What's wrong with my basil?

Asked June 8, 2020, 10:32 AM EDT

My basil was happily thriving until a few days ago when we had those couple days of heavy rain. Two days after all the rain ended, they now look like this. The containers seemed to drain well after the rain, but maybe it's still overwatering? The containers have never been underwatered. I don't think it's insects because I haven't found anything except precisely one that might have been a whitefly. A nearby pepper plant did have aphids, but I haven't seen any on this plant. The aphids were caught early and limited to the peppers. My boyfriend treated the nearby pepper plant with neem oil during a time in the day that was too hot, but the pepper plant is basically fine. Could it be drift from the neem oil? Should I remove the damaged leaves or let them try to recover? Any other steps I can take? Thanks for your advice in advance!

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

Hi- when basil plants are young they are quite sensitive to cold or hot water hitting the leaves, abrupt changes in temperatures and sunlight levels, and other environmental factors. It's also possible, but unlikely, that spray drift could have caused some of this minor injury. The plants will grow out of the damage.

Yes, remove affected leaves that aren't usable in the kitchen. Pinch the tops to encourage branching and keep an eye on the soil moisture.