How to Cut Basil Plant Leaves


Basil is an annual herb that grows up to 3 feet tall. It has green stems, which may be woody at the base. The flavor of basil is at its best just before flowering. You can add basil to tomatoes, carrots, summer squash, and zucchini. It is fairly easy to cut basil plant leaves and no special tools are required.

Step 1

Plant your basil outdoors in well-drained soil to prepare for future cutting. Ensure it has full sun in cooler climates and light shade in warmer climates.

Step 2

Water the basil regularly and spread a few inches of mulch on top of the soil around the basil plant. The mulch will help slow the drying out of the soil. Check the soil daily and water again when the first inch of soil appears dry.

Step 3

Cut the basil leaves just above the bottom two sets of leaves with scissors or pruning shears. Cut it before it flowers because basil will lose its flavor if allowed to flower.

Step 4

Cut the basil leaves every four weeks above the bottom two sets of leaves. This will keep a constant supply of fresh basil available all summer long.

Things You'll Need

  • Basil plants
  • Wood mulch
  • Scissors or pruning shears


  • Floridata: Ocimum Basilicum (Basil)
  • Fine Gardening: Basic Basics
Keywords: cut basil plant leaves, bottom two sets of leaves, full sun, cooler climates, well-drained soil