Soon after starting a basil plant in our hydroponic mason jar, we realized that we had no idea how to properly prune a basil plant.
Turns out, there is a proper way to prune basil. And it consists of more than yanking off random leaves! Learning how to properly prune basil encourages bushier and more vigorous growth.
In this article I will explain how to prune basil for maximum growth.
It is essential to prune a basil plant periodically to encourage strong and bushy growth. I know this seems counterintuitive but trust me, every time you prune your basil plant it comes back with a vengeance!
Without further ado, grab your favorite pruning shears and lets get to trimming.
Always start at the top of your basil plant. You want your basil to have a strong base so keep the bottom 2-3 sets of leaves intact. Starting at the top, locate a set of two large leaves. At the point where these two leaves meet the main stem you should see a set of tiny leaves. They may also appear as just two small green knobs.
Now you want to cut the middle stem directly above the set of small leaves. If possible try to keep at least a 1/2 inch of stem. Now rather than growing up the main stem, your basil will instead develop the two small leaves into two fully grown stems. You can keep doing this same procedure for the new stems once they grow out as well. This will make your basil plant bushier and bushier every time.
It is important to be methodical when you trim your basil plant. I used to randomly pull leaves off of my basil plant as I needed them. This works but does not result in the same vigorous growth that proper pruning provides.
Now that you know how to prune basil for maximum growth you can begin to enjoy bushier and more vigorous basil plants. Although it seems counterintuitive, pruning is essential for healthy basil plants.
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