Do you pick basil leaves from the top or bottom?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Do you pick basil leaves from the top or bottom? We will teach you how to plant the basil, how to care for it, and how to choose the best basil leaves for the most aromatic dishes.

Do you pick basil leaves from the top or bottom?

When harvesting basil leaves, it must be kept in mind that the leaves on top are the most developed. Therefore, you should harvest the basil leaves from the top and then move downwards, leaving a third of the plant untouched. Cut right above the leaf pair making sure you don’t leave stubs. Use pruning shears and cut above the bud to minimize damage to the plant so that you can see it grow again next year.

If you want the plant to grow stronger, cut the flowers so that they do not remove nutrients from the rest of the leaves, unless you are interested in collecting the seeds, in that case, do not cut them. 

You can use the basil leaves at any time of the year, the leaves will be fresh. However, the procedure recommends waiting until the moment before flowering to get the most out of sowing. In addition, its therapeutic properties are greater right at this moment.

Once the basil is harvested, there are two ways to keep and make use of this herb, fresh or dried. Fresh, freeze the basil in small pressed bouquets and defrost in the open air as needed. Once dry, after being collected, hang its branches upside down in an airy and dark place, such as a closet, when it is dry you can grind the leaves and store them in a glass jar.

It is convenient to prune this plant approximately every 15 days, to achieve greater growth and that it is collected more abundantly.

Basil leaves care

The key to excellent care of most plants is to use fertile soil, adequate watering, and gradual light. This is essential for the proper growth of vegetables. Basil even has other types of care that you should apply to enjoy a good harvest.

The cold is detrimental to the plant, frost is the worst enemy of basil. Therefore, try to maintain warmer temperatures.

Substrate drainage must be good. Humidity is convenient for you but prevents your 

plant from being flooded.

As it is a fine and delicate plant, the wind could damage the branches, so protect it from the wind.

Basil can also be invaded by insects and pests. In these cases, it is best to use an ecological remedy before using chemicals that could make your aromatic plant an inedible herb.

How to plant basil?

Basil is an herb that can be grown perfectly in pots. To do this, we need substrate, a tray or containers, pots, a stick, and basil seeds.

  1. Place the tray with the number of posts you want to plant.
  2. Dip the seeds into the soil in each pot with the help of a stick. Cover the entire surface with soil, so that the tray is completely covered.
  3. Water very carefully and put the tray in a warm place, but avoid direct sunlight.
  4. Cover the tray with paper. Check the germination process every day. When the leaves appear, remove the paper to let them grow.
  5. Once the seedlings have taken root and are about 2 inches tall, transplant them into a larger pot or location of your choice.

How often should I water my basil plant?

Basil  can be grown at home, in pots. Basil is very susceptible to frost in winter and dehydration in summer. It needs a lot of humidity. So it is recommended to water it frequently but in small quantities. The best time to sow it is spring, starting in April. Requires a sunny position.

To know when to water it, just look at its leaves. If these are bent down, it is time to provide water. You will see how quickly its leaves become vigorous. After planting, the leaves are collected for approximately 40 days. If the plant has little foliage, we can cut the tips of the stems so that it sprouts more compact and vigorous.

We can also dry it in bouquets with the leaves facing down and in the shade. Once dry, we grind the leaves and store them in jars. Basil is a plant that favors tomatoes. It protects them from mosquitoes and enhances their flavor. Hence, if you have a tomato plant at home, we recommend that you grow this tasty aromatic plant.

How do I choose and how to prepare basil?

Basil is a garden plant, adaptable to environmental conditions so it can be grown in the rooms of the house. However, it is particularly sensitive to cold and humidity, so it must be kept in warm and dry places, where it can be fully exposed to sunlight. When watering the soil, the leaves should not be sprayed, as they will stain. The whole leaves and twigs of the plant are used in the diet.

If you buy basil from the store, it is recommended to opt for the fresh one and not its dry version, which is poorer in flavor. The plant must have a clear color, no imperfections, darker spots or yellowed parts. The basil can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, away from moisture.

Basil is most often associated with Mediterranean cuisine, its special aroma being complemented by tomatoes, with which it combines perfectly, but also with olive oil, lemon, garlic or onion. It is the basic ingredient in pesto sauce and is used in sauces for pasta, salads, eggs, cheeses (especially with mozzarella), seafood, rice and meat dishes. 

The green leaves of the plant can decorate cakes, ice cream or can be used in the preparation of beverages. Basil is not used in combination with other herbs and is added at the end or directly to the plate, before serving, to preserve its flavor.


In this article, we answered the following question: Do you pick basil leaves from the top or bottom? We taught you how to plant the basil, how to care for it and how to choose the best basil leaves for the most aromatic dishes.

The basil is harvested starting with the end of June, with the appearance of the first flowers, until late autumn, when the frost falls. We recommend picking the basil leaves from the top to bottom, leaving about a third of the plant untouched.

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