How to Make Basil Bushier & Lush

Read this article to learn How to Make Basil Bushier to grow lush and full sweet basil plant with flavorful, dense foliage.

Basil is a versatile herb that is used in many cuisines for its aromatic flavor. While growing it is not difficult, beginner gardeners often find that it becomes lanky with just a few stems. But if you want to avoid this to get a bountiful harvest from a single plant, then knowing these secrets on How to Make Basil Bushier will come in handy!

Check out the 6 steps for a never-ending supply of basil here


Tips on How to Make Basil Bushier

A single basil plant may not look like it will cater to all your requirements in the kitchen, but if you follow these tricks, you can make it bushier with healthy and large leaves! 

1. Pinching Helps

Image Credit: Cuisine Around the World

When the young basil plant grows about 6 inches tall, pinch the top tip (terminal bud) to encourage new growth. This trimming will allow the axillary buds (lateral buds) to grow and form more stems–making your plant basil plant bushier. You can keep pinching the top growth with your fingernails regularly!

2. Pruning is Important

Pruning the plant regularly will ensure it grows back in a dense form. It may sound counterintuitive but cut as much as you need, making sure to leave at least 2 or 3 sets of leaves on each stem. This way, the basil branches off into several more stems, producing a much thicker growth!

Note: Before you start pruning off the plant, make sure that it is at least 6-7 inches tall. Use pruning shears to avoid damaging the stems and for a clean cut.

Here are some great basil growing tips you can check out

3. Do Deadheading

When you notice flower buds, remove them with your fingers. Do not let the basil plant to seed if you want it to grow more. This measure will allow the plant to focus all its energy on growing dense leaves!

Check out our article on the best types of basil you can grow for cooking here

4. Harvest Often

The quickest way to make basil bushier is to harvest the plant often, once every two to three weeks. This will put a full stop on the flowering and will trick the plant into producing more leaves!

5. Never Pull Basil Leaves

When you harvest your basil plant, avoid pulling individual leaves. Because this will do no good and the plant will be stripped of leaves soon. Instead, pick the part of stems, just above a set of leaves. This process will promote new growth and make your basil plant bushier.

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