Basil is a wonderfully versatile annual herb that is native to southern Asia and the islands of the South Pacific. Basil plants will grow quickly in the garden, getting leggy with oversized leaves. The more often you prune the basil plant, the bushier and leafier it becomes. Ensure a good amount of leaves during the season. If you don’t prune your basil, it will grow slim, tall and begin bolting. In the case of basil, I can name three very important reasons: Maintain the general health of the herb. If you love everything basil, then you no doubt have a basil plant growing somewhere in your home! And extend this harvest as long as possible. This is the key takeaway here. You also need to know when to cut your plant. Ideally, you should start to cut basil early in the season, when the plant is about 6 inches tall or has at least 6 leaves. As with other herbs, basil is easy to grow and with ideal conditions quite prolific. In fact, great greenhouses will prune their basil plants before they put them out for sale. Pruning every couple of weeks will keep the plant tidy, prevent flowering and encourage growth of new leaves. Even so, basil plants can have a number of issues; among these are basil plants with woody stems. Wait Until Your Basil Plant Is At Least 6 Inches Tall. Almost all the plants in your garden need to be pruned, but the reasons why they need it vary from one to another. The flowers appear in the middle of a bunch of leaves in a pyramid shape. Harvest the basil just before it flowers. Advertisement. The Basil Pruning Process. This is how to store fresh basil. For a successful trimming, you have to pay attention to all the pruning steps provided above for both the young, overgrown, and old basil. In this article, we'll show you exactly how to prune basil the right way so that your basil plant can produce aromatic leaves over and over again! Basil will flower after all the leaves on one stem are full-grown, but the herb loses some of its flavor after flowering occurs. Why prune basil? Knowing how to prune your basil plants can go a long way to making it produce enough leaves for you all through its season. When to Cut Basil. Problem is, your basil is just not producing as fast enough as you would like it to! Read on for details! To prune basil without damaging it, you need to cut in precisely the right spot. Plan to prep and dry basil once all the leaves have sprouted, but before you see flowers on the stems. We do not want this so we prune to keep it healthy, in control and flavorful. If you cut a plant shorter than 6 inches, you are probably going to shorten its life. How to Prune a Basil Bush. Prune basil by snipping the stems about 3 to 4″ down from the tops, just above a leaf node. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) generally reaches no more than 12 inches tall, but its nicely mounded shape allows you to enjoy it in both edible and ornamental garden beds. This is non-negotiable.