How to Save Lanky Basil Seedlings

Basil is a culinary herb, native to India; however, it prominently features in Italian recipes. The easiest way to grow basil plant at home is to buy a pot with few basil starts from the local nursery and transplant them to your garden or larger containers. However, the problem when growing from starts is that basil seedlings are usually tall and lanky and do not produce a stockier plant as the one grown from seed. However, there are few tips that you need to follow when transplanting lanky basil seedlings and you will be able to grow a large, healthy basil plant, just like one grown from seeds.

Things Required:

– A pot of basil seedlings
– A small garden trowel
– Water
– Fish fertilizer
– Mulch


  • 1

    Make sure seedlings are ready to transplant

    Make sure your basil seedling is ready to transplant. The basil seedlings can be transplanted outside or to the permanent container only after they have developed two sets of leaves.

  • 2

    Check weather conditions outside

    Also check if the weather conditions outside are favourable for your young basil seedlings. Basil plants do not tolerate frost, so move them out a couple of weeks after the last frost, when the risk of frost is completely gone.

  • 3

    Separate the seedlings

    Usually people sow three or four seeds in one pot, if that is the case you should first separate the seedlings carefully. To separate the seedlings, dig up the clump with a small garden trowel, making sure some pot medium comes out with the roots of the seedlings. Carefully grab the soil near the base of one seedling and separate it from the root ball, preserving as many roots as possible. Repeat this process until all the seedlings have been separated. Now your seedlings are ready to plant.

  • 4

    Plant the seedlings

    Plant your basil seedlings in a place that drains well and receives a good deal of sunshine. To ensure your seedlings grow into large, healthy basil plants with a robust root system, plant them deeply, burying the stem in the soil up to the bottom set of leaves. Pinch off the bottom set of leaves before planting the seedlings. The part of the stem in the soil will sprout roots. Don’t forget to gently pat down the soil around each plant to eliminate air pockets.

  • 5

    Water the seedlings

    Once you are done planting the seedling, water each plant with two cups of water, diluted with fish fertilizer. Then water your plants moderately, twice a day with lukewarm water until well established.

  • 6

    Pinching is necessary

    To encourage a stockier plant with lots of branches, pinch your basil back as it grows, every time pinching the top set of leaves. For example, if your plant has developed four sets of leaves, pinch back the top two leaves, making the pinch right above the second layer.

  • 7

    Harvest regularly

    Harvesting will encourage your plant to branch out and provide you with even more basil leaves.

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