Basil Leaf discoloration

Asked July 26, 2017, 4:04 PM EDT

Our basil has small yellow/white speckles in the leaves. The plants look very healthy and strong. The tops of the leaves show the color issue but the bottoms of the leaves are clean- no black spots or white fuzzy stuff. There is no browning or leaf curling. What could cause this? Is it safe to eat? Note - we blanch the leaves for 40 seconds when making pesto.

Wayne County Michigan

4 Responses


My first guess is leafhopper injury, otherwise that is a healthy looking basil plant. I wouldn't be afraid to eat that.


thank you for the reply. i have 14 large basil plants and all of them had the speckles - but I've never seen a leaf hopper among them. when are hoppers active - morning or evening? i can't rule them out but i will be on the lookout for them. also. in the meantime i applied an organic fertilizer with iron and they seem to be improving..


Leafhoppers are active during the day. Are you seeing the spot on the new growth?


There are no spots on the new growth and the old growth seems to be clear also. i haven't seen any insects including leaf hoppers on the plants - in the early morning or afternoon or evening. like i said in a previous reply - i applied an organic fertilizer with iron and other minerals about a week ago and there are very few speckles now - it seems to have cleared up. thank you.