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Basil in winter?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 81
Location: SE Asia.
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I've managed to keep basil (a flat leaf variety) growing in a pot over winter, in mild Sydney. Involved "pruning" the large bushes to about 2 inches above the soil, so they wouldn't seed. The leaves grew back strongly though, and I had plenty of basil for the winter.

Has anyone else tried this?

I started this page: http://www.appropedia.org/Basil Please help correct that if I've put up any misinformation. (Appropedia needs a lot more info on herbs).
 
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I like perpetual basil (aka "columnar basil") as it rarely goes to seed... some people have had plants for years without seeing flowers. Otherwise, you need to pluck off all the flowers to keep the plant from going into senescence (or replant the seeds). The perpetual basil I have is also very resistant to diseases in our hot, humid climate. With a few pots of this, you will always be minutes away from fresh pesto.
 
Chris Watkins
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Jonathan Byron wrote:I like perpetual basil (aka "columnar basil") as it rarely goes to seed... some people have had plants for years without seeing flowers. Otherwise, you need to pluck off all the flowers to keep the plant from going into senescence (or replant the seeds). The perpetual basil I have is also very resistant to diseases in our hot, humid climate. With a few pots of this, you will always be minutes away from fresh pesto.



I wonder if that's the "Greek basil" that I'm familiar with? That's perennial. It's got a bit of a different aroma - pleasant, but more cinnamon-y than regular basil. But if you say it makes good pesto, I'm willing to give it a try.
 
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I don't bother keeping my basils (I plant several varieties) alive all winter because I find the plants tend to degrade in quality when kept going. Instead, I pot up one or two plants for fresh use in winter. For the rest, I dry most of the leaves in late summer for year-round cooking, and then allow the plants to go to seed and stand in the garden all winter. In the spring, I always find that the seeds have dropped and sprouted more tiny new plants at the bases of the old stems than I know what to do with. I never have to buy new plants or seeds.
 
Jonathan Byron
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Perpetual basils, like basils in general, have a fair amount of variety in terms of their flavor. The type I found is pretty close to normal, but I have heard of others who have lemony perpetual basils, or spicy cinnamon/clove types.
 
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