Pruning Basil – When and How to Prune Basil Plant?

This article is all about Pruning Basil Plants. You can trim the plant many times once they’re large and growing at a good pace. Baby basil plant leaves are too soft and delicate for trimming.

Key takeaways:

  • Basil plants are known for their delicious leaves that are taken in dishes to make them full of flavor. The basil plants come in different types.
  • Pruning basil leaves need some kind of technique and care.
  • the basil plant attains a height of 6-7 inches long, then is ready to be pruned.
  • Make sure you er using sterilized scissors for pruning basil.

The herb is easy to grow yet who doesn’t want fresh healthy basil leaves? Basil leaves are full of aroma and essential oils. As you pick the leaves you notice essential oil oozing out and getting diffused in the whole space with fragrance.

How to prune basil to make it bushy? – Pruning Basil

Basil plants can be pruned as soon they reach a height of 6 to 7 inches. You can make the basil plants bushy by cutting them every week. They should be chopped off a little now and then to make them leafier. 

Many times you see that the basil plants on maturing show flowers, which is not good for the basil plant. Because the plant starts to lose energy towards the flowers and not the leaves. You are then required to remove the flowers from basil plants so that the energy is consumed by the leaves and the leaves stay healthy and the plant bushy.

Another thing to notice is that basil plants are growing too much straight. By this I mean that leaves are appearing more on top than on the lateral sides, you should pinch the leaves from the top so that the lateral leaves can be grown by the plants. The lateral growth sometimes is retarded due to the plant wholly spending energy growing vertically. You can also go pinching the basil plant every next day to make it full and bushy. 

You can trim the plant many times once they’re large and growing at a good pace. Baby basil plant leaves are too soft and delicate for trimming. Let them grow properly before pruning the basil plant.

For harvesting the basil, you need to cut about 6mm over the node that is 3-4 inches above the base of the plant. Basil grows rapidly so cutting the leaves doesn’t harm the plant as they will reappear within 15-20 days. 

Growing Basil

  • Basil has a pretty awesome growing speed and is not that tough to grow.
  • If you don’t know how to grow it, just start by sowing the seed inside the house and not outdoors.
  • As the seedling appears after a week, you can move the outside into the moist soil.
  • Make sure you do this after the last frost.
  • Basil doesn’t like cold weather that much and loves moist drained soil with good sunlight.
  • A good space is also beneficial for the basil plants in the garden. 

Basil seedlings

As we told you before, the basil seedling will grow from the soil in a week after sowing the seed. The seedlings should be maintained well as they get dry very quickly so keep the soil moist and do not wet the seedlings too much. Wet seedlings get fungal diseases quite quickly.

Other than this, basil plants will start producing too many leaves and they get to a height of 20-23 inches in growing time. After that, you can go for cutting them after 8 weeks. Pruning the basil will boost them to make more leaves. 

When you should trim the basil?

You know clearly that there is the right time for anything to do. Similarly, if you want to prune basil you should wait and do that at the proper time and event. Pruning the small basil plants would not be beneficial at all.

Let the plant gets to a height of about 5-6 inches so that the plant gets a little strong and the stem gets wide and straight. To keep the basil plant healthy, prune them every one to two weeks or you can regularly pinch the tips of the basil plant to make it bushier. 

What to use to prune basil?

Before letting you know what tools to prune the basil with, it is important that your tools should be clean and disinfected. The basil leaves that will be cut go to your kitchen, into your food, and then into your mouth. The tools should be cleaned before and after pruning basil.

You can use sharp pruning or some regular pointed sharp scissors to trim down the basil plant. You can simply use your cleaned hands sometimes to remove flowers, and old leaves or pinch the tips. 

Final thoughts on the context

Follow the steps and instructions above in the article properly and you will see drastic changes in your basil plant from getting bushy to healthy growth. The flowers when come out in your basil plants you should remove them to save the plant’s energy. Pruning every week or two times a week will help basil plants. We hope you like all the related information in this article. We are happy to help! 

If you want to get more information, you can check out this video.


1. How do I trim my basil plant without killing it?

A leaf pair on the stem in midway of the plant height is the perfect spot to trim the basil plant. You can use sharp tools like scissors or pruning shears for a clean cut. 

2. Should you pinch off basil leaves?

Pinching off the basil leaves is good, as this activity boosts plant growth and makes the basil plant grow more leaves and get bushy. The flowers also should be pinched or removed from the plant as they start flowering, to avoid energy wastage of the plant towards flowering rather than foliage growth and production. 

3. How tall should you let basil grow?

The basil is required to reach at least 12 to 24 inches in length before they are trimmed or pruned. The small plants have tender leaves and are not meant for any trimming. 

4. How do you keep basil growing in the summer?

The basil plants grow well in sunny spots. The summer heat can be really strong for the basil plants, so make sure that the afternoon sun doesn’t dry the basil completely. Basil plants need full sun to partial shade. The trimming of basil plants in summer will also protect them from death and continue the growth phase. 

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including: Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at, where gardening dreams bloom!

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