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After 5 years of successfully doing my own basil on the deck I have encountered an issue. My leaves are brown and dying at a high rate of speed. Some of the stems are brown but not dead and I found this bugger in there last night (and a few family members). Anyone have thoughts? I have not turned to the interweb other than this post yet.
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Thanks! Seems to be a simple caterpillar, soon to be a butterfly.
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Gopher ate all my basil yesterday. I can't wait for this growing season to end.
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Just grind it into your pesto. Will certainly add some tang.
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Very Possible.. I get them on my Lovage and Parsley plant, but mine just eats the leaves.. not causing much damage to the stems.
Last edited by Paul Bacino on July 23rd 2012, 1:07pm, edited 1 time in total.
Usually it's Japanese Beetles or slugs.
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I doubt it's the catepillar, they generally just eat the leaves but are not responsible for browning of leaves or stems. That is generally something feeding on the fluids of the plant. Where I am its leaf hoppers but they have come and gone as far as their attacks on my basil this year. With leaf hoppers, the plants first look like they need water even if they have plenty. The stalks turn brown and woody and then eventually the whole plant turns brown and dies. I now plant 2X the number of plants I need since I get about a 50% survival rate.
It depends on what the other symptoms are but it could be either insect, soil borne virus or even over watering but I doubt that its the latter. Do you water from above? What time of the day? Basil leaves will brown and scorch if watered in the heat of the day from above. If it's a disease then I'd get rid of the soil, sterilize and start from scratch. I plant basil once a month during the season to keep a fresh supply of pre flowering basil leaves.
Without seeing photos it's hard to say what the possible issue is.
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Thanks for the info. I thinks its the watering issue. we have had 4 heat waves and watering might not have been at optimal times of day.
When is the best? Watering from above bad instead of just watering the soil? great stuff here. Thanks
I always water from the bottom.. at PM dusk is best for maximum water absorption in the leaves..
Last edited by Paul Bacino on July 24th 2012, 10:40am, edited 1 time in total.
Maybe you have phylloxera?
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Mike, the picture is of the black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) caterpillar, common on parsley, dill, fennel, and sometimes basil. I doubt that it is the culprit since it only chews leaves. I grow basil each summer, quite well, in very large pots on my deck. This year they have been plagued with a brownish dust-like covering that appears on the undersides of the older leaves first, but soon results in the demise of the entire plant. It appears to be a fungus, but I have not looked at it under the microscope yet. It has been very frustrating watching my mature, ready for pesto, plants fade away. I have been afraid to eat it, fearing some wheat-rust like LSD-25 effects from my pesto. All of the new plants I have put in have been rapidly infected and not even grown much. I have not had this problem in previous years and our summer weather has not been significantly different. It has not infected any other of my herbs. I shall check it out further and post if I find out anything. Does this sound like the affliction on your basil? Anybody else experience anything like this?
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Nope!! I have both Pot Basil and garden( all looks good now )..
Thanks for the explanation, Bruce. It does sound like my issue. Leaves are brownish, older go first. I have pruned the dead/brown leaves, but it does not seem to fix as it returns quickly. I may dump and try once more.
It's "Basil Downy Mildew". We just lost the rest of our basil to it. It's fairly new, hard to control, not poisonous to humans, but not a good thing to eat. Google it.
Thanks. Looks about right.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1