How to Trim a Basil Plant (Aerogarden)

June 10, 2017

I recently got an aerogarden as a gift, the three pod one with cfl lights.

It comes with basil, dill, and parsley.

Being a novice gardener, I noticed the basil plant grew like a champ while the dill & parsley were super slow.

I kept raising the lights to make room for the tall basil, which meant dill & parsley became leggy and weak as they were lagging behind badly.

What to do? Is this a lost cause? Did I do something wrong? I had no idea.

Then it flashed in my mind that the two laggards needed more light, and since I can’t raise them higher, I needed to bring the light lower.

(I know what you experienced gardeners are thinking. This is like some wild ape just now learning how to use a stick as a tool to collect ants. Evolution happening right in front of your eyes!)

Is it ok to cut the basil plant a bit to lower the light? I googled it and not only is that a thing, but it’s recommended! Aka pruning.

I watched a bunch of videos & read articles but they were all unclear in their instructions. Where the heck am I supposed to cut again?

Well, I’ll tell ya.
You need to cut a stem, low enough and right above where there are already two other tiny leaves.

When you do that, the plant will send its hormones to those tiny leaves and each of them will now become stems of their own. Repeat as often as needed and you’ll soon have a bushy thriving plant.

If you cut the stem too high, leaving a long stump, then that won’t happen. Not the end of the world, just cut lower enough again.

Here are some visuals: