How to Harvest Basil for Longer Life

The most sure fired way to keep a basil plant producing fresh herbs for a longer period of time, while providing proper sun and water of course, is to properly harvest the basil leaves from the plant.

A basil plant will greatly benefit from proper harvesting, or pruning. Follow a few simple rules for harvesting basil, as outlined below, and an indoor basil plant could survive for years.

harvest basil

How to Harvest Basil

Be sure to also snip the stems when picking basil leaves.

Don’t let the plant get too tall.
To accomplish this, you should always pick basil leaves from the top of the plant.

Quickly snip any flowers or buds just as soon as you see them.
Flowers and buds will keep the basil plant from producing new leaves.

Harvest basil often.
Basil grows fast. If it’s growing too fast for your use, harvest it anyways! You can chop the extra leaves and place them into ice cube trays covered with some light olive oil and then freeze them, transferring to sealed bags once frozen. You can also dry the basil leaves and once completely dry place them into airtight containers.

harvest basil

How to Properly Pick Basil

Additional Information

To check the shelf life of basil, see our basil page.

To keep fresh herbs beautiful and available, see our post on storing fresh herbs.

To harvest and make use of a large rosemary plant, see our post on rosemary skewers.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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