Growing aromatic herbs at home – on the balcony or in the garden – is an activity that always gives great satisfaction. But some plants are more delicate than others; buying several plants and finding them dry in a short time certainly does not stimulate our inclination to home gardening. A problem that particularly affects basil, an aromatic herb indispensable for some recipes yet quite delicate, which tends to dry out in a short time. Today we tell you why basil dries in a short time and what are the methods to avoid it.
1. Change of environment for basil
Basil is a particularly delicate plant and the transport from the nursery or supermarket to home plus the change of environment can stress it a lot. In this case the only remedy is to put it in the right position and wait for it to settle; avoid watering it too much the first few days, unless you see the soil particularly dry. Put it in a place where there is a good air circulation, but not windy, and where it is reached by the sun, but not in a direct way; also avoid transferring it immediately, as this could cause further discomfort to the plant; let it settle first.
2. Scarcity of water for basil
It may happen that, in the shop where you bought the basil, they didn't care much about the watering of the plant. If the basil is only slightly dry, just water it, without exaggerating and without wetting the leaves too much, and wait a few days; always do it early in the morning or, at most, in the evening, after sunset. If, on the other hand, the plant is particularly dry and the soil comes off easily from the pot, you can try the soaking operation; gently pull the plant out of the pot, leaving the soil that remains attached intact, and check the roots, cutting the dry ones. Then take a basin of water at room temperature and immerse the plant in it for a few minutes, without letting it float; then check the bubbles and take it out when it has stopped making them. Once the plant has been taken out, let it drain well and reinsert it in the pot, taking care to arrange some pebbles on the bottom, which will help drain the water and avoid stagnation; place it in a cool place away from sunlight until it is completely dry, especially in the upper part.
3. Weak roots for basil
In some non-specialized shops they tend to take little care of the seedlings; although they may look beautiful and vigorous, they may have weak roots. What to do in these cases? The best thing would be to place the pot in the garden, directly in the ground, but a larger pot can also work, where the roots have the right space to expand and strengthen. It is also possible to fertilize the plant, preferring a natural and not too acidic fertilizer.
4. Wrong exposure for basil
One of the most important things about basil is the right exposure. To grow well, basil must be in an airy but not too ventilated place, illuminated but far from direct sunlight. In fact, the direct sun's rays could burn the leaves; on the contrary, too little sun would make them soften. Also check that the soil in the pot drains the water well and that there are no stagnations in the pot or saucer.
5. Lack of fertilizer for basil
Sometimes the plant dries up because it has simply not been fertilized enough or at the right time. A good organic fertilizer to add regularly will help you nourish the soil; you can choose a liquid fertilizer rich in nitrogen, or try a natural one made with the cooking water (not salted!) of the vegetables.