How to revive and re-grow a basil plant

Check out this video to see how I turn a yellow, dried out, unappetising basil plant into a lush, tender plant in just a few weeks!

Here’s a link to the organic fertiliser that I use.

Also be sure to check out our basil growing guide for everyday plant care.



Today I’m going to show you how you can revive a basil plant. Whether it’s been neglected with water for a little bit, or if it’s turned yellow, like this one, or it’s just gone woody, and past its best, there’s a good chance you can bring it back to life. 


The first thing to do is to give it some water. And what I’ve got here is a bucket with water. And you take the pot, submerge it in there. And just let that really soak in. This is a really good way of getting a good amount of water back into the compost. Once the growing mix is dried out, it can be a bit hard to encourage it to take up water again. And this will help that process. If your plants very dry, leave it for maybe a couple of minutes, maybe a quarter of an hour or so. This one isn’t too bad. So this should be enough. So take that out. Normally you’d just leave this to drain off for a little while.


Now that you’ve given your plant a good drink, the next thing to do is to give it a really good prune. So you get your secateurs or a pair of sharp scissors. And we’re going to cut the whole plant down, we’re going to do it reasonably high up so it’s got something to regrow from. So I’m going to be cutting it about here that’s about almost 15 centimetres up from the base of the plant. There we go. That looks like quite a drastic chop, but what it actually does, it will encourage the plant to regenerate. 


Then the next step is get some fertiliser. I use this organic granular fertiliser. I sell it at my market stall and also on my website. And for these large pots sort of a generous tablespoon is about the right amount. Just sprinkle it on top. This one’s quite smelly, but it does the job. And then water in. Just be careful so it doesn’t splash around. And that will help the plant regenerate. 


Then put it in a location where it gets some indirect sunlight. So not direct blasting some while it’s regenerating but a reasonable amount of light. And also where you’re going to remember to water. It you will need to keep the soil moist and give it a water when it looks dry. In summer that might mean watering it every day, other times of year not so much. And we’ll keep doing some progress updates to see how the basil is doing. 


One thing to note with basil is that it does die off in the colder months especially when the frost comes along. It doesn’t like single digit nighttime temperatures or daytime temperatures very much. So it’s not a plant that keeps going all year round is an annual so it’s the kind of plant that you get every year. 


But if you look after it, you can extend its life so you really get the most out of it. Anyway, we’ll come back and check to see how this is doing. 


Right this is the basil plant that I chopped back exactly two weeks ago today. And as you can see it already has some nice lush green new leaves coming through. They’re nice and lush because of the fertiliser I gave it when I chopped it. Other than that I’ve just been keeping the plant watered and making sure the soil is nice and moist. So if you look after a basil plant, right you can get a nice long lifespan out of it. 


This is the basil plant three weeks after we gave it that chop and it’s growing beautifully. Just to prove it as the same plant, you can see here where it was cut.

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