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How Long Does Basil Plant Last? (Explained)

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Last updated on September 23rd, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Like every other living thing on the surface of this planet, Basil has a limited time of survival. However, within this period, the plant is expected to have completed its entire cycle.

This cycle starts from when you plant it as seeds to when you harvest it as leaves for consumption. How long is this period, though?

How long does the basil plant last?

Basil plants may survive for up to two years before time for replanting in warmer climates. Any indoor basil plant with a total sun supply or a steady supply of grow lights may as well last that long. However, note that it is an annual crop that dies at the end of its first year, not if it has issues.

Do Basil Plants Get Old?

If you are new to basil farming, the most troubling question right now will be whether or not basil plants can go old.

Well, For something to complete its life span, it was once young and will get old before it dies.

Even though a basil plant can get old, It is possible to extend the life span of the basil plant by bringing it inside whenever the weather begins to get cold.

Aside from this, basil is an annual plant that will likely go old after a year.

There are several ways to know when your basil plants are going old. Some of them include:

1. Woody stems

Under normal circumstances, the stems of basil plants are supposed to be green, juicy, and fleshy.

But when the plant begins to grow old, this changes. At a point, the plant stem starts to dry up and look woody (brown), thereby taking the features of any regular wood.

2. Falling leaves

Sometimes, the leaves of your basil dropping may be a sign of it going old. At this point, the xylem of the basil plant has gone dry and can no longer supply nutrients and water to the basil leaves.

Can You Keep Basil Alive All Year?

Basil plants are supposed to be annual, except when their life spans have been extended.

Having said this, every average basil plant can stay alive all year if all things go well and all conditions favor the plants.

Some tips to keep basil plants alive all year round include:

  • Watering.
  • Pruning.
  • Disease treatment and control.

How To Keep Basil Plants Alive

You can only get the best off your basil plants if you put effort into making them the best of their kind.

However, keeping basil plants alive all through the year is not so difficult.

All it requires is a little patience and dedication, which every gardener should be ready to give out for the progress of their garden to blossom.

If you are looking for ways to keep your basil plant alive, then follow the guidelines below for the best results:

1. Basil plants require space

If the basil garden or pot is overcrowded, it will harm the plant as nutrients will not go around the plants correctly, resulting in poor plant growth.

If you planted your basil in a seedbed and noticed they are becoming overcrowded, consider transplanting and giving the basil plants a space about 12 inches away from each other.

Another way of reducing overcrowding is by weeding out the weak plants and leaving about 3 to 4 Strong and healthy ones in the pot to do their thing.

2. Basil Needs Light

Basil plants are lovers of the sun and, as such, shouldn’t be planted or kept under shade.

You can keep your basil plants indoors but ensure they get at least 6 hours of sunlight daily until they mature.

You can always alternate daylight with glow lights if the weather is not so favorable. Remember not to plant your basil under a tree.

3.Pick, Pick, Pick!

Basil leaves like being picked. If you pluck out the mature leaves regularly, it will encourage plant growth.

Always remember that if you want to keep that basil plant tasty and alive, you must pinch out flower buds immediately, so they sprout out, so the latter basil leaves don’t taste bitter.

If you don’t use them now, you can store them by sun-drying or freezing them.

If you sundry properly and lock it in an airtight container, the reserved basil can last an entire year.

4. Your Basil Plants Need Water

Ensure proper and frequent watering of basil plants as sun-drying still comes up. However, make sure you don’t overwater.

You can give a space of 1 to 2 days between watering to avoid root and stem rot.

A tip for watering well is ensuring that in between two watering Times, the land overwatering needs to go dry.

If you use pots, you make holes in them to drain excess water and keep those basil plants blooming and tasty.

5. Avoid the use of chemical-based fertilizers

Inorganic manure may be too intense for the variety of basil you have planted in your garden, thereby causing the plant to burn.

To avoid such problems, you should apply organic manure to the bare soil three days before you bury the basil seeds in the ground.

How To Extend The Lifespan Of A Basil Plant?

As stated earlier, a basil plant can last more than the usual annum, but this does not just happen. This extension of lifespan in basil plants takes some little dedication and work.

Let’s see how you can do this:

The first step here is cutting the flowers. If you cut out the flowers of your basil plant the moment they come out, you’ll have a basil plant living.

You can even prevent the growth of these flowers by:

1. Keeping the plant in a shady environment during the hottest parts of summer.

2. Water the plant quite often.

3. Harvest the matured basil leaves quite often.

4. Trim the basils plant frequently(pruning).

5. Remove extra leaves: if some of the basil leaves are mature enough to be plucked out, do so to avoid the leaves falling off and wrinkling and give space for upcoming leaves.

6. Remove Infected plant parts: another way of sustaining your plant past the actual annum is by trimming off the parts of the basil that have been infected by diseases, pests, or other conditions.

After this action, you should treat the plants left, so the diseases left in the soil do not affect them.

Or preferably change the plant soil if you are using pots to grow the basil plants. If you aren’t, consider doing so with fresh organic soil.

7. Ensure the basil you planted is of a variety that can last up to or more than a year, even with the climate and other factors like soil around you.


In general, how long your basil plant or garden lasts depends on the amount of effort you put into the garden.

It is rare to see a lazy gardener having a flourishing basil garden. When basil plants are not well-taken care of, they tend to last about four months or before they die.

So if you want to drag that basil garden to its peak, you will have to put in a little more effort for the best results.


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