2015_Day 215: Should I let basil flower?

I’ve harvested a lot of basil leaves from the basil I planted in March and now it’s starting to flower. I first noticed it last week and I snipped off the tops where it was flowering, because I heard that’s what should be done. Why, I’m not sure. As fast as I cut it, the leaves — and flowers — grow back. Doesn’t seem like it’s hurting anything and it still tastes good.
  
The photo above shows flowers growing back on the basil less than a week after I pinched them off. Should I cut the basil back even further to avoid more flowers? Or just let them grow, all nice and pretty?

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3 thoughts on “2015_Day 215: Should I let basil flower?

  1. Shannon

    Basil gets bushier (and less leggy) when it’s frequently pinched. Just like other annuals, the root system and tops always strive to be in equilibrium. Let them flower when you are ready to collect seed. The flowers are also edible!

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  2. starmouse

    When plants flower they’re basically telling the rest of the plant “Okay, time’s up!”. The plant puts all its energy into making flowers and not very much into growing more leaves. So if you snip or pinch off the flowers then the plant goes back to spending energy on the leaves as well as flowering. If it is flowering too frequently, harvest more of the plant (yum!), then it’ll really go back to just leaf production. 🙂

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