Why Is My Basil So Tall And How To Prune It?


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In this article, we will tell you a little bit about basil, why is your basil so tall, and how to prune its stem.

If you have tall basil it means you are not trimming it at all, or not enough.

Below we will tell you more about basil, and how to prune and trim it so it doesn’t become too tall.


Basil is a plant that is often used for culinary purposes and it is best when it is fresh. Growing basil is not demanding and can improve the taste of almost any dish. It is also used for medical purposes for sedation.

There are more than 60 types of basil that you can grow. They differ in appearance, taste, and sometimes in the method of cultivation. Most types of basil are green although there are also types that are purple and red.

How to trim basil?

Maintenance and care of basil consist of regular watering and fertilizing, weed control, but also proper pruning and shaping.

It is also important to know how to trim basil if you want the plant to continue to grow. Do not tear the leaves until there are not many of them and do not cut all the leaves at once. Never remove more than 2/3 of the sheets at once.

You can cut the leaves when the plant has at least 6 leaves and when it has grown 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm). It is best to cut newer leaves from the top to ensure the growth of new leaves.

Cut the leaves with scissors when you need them as they dry quickly after cutting. You can also dry and chop the leaves so that they can be added to various dishes or frozen later.

When basil starts to produce flowers you can regularly cut the leaves to encourage the growth of new leaves and get a rich basil plant. Leave the flowers for the bees, and you can collect the seeds for new seedlings. You can also cut the flowers (they are also edible) to encourage even more leaf growth.

Why Is My Basil So Tall

Basil that is tall has probably never been cut back or not enough. Trimming the top of the stem reduces the level of hormones in the stem, which triggers side shoots to grow. Usually, a basil plant that is receiving adequate sunlight branches out on its own. So, make sure when you grow basil again to place it where it receives full sun. In hot climates, morning to early afternoon sun will do.

Tall basils are also approaching maturity and will soon go to flower. For the best quality basil leaves, start new plants from seeds or purchase new young plants. It’s not usually worth the effort to root cuttings from old plants, because those cuttings “remember” their age, and will promptly go to flower themselves. Sure, some will live for a few weeks before flowering again, especially if cuttings are of side branches that have no sign of flower buds.

If you have older basil and want to keep it growing for as long as possible, give it good sun, keep it damp to moist but never wet, and plant it in an appropriately sized pot. A young multi seeded (2 or 3 seeds per pot) plant can grow in a 4 inch (10 cm) pot for a couple of months, then transplant 3 of them into a 10 or 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) pot. Don’t let them get potbound when they’re young, or they will go to flower earlier. Water carefully in the beginning. As the roots develop, you’ll have to water more often. Or, grow them in the garden…in fertile soil.

The composition and use of basil

Today, many different types of basil are grown and each has a specific taste and aroma. The taste and aroma of basil depend on the composition and quantity of the essential oil, which in turn depends on the soil quality, climatic conditions, picking time, etc. The whole basil contains up to 1.5% of the essential oil, and the ingredients that contribute to the aroma of basil are cineol, citral, eugenol, estragole, linalool, and methyl cinnamate. In smaller quantities, terpene compounds such as bisabolene, geraniol, ocimene, camphor, caryophyllene, etc. are also present.

Basil leaves are rich in vitamins A, C and K, and folic acid, and in smaller quantities contain all other vitamins.

Medicinal properties of basil

Basil is used in folk medicine to alleviate digestive problems and respiratory problems and insomnia. Basil seeds and leaves are used to disinfect small wounds and scratches.

Basil improves digestion, stimulates appetite, prevents flatulence and relieves cramps and pain in the digestive tract. It has a mild soothing effect and helps with insomnia, exhaustion, nervousness, and depression. Relieves problems caused by lung disease, flu, fever and wheezing and headaches that occur as a result of nervousness.

Basil preparations are used to remove bad breath and to treat mucosal inflammation. Fresh basil leaf juice is applied as a first aid to the insect bite location.

Basil tea is used to rinse the mouth with inflammation of the gums, hoarseness and throat disease, and is also used as a soothing agent. Strengthens concentration and relieves abdominal cramps.

If you want to find out more about basil growing, planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying and more, follow our link.

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