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How Often Should You Water a Basil Plant?

Basil requires 1 1/2 inches of water a week. Basil grown in the soil needs additional watering only during dry periods and container plants require deep watering when the soil dries.

Basil Plant?

Basil is a beloved herb that has spawned dozens of cultivars, with many boasting unusual fragrances. Varieties with more ornamental flair include Pesto Perpetuo, a variegated cultivar with white-edged leaves; Crispum and Ruffles, both of which have crinkled leaves, and Minimum, a compact, small-leafed plant that thrives in the confines of a pot. Japanese Beetles are a common pest of the herb in eastern and southern states. Slugs may be removed organically simply by placing a bowl of beer near the plant. Keep water off the foliage to help prevent fungal diseases such as leaf spot. Poorly draining or over-watered soil encourages root rot. The essential oil derived from basil and several other aromatic herbs contains estragole, a natural organic compound used in numerous products. In 1999, California added estragole to its list of known carcinogens after studies showed it causes tumors in mice.

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