How To Prune Basil

Basil is one of my favorite plants to grow: it’s delicious, and it’s easy to care for! 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! Today’s video will teach you everything you need to know about when and how to prune your basil!

If you want to learn more about how to prune herbs, check out this post!

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If you liked this tutorial, check out these other posts about basil!


Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says

    9 years ago

    Hi! I like your gardening tutorial! How do you keep critters out of your garden? I notice you don’t have a fence. I have basically given up on growing veggies, etc., because the groundhogs get into the garden!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      I don’t really do anything about it, just sorta hope and pray! We don’t have groundhogs, but we do have squirrels and last year they ate a lot of my cherry tomatoes, which was a huge bummer. This year we have a puppy who runs around in the yard and I’m sorta hoping she’ll keep the critters away! Another really great idea I’ve seen people do is bury plastic forks every six to twelve inches with the fork side up and the handle mostly in the ground. That helps keeps critters away because they can’t walk on the dirt without stepping on the forks. If we’re still having issues with squirrels this year that’s going to be the first thing I try!

  2. Veronica Aldana says

    9 years ago


    Lovely tutorial. Thank you very much for the information and now I know exactly why my basil didn’t last in 2014! Do you have tutorials on tomatoes?

  3. Helen Laurini says

    9 years ago

    Thank you for sharing. I love basil and have never been able to grow it. I am sure now I will.
    Thanks again.

  4. Laura says

    10 years ago

    Great tutorial – thanks! I did want to mention that I like to let a few plants go to flower/seed because the honey bees seem to love it along with several small species of butterflies.

  5. LindaMcMorrow says

    10 years ago

    Does basil transplant into pots to bring in for the winter easily?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      10 years ago

      Not really Linda. Basil is an annual, which means it goes through its whole growing cycle from seed to producing flowers all in one growing season. By the time winter comes around your basil plant will probably be dead, which is totally normal! Basil is just one of those plants that you have to replant each year!

  6. jenny says

    10 years ago

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this extremely helpful video. I just found it on Pinterest. I’ve had trouble with my basil, and other herbs, in getting them to grow healthy and strong. I think I now know what will help.


  7. Ace says

    10 years ago

    Great little tutorial! Thanks, it will be great for my little basil I am growing

  8. Josie says

    10 years ago

    I don’t know much about gardening and my question is: Does the pruning that you did for the basil work on other plants?

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      10 years ago

      Yep, absolutely Josie! You can prune most herbs the same way you prune basil! If you look at your plant and you see a main stem, with a pair of leaves, and two smaller stems coming out above the pair of leaves (like the basil has in the video), then you can prune that plant exactly the same way! In general, most herbs grow this way but it’s more obvious in some plants than others. For example, Rosemary grows lots of skinny leaves rather than one or two big ones in pairs. But the pruning idea is still the same; if you clip a rosemary stem near the base of the plant, the stem you clipped will stop growing and two new stems will sprout out the sides. It won’t be quite as obvious as it is with the basil, but it does work!

  9. colette says

    10 years ago

    Ah, I wish I had seen this early in the summer! My basil plant currently consists of 4 long skinny stems with flowers on the tops of all of them. I think I knew that the flowers were a bad sign, but I was always afraid of cutting too much off of the plant (I’m a newbie gardener). Well, now I have next year to look forward to. Thanks for the tips… your plants look amazing!

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