Basil Yellowing
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Debbie Wilkinson
Posted on: May 20, 2004

I would like to know why my basil starts out nice and green while in the plugs and before I get to re-pot the basil it’s color has turned a nice yellow and the leaves look like they have lost their pigment. I hope you can shed some light on this.

There are several conditions that could cause the leaves to lose their green pigment. All would have to be rather severe.The most obvious one would be lighting that is much too low. Another would be a nutritional defiency, such as no iron available to the plants. This in turn could be because of the wrong pH - this would prevent uptake of even a nutrient present in the soil. Check that the pH is around 7. The last cause that I can think of is disease. Fusarium wilt might be strangling your plants and the first symptom of imminent death is a yellowing of leaves. Check the bases of your plants- if they are thin and black, that may be the problem. Use Fusarium resistent strains of basil such as Genovese basil ‘Nufar F1’.

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