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Basil Plants

Q.What’s Wrong With My Basil Plant And How Do I Help It?

Zone 80014 | Jmonday added on July 1, 2020 | Answered

Hi! I have had this Basil plant for about 2 months. I live in Aurora, CO and it gets full sun. I try to keep the soil moist. A few weeks ago it started getting eaten by bugs and people told me to spray it with soapy water, so I have 2x now. But now the leaves have brown on them and some are yellowing. Is this a disease and how do I treat it? Thanks! Jen

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 2, 2020

This is an infection that is lead about by two factors-

Insect damage is the entry point of this bacterial infection. The second will be facilitated by wet soils.

Basil prefers dry soils, for the most part. Overwatering, alone, can cause this. Since there is insect damage, as well, this will definitely play a role in the infection.

Make sure to only water once the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are completely dry. Doing so while the soil still has plenty of moisture will suffocate the roots, and promote rotting.

Most of the time it is easier to start over, but with some diligence correction can be an option.

Treat the soil and plant with a fungicide. These articles will help:



Make sure to have a way to control insects, on hand, since they can cause many issues, themselves.

Here are some articles on insect control:




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Answered on July 2, 2020

Never use soapy water, it may help kill off the bugs, but it also kills off the bugs natural predators.

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Answered on July 2, 2020

Given the fact that it is somewhat sunny around your area and the browning and curling of the leaves, I would say it was too hot or not enough water. Basil does well in the temperatures in your area, but it does need watering well, first thing in the morning, never last thing. If you cannot move the plant, think of getting some shade netting to put over it. Although the Basil likes warmth, they can still suffer from the sun burning the leaves, which inevitably leads to the plant not being able to take up water properly.
I have a patio basil tree, which is placed so that it is shaded after midday to avoid this problem.I did fine this when looking round when my tree nearly died off due to a hoarfrost.

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