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Basil Turn Yellow – What can be the reason & What to do?

Basil Turn Yellow - What can be the reason & What to do?

It’s the leaves that give basil its exquisite herbal aroma. If the foliage suddenly turns yellow, the basil signals great discomfort along the way. We have compiled the possible causes and effective treatment methods for you.

Negligence in care will cause the leaves to turn yellow

The pivotal point for a vital basil plant with lush green leaves is balanced water and nutrient balance. If this is out of balance, basil reacts with yellow leaves. How to water and fertilize the herbal plant properly:

  • alternating damp soil neither dries out nor does the irrigation water accumulate here
  • the substrate surface should always be allowed to dry
  • if fertilized weekly from May to September, the heavy feeder is satisfied

Hobby gardeners are often unsure about the dosage of irrigation water. If yellow leaves appear, place the pot in 5 centimeters (2 inches) of water. Due to the capillary effect, the basil draws the required amount into the root ball. If the thumb test reveals a slightly damp soil surface, the watering process is complete. If you only administer organic fertilizer, an overdose is impossible in this regard.

Sunburn causes yellow leaves

As sun-loving as basil is due to its tropical origin, the plant can still suffer from sunburn. This damage occurs when basil transitions seamlessly from indoors to a sunny outdoor location. Yellow leaves develop, an indication that the plant tissue has been exposed to too much UV light.

If in doubt, bring the basil out of the sun and into the semi-shade for it to get used to sunny conditions for 5-8 days.


If basil from the store has yellow leaves and wilts, the only thing that can save the herbal plant is immediate repottingIn this case, the damage stems from an extremely stressful transport in a substrate that is much too lean, squeezed into a pot that is much too small.

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