Harvesting basil the right way is the key to having a full, healthy basil plant. By following these tips and tricks you will have more basil than you'll know what to do with!
When it comes to basil, don't be afraid to snip away. In fact, the more you cut and prune, the more your plant is encouraged to keep producing.
The first sign of knowing that your basil is ready to be harvested is when there are 3-5 sets of leaves on a single stalk or when the stalk is at least 3-4 inches tall. Always harvest your basil starting at the top of the plant and work your way down.
To cut multiple leaves, cut the top of a stalk just above the second set of leaves. This will allow a new bud to grow from the second set of leaves left behind. For best results, repeat this process every 2-3 weeks. To trim individual leaves, cut right where the stem meets the stalk. It is ok to trim back the basil to 1/3 of its original height but it is not recommended to trim more than that to ensure your plant grows back healthy.
The night before you plan to harvest, give your plants plenty of water. Harvesting your basil in the morning will leave your basil with the most amount of essential oils than any other time of day.
If you notice your basil plant starting to bud flowers, make sure to prune all the flower buds off before they bloom or it may be the end of the road for your basil plant.
Looking for uses for your fresh basil? Try some of our favorite recipes!