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Too many basil seedlings

Hi there,

I recently sowed some basil seeds which have now germinated. Since I sowed quite a few (partly through pessimism and partly the exuberant help of a toddler) I now have lots of seedlings all densely packed together in a few pots.

When should I separate these out, and should I be thinning them now already (they are a centimetre high) to make sure some survive? Or just leave them to do their thing?



  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090

    I always have Basil in pots, i do the same as you have, a big sprinkle in each pot, don't prick them out too soon, they don't like much disturbance.

    if they are really too dense now, gently pull some out and discard, then when they have grown to about two inches, tip the whole pot out and without disturbing the roots,gently break the whole lot into two or four and replant in separate flower pots.  Have you seen it for sale in supermarkets, you'll see that's how they do it.

    They don't seem to do well if you take individual seedlings.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Shop bought basil in pots normally has loads of single little basil plants in it, they don't grow into a bush,  only a load of single plants growing together will. I would leave them bunche'd up without separating. You probably haven't got as much as you think. 

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Brilliant thanks for your replies! I had assumed the basil plants you see in shops were just one bushy plant but that now makes more sense. I will leave them for now and then separate them into smaller clumps when they're a bit bigger. Thank you!

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    No. I learnt the hard way lol

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