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Mel Mcbride

I've just bought two basil plants from Asda, to eat.

But now I'm wonder if I could force one to seed and harvest them for next year? Had a look around on google only finding how to harvest after they seed, and how to sow them, but nothing on how and why they seed, or if I can manipulate them to seed


A packet of basil seeds will cost you less than two plants from a supermarket, and, sown next spring will provide you with hundreds of plants 

Mel Mcbride

Yeah much cheaper Dove lol

Just wanted to do it for the fun of it.


You can also propagate it like mint.  Take a decent stem, strip of fthe lower leaves and put it in a glass of water.  Once decent roots from, pot into compost.   Do it regularly and you can perpetutae your plants through the year and keep yourself supplied from just one or two plants.

Mel Mcbride

Ah ok, thanks Obelixx. Do they just not flower in the UK?

I have grow lights, I could manipulate them very easily.


Mel..........they will flower and set seed here.  You can harvest and sow next Spring.  I think what most people are saying is that if you let it flower and seed, the leaf crop is  then not so good.  If growing for the leaves, best not let it flower


Mel Mcbride

Yeah I see. Thank you Philippa. I've done the same to a spinach plant and been warned no to eat the leaves at this point. Do you have any idea when they flower? There's no sign of bolting at all just now, maybe it will happen if I give it miracle-gro and lots of sunshine?

I found a post online about a women worried about her's bolting, it wasn't this year, but it was in July.. feeling hopeful!

Steve 309

If you want plants to bolt, sow/plant them too close together at the wroing time, don't feed, water erratically and forget to harvest.  Never fails for me!


sounds like what's happened to my spinach! Bolted already! At great speed! And I've seemingly followed your instructions to a tee Steve!

Mel, maybe I'm reading your posts wrong, but why do you want your plants to bolt. Most gardeners spend their time trying to prevent their plants bolting, or going to seed.

Hi everyone, i'm new to gardening & still learning so please excuse my ignorance, what does "bolting" mean?

Waz...........Basically means that your plant throws up a flower spike when you don't want it to..........applies to most leafy veg and is sure to happen if you follow Steve's advice  Something to avoid in your veg garden unless you are growing specifically to harvest seed.


Bolting means that a plant that is grown for its leaves, like a lettuce, puts up a flowering stalk.  It usually means that the plant is unusable.  

Of course, almost all plants will flower, but we've developed our vegetable varieties to delay this so that we can eat the leaves.  

However, if a plant is subjected to stress, e.g. lack of water, or if it's sown at the wrong time of the year, it will try to flower sooner than we want it to.

Hope that's clear - if not please say 


Your explanation is more detailed and elegant Dove

You just want to play dont you mel ???

Thanks for the info everyone, i have a basil plant in my greenhouse which i like to use just for fresh basil in my meals but it is budding & a flower has just started to develop today. I do just want it for the leaves so should i just trim the flower & the buds off?