Basil Plant Wilting After Repotting: Put Some Pep Back Into Your Plants

A picture of welting basil leaves in a pot.

Basil is wonderful and smells amazing when you plant it fresh, but it can outgrow its container. What should you do if your basil plant is wilting after repotting? Did you kill the basil? Is there any way to save it? Stop worrying. Basil is a bit touchy, but it should be alright.

Some plants are so hardy they don’t think twice about picking up their roots and heading to a new location. Unfortunately, basil is not one of those plants. In fact, basil will wilt if it gets a little dry. Luckily, I’ve been growing this moody plant for years. I will walk you through everything you need to know about droopy basil and share some repotting tips as well. Soon your basil will be as vibrant as ever.


How To Safely Repot Basil

Since basil is so sensitive, it can easily wilt when you repot it. While this isn’t a significant concern, there are some ways to help minimize the shock your plants go through. Follow the directions on the list below for happily repotted basil.

If you purchased basil from a store or nursery, it is important to repot as soon as possible. The beautiful, full plants in their small plastic containers have usually reached the maximum size for that container. While this looks great, it’s not healthy for the plant. Thus, repotting right away helps prevent root binding.

Steps To Repot Basil Safely

  1. Always wash your hands or wear clean gardening gloves to repot plants. Residue and oil on your fingers can damage plant roots. This is especially true for smokers.
  2. Choose high-quality potting soil. Alternately, you can grow basil hydroponically.
  3. Don’t of too big. While you need a larger pot, there’s no reason to place tiny store-bought basil in a huge container. Doing this will offer a larger surface area for evaporation, and your plant will dry out more quickly.
  4. Fill your pot with a couple of inches of soil. It should be enough that when you set the smaller pot inside, your basil rests at the level where you want it to be when you have repotted.
  5. Water the basil before you remove it from the pot. Doing this creates soil cohesion, so it all comes out in a solid piece.
  6. Turn the old pot upside down with your hand on the top of the soil and fingers on either side of the plant’s stems. A gentle wiggle should free the soil and plant.
  7. If roots are sticking out, holes in the bottom of the pot move slowly, so these don’t tear off as you un-pot the plant.
  8. Set the basil and soil in the new pot.
  9. Gently backfill soil around the basil, so it fills up the container. Please do not bury any leaves. It would be best if the new soil only comes up to the level of the soil from the previous container.
  10. Give your basil some water and set it in indirect but bright light.

Don’t be surprised if your basil gets a little bit wilted after a major move like this. It should perk back up and be healthy-looking again in a day or two. Please wait at least a week before feeding your repotted basil plants since they have already been through a harrowing experience.

Pro Tips For Basil Potting

Your basil may love moisture, but it still needs pots with outstanding drainage. Never place basil in a pot that lacks drainage holes. Too much water in the pot can cause mildew, fungus, and root rot.

Fill the bottom of the new basil pots with multipurpose compost and rocks. A thin layer of small rocks under the soil helps move water out of the pot. On top of that, a layer of compost below the first layer of potting soil will provide slow-release nutrients for your plants.

Use room temperature water on repotted basil. The roots don’t need an extra shock from cold water, and you should never use hot water on plants. After all, you don’t want to burn them, and heated water evaporates quickly.

Finally, look at your basil stems. Especially when you get store-bought basil, you will often get several plants in a small container because it looks lush. You can carefully rinse and separate these plants and put them in individual pots for more fresh basil.


Why Are My Basil Cuttings Wilting

Your basil cuttings are wilting before you can repot them because they are adjusting to the new environment. Growing roots is taxing enough on its own, but a new home brings more stress to your plants. They will rebound quickly as long as you treat them right.

Sprouting new roots in water is a simple process. However, there are a couple of tips to keep in mind to help prevent wilted and shocked basil. First, use room temperature water. Second, always keep the water full, and finally, remember to change the water every two days to avoid mold and other issues.

Alternately, you can grow our clones and cuttings in a hydroponic tank. This is one of the fastest ways to propagate basil. More importantly, you won’t need to change the water every couple of days or make room for multiple containers.

A Simple Deluxe 400 GPH Submersible Pump from Amazon will help you keep hydroponic basil and other plants healthy. Since the pre-filter is included, your pump is less likely to get jammed up with debris. Moreover, the suction cup on the bottom makes this pump easy to place. Best of all, the fifteen-foot UL listed cord is waterproof for your safety. Read the excellent reviews for yourself by clicking here.


How Do You Revive A Wilting Basil Plant

Even if your basil is wilting after repotting, you can revive it. Luckily, the wilt doesn’t have to be the result of repotting to save your basil. I will walk you through everything you need to do to save that herb plant.

First, water your basil. This is one plant that loathes being dry. If you notice the soil is dry on top, stick the tip of your finger into the soil. When it’s dry, then it is time to water. Regardless of your watering schedule, it is crucial to keep basil moist.

Next, get a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears. Any leaves that are brown or dying can go. It is fine to save these and dry them out for your spice collection. I recommend getting a good dehydrator for rapid and even drying.

Take your basil out of direct sunlight. Your plant will recuperate well in bright indirect light. It should start to perk up within a day or two.

Basil plants will keep growing over time. At about eight inches high, you should cut the whole plant back. It is best to cut it down to roughly half the size so your basil can leaf out instead of growing up and shading its own leaves.

Growing basil hydroponically will help with many of the watering issues that otherwise occur, but you’ll need a good pump to keep the water moving. I recommend the FreeSea 160-1100 GPH Submersible Water Pump from Amazon. The smart control inside this pump will cut the power if too much water evaporates and prevent engine burnout. Plus, this submersible model has suction cups for easy use. Get yours delivered fast when you click here.

Overwatered Basil Quick Solutions

Naturally, if you have overwatered your basil, the first thing to do is stop watering until it dries out. Furthermore, cut back on the frequency of your watering to prevent a recurrence. Plus, you can help the soil to dry.

A weeding tool, a small dowel, or even a pencil will help you aerate the soil. Poke a few holes, about six to eight, in the soil around the plant. Doing this will help the water escape and let more air into the roots.


How To Transfer Hydroponic Basil To Soil

Starting your basil cuttings in water is a great way to get more plants started quickly. Although you may see a little bit of wilting from your basil when you repot, it will perk up soon. This is normal basil behavior when you move it.

To transfer the basil, first, collect your pots and soil. You can also use soilless peat if you plan to transplant it later into a garden bed. It is best to wear gloves or wash your hands before handling plants.

Fill your pot very loosely with soil. Next, make a hole deep enough for the roots of your basil to reach the bottom. Then you can place the hydro-clones or cuttings into the pot.

An optional step is to sprinkle the hole and roots with mycorrhizal, which is a beneficial fungus. Gently place into the hole to cover the roots. Finally, water your basil and set it in an area with lots of bright but indirect light.

Starting your basil in a hydroponic environment will help avoid wilting, and the Incly 7W Aquarium Air Pump from Amazon will help your plants get plenty of oxygen. The four outlets give you better control over this versatile pump. Most importantly, the Incly is quiet. Learn more when you click here


Final Thoughts

When your basil wilts after repotting, it can be alarming, but there’s nothing to be concerned about. Basil is a little touchy, but it will bounce back after some time. Water it and check-in for the next couple of days.

It is important to choose high-quality mediums for basil. Good potting soil is one option. However, you can also grow basil hydroponically since it will be entirely happy with always-wet roots.

Place your wilting basil plant in indirect light and give it some time to recuperate. Ensure that you water every time the soil gets dry, and your basil will be just fine.

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