Droopy Basil in Texas, USA
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Kristina Altmann
Posted on: October 27, 2006

I just recently planted some 4" Genovese basil plants in a large planter outside. It gets plenty of sun and I am watering them once a day. Even though I appear to following the directions, the basil leaves are droopy and limp. Can you help me with what I may be doing wrong?

Since you planted the basil recently, it may not be established enough to withstand the drying air outside without wilting. Cover it with some newspapers for about a week and only gradually remove it. By the time you do the plants will hopefully have grown enough roots and grown tougher leaves to withstand the drying. Genovese basil does have a somewhat curled leaf structure and this emphasizes any wilting. You cam also try watering twice a day until the plants are more established.

It is also possible you have a fungal disease called fusarium. It can cause the wilting symptoms you describe. If that is what you have the only option is to destroy the plants and start again with completely clean pots and soil and fusarium free seeds. Richters sells basil seeds that are tested for fusarium.

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