What's your question? Ask

Basil Plants

Q.Herbs for pollinators

Zone Tyler Texas | Anonymous added on April 24, 2019 | Answered

I have just planted herbs such as Thai basil, sweet basil,sweet mint, garden sage, and lemon balm for the bees. I do not intend to use this particular grouping for culinary use, they are just for the bees.

Should I fertilize them and just let them grow tall, or should they be pinched back to become bushy? Will pinched back growing tips flower, or will they branch out to result in many flower heads? Should I handle some of these differently than others?

Thank you,

Chuck Thornton

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Answered on April 24, 2019

Pollinators need room to move about so I'm not sure a bushier plant is better for them. I would cut back every other stem when flowers start to show. The trimmed stems will produce another flower but at a later time. This way, you have a longer season of pollinator heaven. For the basil, trim off the flowers when the petals drop; it will produce new flowers if you don't let the plant produce seed. Lemon balm and mint are garden thugs and will gladly take over and spread everywhere via underground roots/stolons. They might clamber over your other plants and shade them out. Fertilizing will only encourage this behavior. An inch or two of compost around the plants should be sufficient nourishment for your purpose. You'll have happy bees!

Was this answer useful?

Log in or sign up to help answer this question.

Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

You must be logged into your account to answer a question.

If you don't have an account sign up for an account now.

Looking for more?
here are more questions about...
Basil Plants
Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!

Do you know a lot about gardening?
Become a GKH Gardening Expert