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Flowering basil - Mare749 - 08-25-2007

Question for all you experienced gardeners....What do you do with the flowering tops? One of my varieties of basil has a purple flower and I keep picking them off. Does anyone use them? I want to make sure I'm not throwing away something good.


Re: Flowering basil - bjcotton - 08-25-2007

Can't help you there Sweetie! I did the same as you are doing hoping it would keep it from bolting.

Re: Flowering basil - labradors - 08-25-2007

The buds should probably be removed before they even get close to flowering. Otherwise, the basil can get somewhat bitter.

Re: Flowering basil - Roxanne 21 - 08-25-2007

I use the flowers as a decorative thang---nice and sweet as well as beautiful on the final plating----LOVE basil---gonna go next week for some new plantings for my "herb" garden--if they are available, that is!!!

Don't dump them---use as you would ordinarily in any basil addition---JMHO!!!

Re: Flowering basil - pjcooks - 08-25-2007

I've been pinching them off, but the Japanese Beatles got to them early in the season. The only thing that was effective was sitting there slapping them off. Roxanne, I never thought of using the buds. I have regular old sweet basil here, is that what you have? Have I been throwing away tons of good stuff??


Re: Flowering basil - Mare749 - 08-25-2007

That's what I'm wondering about too, PJ! I have two varieties, the kind that gets big leaves, then the other variety which I think is Thai, it has smaller leaves and a deep purple flower that looks like heather. Very pretty and very fragrant. I hate to just pinch them off if they should be used, but I always heard that you should pick your basil before it flowers.


Re: Flowering basil - Roxanne 21 - 08-26-2007

I plant regular old basil, too. The flowers are edible and I don't note any bitterness--they taste just like the leaves. They really are lovely on a beautiful green salad. I have not heard that one should use basil before the flowers appear--why would that be? Now I'm having a basil attack!!! I will look for Thai bail when I go to the nursery--there are some intersting plants there at times.

Re: Flowering basil - cjs - 08-26-2007

I pinch them off also, or at least make sure I cut that 'branch' and just use with the leaves. Great for garnishes also.

Also, for those who have chives, onions, and/or garlic planted, when the buds form, but before they open, cut them stem and all. They have a stronger flavor than the plant has and chopping them up and adding raw or sauteed to dishes is just great.

Ramps are supposed to be onions, but I call 'em all ramps.

Re: Flowering basil - DFen911 - 08-26-2007

What is the best time of season to start growing basil? I've decided to give it another go! Should I start with seeds or the small plants at the nursery?

Re: Flowering basil - pjcooks - 08-26-2007

Hey, Denise, I can't speak for So Cal, but here in the North East plants are the way to go. We have too short a season.