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How To Fix Basil Stem Rot? (Tips And Tricks)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 11:56 am

Basil plants are annual plants and, as such, do not have a complex root system, or rather, their roots are not buried so deep in the ground.

Due to this, the roots and stems of the basil plants are prone to many conditions, and one of the most challenging ones is stem rot.

You can Fix the Basil Stem root by cutting the root, using fungicides, and solarizing the soil. This condition occurs when the basil plant stem goes brown and looks like the plant is dying. Many factors cause it. Thankfully, you can fix it with several methods.

Since this condition is quite threatening to plants, this article has been put together to enlighten you on everything you need to know about stem rot, including prevention and cure.

Why Is The Stem Of My Basil Turning Brown

You might have noticed the stem of your basil plant is going brown. This occurrence is not regular as experts have termed it a condition.

When the basil plant stem goes brown at the bottom, it is a sure sign that the Fusarium wilt has infected the basil plant.

Fusarium wilt infects the basil plant through its roots by penetrating the nutrient and water-transporting tissue (xylem).

When this happens, it is most definite that the basil plant will turn brown at the stem.

Can Plants Recover From Stem Rot?

Stem rots are not always the end of a plant’s life cycle, as they can be treated and cured.

Although it is curable, you must take action fast unless the plants may die within ten days after the stem begins to rot.

For basil and such related plants, stem rot is only reversible if some healthy-looking, white, firm roots are still visible.

But when the plant’s entire root system has become mushy, it is too late for the plant to recover from stem rot. And here, the plant’s death becomes inevitable.

How Do You Treat Stem Rot?

Stem rot can be a very challenging condition for plants, but luckily there are a few effective household tricks and tips for curing your plant of stem rot.

But remember, before you attempt to treat your plant for stem rot, the stem shouldn’t have gone entirely mushy before you begin to try treatment, as the treatment may now prove abortive.

To treat stem rot, you can try out the following methods:

1. The Root Cut

In this method, you should be careful with the plant while you uproot it from the soil and wash the roots under running water.

Ensure you wash away as much soil as possible and focus on the affected root extensions.

Then, with a clean pair of scissors or shears, cut out the remaining affected roots and replant them in different soil.

2. Use of fungicide

Since fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that causes stem rot, fungicides will help the plant regain its lost balance and nutrients it failed to stem rot.

3. Soil solarization

It refers to an environmentally friendly method of using the sun to control pests like bacteria, weeds in the soil, and insects.

This process involves covering up the ground with a tarp. Most often, you can use a transparent polyethylene cover for trapping energy.

This method will be the most effective for fighting stem rot, but it is expensive, so you might not need it if you are not into commercial farming.

Preventive Measures Of Stem Rot!

Stem rot is widespread in plants with simple roots, so you should take preventive measures since a cure is more expensive and time-consuming.

The activities carried out for the betterment of the plant may sometimes, in turn, harm them. Some include mulching, planting in seedbeds, land gardening, overwatering, and others. 

To prevent and minimize the amount of stem rot your plants suffer, you can take preventive measures like:

1. Do not mulch plants heavily with any partially decomposed organic over watering extra wing external soils unto stems during cultivation.

2. If you grow your plants from a seedbed, you should space them properly. Preferably twelve to fourteen inches away from each other.

This spacing will give the roots enough space for complete metabolism and provide the plant with enough ventilation to avoid stem rot.

3. Consider potting your plants: If you have been growing them in the garden and you notice that they are beginning to show stem rot symptoms, you should move them inside a garden pot and change the soil.

You can move the plant in the garden pot to suit the climate.

4. Avoid overwatering: always ensure that the soil is dry in between watering. This way, you can avoid moist soil. When the soil is always damp, it houses fungus and treats the plant in question.

5. Provide efficient sun for the plant and consider using grow lights when the sun is not too present, for example, in winter. The sun helps excess dry moisture of the plant soil and keeps pests and bacteria away.

Can I Eat Plants With Stem Rot?

When you begin to lose your plant yields to stem rot, the next question on your mind would probably be whether or not you can consume some of the still good leaves.

According to research, most plant diseases do not affect human beings. This result means stem rot is not the end of the plant just yet, but that does not automatically mean you can eat off any plant with stem rot.

Let’s use basil as an example!

If the stems of a basil plant have begun to rot and the leaves are black and slimy, then you shouldn’t consume them.

But if the stem is starting to rot and the leaves are still green or just turning yellow, you quickly harvest them and use or dry them for future use.

So generally, whether or not you can consume plants with stem rot depends on how critical the rotting of the plant stems is at that particular moment.


Stem rots occur as a result of many careless activities carried out in the garden. Most often, they are caused by the little things we undervalue.

If you are into commercial farming, stem rot will be a grave threat to your source of income. To avoid all these, you should take preventive measures to stop or reduce the chances of stem rot in your garden.

If you notice them (stem rots) early enough, you can treat them to avoid future loss.

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