Basil is blooming: still harvesting now? Should you cut off the flowers?

Basil has found a permanent place in the home kitchen and is offered in many supermarkets. Tomato mozzarella is not the only, but probably the most well-known dish that is prepared with this herb. Shortly after you buy it, it can happen that the basil flowers. Then the question arises whether it is still edible.

Which parts of the plant are edible?

All parts of the basil bush are non-toxic and edible. Its taste changes over time, but not only for the better. The fresh young leaves have a very aromatic taste, which varies slightly depending on the variety.

What happens when basil blooms?

When the basil starts to flower, it stops growing and puts all its energy into seed formation. Flowering basil herb is a feast for the eyes and insects, but promises no further harvest for your kitchen. New leaves will no longer sprout and the bush will begin to die off as the seeds ripen. You can harvest the ripe seeds, dry them and sow them under glass in spring.

  • as the delicate flowers appear, its leaves become slightly pungent and/or bitter
  • No longer suitable for raw consumption
  • when cooking, bitter substances are broken down continue to use for hot dishes

Although the flowers of the basil are basically edible, they are not exactly considered a delicacy. The taste is roughly grass-like to slightly bitter. The dainty, bell-shaped flower is usually white, sometimes pink or purple. It is ideal as a decoration on the buffet or as a garnish on the salad. So it’s a shame to throw them away.

Read More  Planting time for tomatoes: when is the time to plant out?

Should I just cut off the flowers?

Once you’ve noticed that your basil is blooming, there are a number of ways you can respond. If only a few buds are visible, you can cut them off and continue using the leaves as usual. Your basil will sprout again and you can harvest for a long time. If, on the other hand, the herb is already in full bloom, then the taste has usually changed too much for another harvest. But you can cut it off and make another sauce out of it.

How can I use basil flowers in the kitchen?

You can not only use the basil blossoms as an eye-catcher on your plate, but also for a homemade blossom vinegar. The flowers can also be used in wild herb salads or as a spice. The tart taste is the icing on the cake, so to speak, and provides a little more excitement in the salad bowl. You can easily make basil blossom vinegar yourself. However, you need quite a lot of flowers for this. It is therefore advisable to grow several basil bushes.

How to make basil flower vinegar:

  • Put freshly harvested flowers in a container together with some leaves
  • Crush peppercorns to taste and add to taste
  • pour over a mild vinegar (e.g. white wine vinegar)
  • Leave the batch to infuse for three to four weeks
  • strain
  • pour into a dark bottle

When is basil harvest time?

Basil is one of the few herbs that cannot be grown outdoors in this country, or only to a very limited extent. If the ambient temperatures drop below about 12°C to 15°C, many varieties of this herb can already be damaged. We therefore recommend cultivation in a very warm and wind-protected location, in a greenhouse or on the windowsill. Here you can harvest basil leaves all year round.

Read More  When can you harvest olives? | Time of harvest from the olive tree

Does it make sense to prevent flowering?

If you would like to harvest the really tasty leaves over a longer period of time, then you should actually prevent the basil from flowering. This is easy to do with the right harvesting method. Instead of always harvesting the large leaves at the bottom of the bush, pick the still quite fresh shoot tips of your basil regularly. To do this, carefully pinch off the respective stem just above a pair of leaves. At this point, two new shoots will form, each above a leaf.

Let the side shoots grow a little before you harvest them as described. Over time, your basil will branch out more and more. Provided it is well supplied with nutrients, you can harvest fresh tops and leaves for several months without your basil bush ever flowering.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.