basil plant question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mamajohnson, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    I have a nice big basil plant, that is in a large pot. I brought it in the house recently, because it was getting cool outside. It has started loosing it's leaves, is there any way to keep this from happening? I would love to keep this plant going during the winter, because I just love basil!
    Is it one of those that is just gonna loose it's leaves anyway? Will it come back? Have I goofed bringing it in??? It has looked awesome all summer...and kept growing and giving me some great leaves for cooking..
    Is it unreasonable to expect to keep it all winter?
     
  2. farmer brad

    farmer brad Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    mine are in the pot to has not got that cool here in houston might just keep it in the sun I will cover mine if need
     

  3. 3ravens

    3ravens on furlough-downsized Supporter

    Messages:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    WV, FINALLY! (zone 5b)
    Keep it in the coolest sunny spot you have in the house. If you didn't do it already, cut it back by about half. Make sure you keep it from drying out. It's amazing how quickly they dry out inside the warm dry house. Some leaf drop is normal, it's the plant's way of reacting to change. Good luck!
     
  4. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    ok, I will give it a haircut.... hehe!
    I need to probably find a sunnier spot for it...my kids kept brushing against it (I think they like the smell!) and I thought that might have helped it loose leaves...
    I wasnt sure what temps the plant could take, it got down in the low 40's here, a few nights, and then I noticed the leaves turning a bit yellow... so I brought it in with my tropical plants...
    thnx for the advice.
     
  5. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    Quick! Take a few cuttings, and propagate some new plants! Keep very warm, give plenty of REAL sunlight, and remember that basil is an annual and not intended to last more than one growing season.
     
  6. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    I was afraid it was an annual.
    How would I propagate from a cutting? I'm not real good at that, do I cut by a joint? The oldest part of the plant has a woody stem, is that what needs to be rooted?
    oh, my, I dont know near enough to do that! Help!
     
  7. 3ravens

    3ravens on furlough-downsized Supporter

    Messages:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    WV, FINALLY! (zone 5b)
    Cut some of the newer shoots at least 6 inches long.(8 inches is better if you have some that long.) trim leaves off the bottom 2-3 inches. Dip in rooting hormone and stick in damp sand or potting soil. After a week or so, tug gently on them. If you get resistance they are rooting. Give them another couple weeks and then pot them up. Or just put them in a glass of water and wait for roots. However, I've never had much luck getting water rooted ones to grow in dirt. You can try thr woody stems, but the soft stems root better.
     
  8. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    awesome! thnx for the help!
    now, what if I dont have any root hormone? And am too far from town to "run" get some? (at least for a few days) will rabbit poo work? :shrug:
     
  9. 3ravens

    3ravens on furlough-downsized Supporter

    Messages:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    WV, FINALLY! (zone 5b)
    Well, it won't hurt to try without the hormone....... but no rabbit poo until they are rooted. Any fertilizer may be too strong for new roots.
     
  10. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    hehe,,, told ya I didnt know too much about that! I can handle seeds and already growing stuff... lol
    Ok, I will try and get some started, and look for some of that hormone as soon as I get to town.
    Thnx SO much for your help!
     
  11. 3ravens

    3ravens on furlough-downsized Supporter

    Messages:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    WV, FINALLY! (zone 5b)
    Any good garden center shound have it. One brand name is Rootone.
     
  12. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    Forget the hormone. Use some pure honey instead for better results. To take a tip cutting, chop off the head of a branch, stick the cut end into the honey, poke a hole in some dirt with your finger (or a pencil if you're finicky), place the cutting in, gently tamp it in, give it a drink, and Bob's your uncle.

    It doesn't matter how big your cutting is. I've snapped off really woody bits and just stuck them into dirt, and my son's garden, which has several basil plants done this way, is testimony to how easy basil is to strike. With basil, I seldom bother with the honey. Trick is to make any cuttings on a diagonal, giving a larger area for roots to form, and to keep the cuttings very warm.

    Take as many cuttings as you can. You're bound to lose one or two of them. Murphy's Law dictates.
     
  13. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    Ohhh, I know Murphey and that law real well!!!
    And, honey, I have!! I will be trying several cuttings for sure. I love having basil!!
    Now, would this work with Rosemary too??? I have a huge Rosemary plant.. but it does well outside...
     
  14. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,187
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    The honey works with any plant you want to take cuttings from.

    Rosemary is also very easy to propagate, but it strikes best from a heel cutting. Find a branch that's coming off last year's new growth (even older, it doesn't matter much), and grasp it between finger and thumb, and quickly drag it off. You'll end up with a scar on the older wood that resembles a heel, and a similar shape on the bit you've broken off. Neaten it up if necessary and proceed with the honey dipping and the planting. The main difference with rosemary is that it's very slow to strike - can take a couple of months or more - and it's very slow-growing in its first year, but after that it takes off at a rate of knots.

    It sometimes helps when taking cuttings to trim off the top couple of sets of leaves, and for larger-leafed plants like basil, to trim the rest of the leaves, too. With scissors aligned parallel to the stem, snip off about half of each leaf. This reduces transpiration, and gives the cutting a better chance of striking.
     
  15. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

    Messages:
    5,783
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    North East Texas
    Ahhh,,, now I know why my Rosemary didnt take last spring!
    I have 5 pieces of Basil in a pot... ready to take root!
    I am excited!! Cant wait for them to take hold.
    Thnx so much for your help!!
     
  16. 3ravens

    3ravens on furlough-downsized Supporter

    Messages:
    1,516
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Location:
    WV, FINALLY! (zone 5b)
    Well, that's a new one on me.....but I got honey.......heading for the :hobbyhors garden now with the scissors to chop a buncha herbs and 'speriment!
     
  17. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Location:
    East central WI