See these pretty purple flowers on the basil plants? Yeah, they need to go. The hot, humid weather is sending my basil plants into overdrive, and they're sending up stalks of purple flowers every day. They are pretty flowers, but they are also a sign that the plant is shutting down and going into reproduction mode (instead of growth mode, shooting out more basil leaves for my pesto cravings).
Some basil plants flower quicker than others, and there's great variety in the way the flowers look. I have another variety that sends up delicate white flowers. I pinch them off at their base and put them in tiny bud vases in the kitchen, where they both look and smell beautiful.
Pinching off these flowers helps keep the plant growing. In fact, while pinching off the flower buds will help, it's even better to whack off half the plant and make pesto. Give it a week or two and you'll find an even more robust basil plant grown back.
Are you growing basil this summer? Got any other good growing tips?
Related: Tip: Freezing Summer Basil
(Images: Faith Durand)