Green Thumb? More Like Touch of Death.

21 Nov

I love the fact that I can go to the market and pick up potted fresh herbs for the kitchen. It’s cost effective, convenient and they make the kitchen smell great. We often have thyme, rosemary and, my favourite, basil on our windowsill.  I could put basil in just about anything.


I keep killing the plants, especially the basil! I can’t keep basil for more than two weeks without it losing its bright green colour, turning brown-ish and dry. It’s driving me a bit batty. Clearly, this plant is more delicate than I anticipated! So, my green-thumbed friends, how can I keep this dang herb from dying out on me so quickly? Am I using too much, too fast? How often should I water it? How much sunlight should it get?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


7 Responses to “Green Thumb? More Like Touch of Death.”

  1. Cait November 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I personally have killed 5 basil plants, and have no solution for keeping them alive for you. I do recommend freezing all your fresh herbs just before they go off. Naturally, the freezing process does bruise them, but in cooked foods they are virtually as good as the fresh.

  2. Melly November 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    It’s obvious you’re not singing to them enough.

  3. Jane Turgeon November 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Basil likes sun but does not like the cold – in particular temps of 4C. That’s frig temp, so it doesn’t even have to be freezing! Basil is also a favourite of insects, so you may have tiny spider mites or similar almost-invisible guests. For that I have tried spritzing thouroughly (under and over leaves) with room temp water laced with a tsp of dish detergent, wait 10 min, then rinse with more spritzing. Even so, no guarantee and I gave up. I just keep buying fresh basil. The only herb I seem to be able to keep through winter is rosemary that can handle the desert dry air and irratic watering of the home owner!

  4. Amanda May 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    You need to repot the plants when you get them. They’re root-bound, and not likely to last very long. Also, give them time to get settled in new environment before you start cutting. They like to be watered, but not drowning, and they like food. A good thing to do every couple of weeks is to give them some cold tea. Though, when I say cold, I mean room temp (same for any water you give the plant). They abhor the cold, so if in a window in winter, make sure it’s near a heat source & window’s well insulated. Same goes for most other herbs. Except rosemary–same except you need to ignore it. Only water it half as much as you water your other herbs (it’s from an arid climate). Though if rosemary starts to get powdery, stop using, and pitch plant, dirt & all.

    • failingtherorschachtest May 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      That’s really helpful! Thanks so much! I certainly would never have thought of using tea but I’ll definitely give ‘er a go.

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