely. However allowing the plants to flower and go to seed too.