Basil leaves are a popular herb that is used in many dishes. It has a unique flavor and smell that can really enhance the taste of food. However, sometimes you may notice that your basil leaves start to curl up. This can be alarming, but don’t worry – we’ll tell you why it’s happening and how to fix it!
Why Are My Basil Leaves Curling?
Basil leaves can curl up from a lack of water, sudden temperature changes (such as from dry air), or having soil that’s the wrong pH level. Each of these problems is easy to fix, so your basil should be back to normal in no time!
I will now go further into depth about each of these reasons so that you can identify which one is causing your basil leaves to curl, and how to solve the problem.
Giving your basil too much water can cause the leaves to curl up. This is because the roots are getting too much water and they start to suffocate. If you think you’re overwatering your basil, try letting the soil dry out a bit before watering it again.
Only water when the topsoil is dry to the touch – you don’t want to water your basil every day. Be sure to check the soil before watering, as overwatering is one of the most common reasons for basil leaves to curl.
If you’re still having trouble, consider getting a soil moisture meter. This will help you to know exactly when your basil needs water, so you don’t have to worry about overwatering it.
The leaves of an overwatered basil plant will be limp and may turn yellow or brown. Curling leaves are a sign that the plant is starting to suffocate, so it’s important to take action if you see this happening.
You can also try using a pot with drainage holes to help excess water drain out. This will ensure that your plant doesn’t sit in water for too long, which can cause the roots to rot.
If your basil leaves are curling up and inward, it could be a sign that you’re not watering it enough. The leaves will start to curl in order to preserve moisture, so be sure to water your plant regularly.
Basil likes to grow in moist soil, so be sure to check the soil before watering. If the topsoil is dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink. A good rule of thumb is to water your basil plant with 1 inch of water every week. This will ensure that your plant has enough moisture to grow and thrive.
It’s important to not let your basil plant go too long without water, as this can stress the plant and cause the leaves to curl. If you’re unsure how often to water your basil, err on the side of caution and water it more rather than less.
3. Sudden Temperature Changes
Basil needs warmth to grow, so sudden temperature changes can cause the leaves to curl. If you live in a place with cold winters, it’s important to bring your basil plant indoors before the temperature drops too low.
You should also avoid placing your basil plant near drafts or vents, as this can cause the leaves to curl. Try to keep your plant in a consistent, warm environment to prevent the leaves from curling.
If you notice that your basil leaves are starting to curl, take a look at the temperature in the room. If it’s too cold, try moving your plant to a warmer location. You can also try using a grow light to give your plant the extra warmth it needs.
4. Soil with a High pH Level
Basil needs a neutral pH level to grow, so a soil with a high pH level can cause the leaves to curl. This is because the roots are not able to absorb nutrients from the soil properly.
If you think your basil’s leaves are curling because of the pH level of the soil, you can try testing it with a pH test kit. This will tell you the exact pH level of your soil, so you can adjust it accordingly.
Adding some organic matter to your soil can also help to lower the pH level. This includes things like compost, manure, or peat moss. Be sure to mix it well so that your basil plant can benefit from it.
You should also avoid using chemicals or fertilizers with a high pH level, as this can make the problem worse. Stick to organic methods of adjusting the pH level of your soil to prevent further damage to your plant.
Will Underwatering Cause Basil Leaves to Curl Up?
Yes, underwatering your basil plant can cause the leaves to curl up. This is because the plant is trying to preserve moisture, so it will start to curl in order to prevent water loss. By curling, the leaves are able to slow down evaporation and prevent the plant from drying out.
Its easy to forget to water your plants, especially if you’re busy. A good way to ensure that your basil plant is getting enough water is to get a soil moisture meter. This will help you to know exactly when your basil needs water, so you don’t have to worry about overwatering or underwatering it.
Should I Prune Curling Basil Leaves?
There is no need to prune curling basil leaves, as this is not a sign of disease or pests. Curling leaves are simply a sign that your plant is stressed, so you should try to figure out the cause and address it accordingly.
Pruning your basil plant can actually do more harm than good, as it will make the plant even more stressed. If you need to remove damaged or dead leaves, do so carefully and avoid pruning too much of the plant at once.
Basil leaves curl for a variety of reasons, but most of them can be easily fixed. By understanding the causes of leaf curling, you can take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. If your basil plant is already showing signs of curling leaves, try adjusting the pH level of the soil, changing your watering schedule, or using a grow light.
Underwatering and sudden temperature changes are also common causes of leaf curling, so be sure to water your plant regularly and keep it in a warm environment. By taking these steps, you can keep your basil plant healthy and prevent the leaves from curling.
I hope this article was helpful in understanding why basil leaves curl and how to prevent it. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks for reading!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.