Basil in Pots in Arizona
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Betty Peden
Posted on: April 14, 2008

I recently bought two basil plants, and read the label and it said to keep soil moist and plant in full sun. Did that and now they are wilting, what is the correct way of growing this plant?

Grow just as they advise, but if the plant is in a pot move the pot slowly out into full sun. It undoubtedly had been kept under glass and the root system cannot adjust that fast to much greater rates of evaporation. If the pot is fairly small, you might do better to pot it on carefully into a bigger pot with more soil. This will not dry out so quickly. Do not disturb the roots when you repot-basil hates it. Take at least two weeks to move the plant from deep shade to full sun. Slow down if it starts to wilt again, even though you have kept the soil moist. If the plant is planted in the ground, cover with a hat of newspapers and gradually remove the cover over the course of at least two weeks. Weight the papers down with rocks, so they do not blow away.

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