Basil produces purple or white flowers during summer if it has not been pruned. When to plant basil.
A tomato plant center growing alongside basil.
Basil plant flowering on top. Plant seeds seedlings about inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. Just cut about an inch below the flowering stem. Not letting the plant to flower is essential as flowering reduces the foliage growth and oil content in leaves.
As basil plants grow a flower stalk appears at the top. If the plant sets flowers it is on its way to going to seed and will not grow bushy and fill out with a lot of tasty leaves. It grows up to 30 inches tall and matures in 60 days.
This means that the plant is bolting and going to seed. Basil thrives in zones 4 10. Flowering basil tops or chopped flowers make the perfect garnish for the classic insalata caprese the layered salad made with mozzarella tomatoes and basil leaves.
Try to cut the stem at the first sign of flowering. Growing basil doesn t have to be just about producing food. 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.
You can eat the huge blossoms but the leaves also have a delicious spicy flavor. Once the plant has become 40 50 days old you can start picking its leaves. If you are cultivating basil strictly for its leaves it is best to remove the flowers.
To keep your basil plant producing cut the flowering stem off. Pinch back your basil plants every couple of weeks or so. For larger varieties plant farther apart about 16 to 24 inches.
Tomatoes make great neighbors for basil plants in the garden and on the plate. The bolting tends to happen during really hot periods. Cardinal basil has beautiful red flowers that add color to the herb garden.
Once basil has flowered the leaves and flowers are still edible but the taste is often milder or even bitter. Basil produces less aromatic and flavorful oils after it begins to flower which causes it to develop a bitter flavor. How to plant basil.
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. Prevent your basil from blooming for as long as possible by harvesting or pinching off the top sets of leaves as soon as the plant reaches about 6 inches in height. I have another variety that sends up delicate white flowers.
They should grow to about 12 to 24 inches in height. Some basil plants flower quicker than others and there s great variety in the way the flowers look. How to plant basil zones.
Flowering also makes the stems become woody rendering them inedible. Leaving the flowers on basil plants tends to engender a straggly looking specimen with fewer leaves to harvest. Prevent basil from flowering by pruning the top leaves of the basil every 2 or 3 weeks throughout the summer.
Do the same with terminal shoots before they flower.