To prevent blooming from reoccurring immediately, move down the stem a few sets of leaves before cutting. Basil is prized by cooks all over the world, and there are many varieties to choose from. The more often you prune the basil plant, the bushier and leafier it becomes. Now that you know the wrong way to prune basil, let’s go over the correct way to pick off basil leaves. Growing basil is not demanding and can improve the taste of almost any dish. Hi AGners! Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Continue to trim at each node until you have as much basil as you need. Also, how to store it.". This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. You want to wait until the herb is about 6 inches tall before trimming the leaves. Pruning them off significantly hurts the plant. Always use scissors or gardening shears to cut the stem. Shape the basil plant In order to prune a basil plant, you need to shape it. This is the key takeaway here. See more ideas about Pruning basil, Prune, Basil. As long as you prune it every once in a while, your basil plant will grow nice and big and produce plenty of leaves throughout the growing season! Meredith Skyer is a writer, artist, and homesteader residing in Western New York with her husband and menagerie of farm critters. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. How to Prune Basil and When The first pruning is the most important for creating a bushy, multi-branched plant. Pruning works because it forces the plant to produce more stems and leaves, instead of flowers and seeds. Identify the spot on the branch where you can clearly see new tiny leaves forming. Those two new branches will create new sets of leaves, and when you prune them again, they’ll create two new branches again. We’d try time and time again to grow basil, excited to add it to our soups, salads, and Italian dishes, only to have it fail over and over again. Step 1: Look for Two Large Leaves Start by looking for a set of 2 large basil leaves. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. However, basil is an annual, which means at some point it will start to bloom, set seed and die not long afterwards. I've started my AG 3 weeks ago and I've already cut some leaves off from Basil (both Genovese and Thai) and leaved only one plant per pod and trimmed the roots back to the end of the pod. Cut the branch just above those tiny leaves, making sure not to disturb the leaves themselves. Basil. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.