Trim a basil plant often during the growing season to encourage healthy growth
image by clarita: morguefile.com
An herb garden would not be complete without at least one kind of basil. As a basil plant becomes established, it will begin a stage of rapid growth. It is important to trim a basil plant properly to encourage it to grow out and full instead of up. It is also imperative to remove the basil blossoms as they appear because if left to blossom, the basil plant will stop producing.
Watch as the basil plant becomes established. Do not trim until it reaches a height of approximately 6 inches.
Find a pair of large leaves located near the top of a stem. Trim the leaves off from the stem immediately above where the leaves are located. When you trim the basil plant in this fashion, two more stems will grow out from this point, which will create a larger and bushier basil plant.
Remove blossoms as soon as possible after they appear. Count five leaf nodes down the stem from the blossom and trim off the stem at this point. This will encourage the plant to produce more leaves instead of more blossoms.
Monitor the basil plant throughout the entire growing season and repeat Step 2 once or twice each week to keep the basil plant producing leaves.