Bugs on Oregano and Woody Basil
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Fern Yee
Posted on: April 5, 1998

I am living in Vancouver and I do believe that is Zone 7. I am a flower pot gardener with some balcony space to grow some items. I face south and do get a lot of sun in the summer and because of this it is very, very warm as well. I am attempting to grow some herbs.

1. I have an oregano plant that does very well but always seems to have aphids, small white bugs on the leaves. How do I eradicate them?

To get rid of white fly and aphids spray your plant with pyrethrum soap spray (catalogue item T2212). This is a concentrate which you mix with water. Spray weekly or more often until the bugs are gone, or better yet, dip the whole above ground parts of the plants in a bath made of the spray; do that weekly until the problem disappears.

2. The sweet basil that I grow does well but the stems become quite woody and the leaves are not as delicate as I have seen. Could it be too sunny or too much heat? Size of the pot? or should I have them indoors?

When Sweet basil ages, the stems get woody. Also if the soil is too lean or the environment too harsh this aging will take place sooner. However, since basil loves sun & heat, it is more likely a lack of food. I would suggest Lakefish fertilizer (#T1030). The Maxicrop Seaweed would also retard the plant’s aging and make it seek fertilizer. It is available as a powder or as a liquid concentrate. You are right, the pot may be too small and cause the plant to starve. Check the drain hole and if roots are coming out of it repot into a bigger pot.

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