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basil yellow leaves

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From: Susan Buchbinder
Chicago, IL
I have basil in window pots on my deck. They get full sun at least part of the day. I water daily if there has been no rain and the top of the soil is dry. There is good drainage, the water always drips out the bottom when I water. The plants were doing very well until a few days ago when the bottom leaves began to turn yellow. Does this mean that I am over watering? Underwatering? or some other problem. (there has been a lot of rain the last few days, but it has come in bursts for short periods of time).


Extension Message
From: Greg Stack
Extension Horticulturist
Extension Web Development

Lower leaves on basil can be the result of either they are the older leaves which turn yellow naturally or the plant is in need of fertlizer. if you haven' fertilized you might want to start using a liquid type plant food and use it every time you water. when lower leaves turn yellow that can also indicate a need for nitrogen by the plant. As you water you leach away nutrients which need to be replaced by fertilizer.

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