Basil sunburn is a condition where the color of basil leaves turns dark brown or yellow and its texture becomes dry and crispy. It occurs when the amount of sunlight, air, and water that it gets is not balanced properly. Too much sunlight and not enough water makes the basil plant more susceptible to sunburn. It is also one of the most common problems of those who grow basil plants because it affects their harvest. When basil sunburn happens, its freshness and taste will be affected. In this post, I will tell you how you can prevent basil from getting sunburned.
How Does Basil Get Sunburn?
Basil gets sunburned because of the environmental conditions. There are three common conditions on how basil gets a sunburn.
The first condition is when it gets too much sunlight. The recommended length of sunlight exposure for the basil plants is 6 to 8 hours daily. Direct sunlight exposure is good in the morning and putting it in a shaded area is good in the afternoon.
The second condition is when it gets a little amount of water. The water that it gets must be balanced on its sunlight exposure to keep its right temperature.
The third condition is when its protective layer is not yet fully developed. Let the basil plant adjust to its new environment when you transfer it from the indoor area to the outdoor area. Expose it to sunlight slowly until it is ready to get full sunlight exposure.
8 Ways to Prevent your Basil from Getting Sunburn
Prevent Basil Sunburn by Finding the Ideal Spot
The ideal spot to grow your basil plant is in an area where it gets direct sunlight in the morning and good shade in the afternoon.
If it is planted in the pot, grow it in the indoor area before you transfer it to the outdoor area. Expose the basil plant to sunlight for one hour on its first day and two hours on its second day, until it is ready to get full sunlight exposure so that it will easily adjust to the temperature of its new environment.
If it is planted on the ground, it must be planted in an area where it gets good morning sunlight exposure. In the afternoon, the plant must be protected by shade to prevent basil sunburn.
Make Sure that it is Planted in Well-draining Soil
The soil where the basil is planted must be well-draining for better water absorption. When the plant absorbed the right amount of water, it will be able to maintain its temperature. The soil where it is planted must be moist, but not wet.
Mix Compost into the Soil
Mixing a natural compost contributes to the growth of the plant. Some of the advantages that the plant will get from compost are improved soil structure, receive essential nutrients, prevention of plant diseases, and increased water retention. It will help the basil plant to maintain a good temperature to prevent sunburn.
Manage its Sunlight Exposure
Managing the sunlight exposure that the basil plant gets is important. It must be exposed to sunlight for 6 to 8 hours daily. Morning sunlight is gentle so basil can be exposed to it directly.
On the other hand, afternoon sunlight is harsh and can cause your basil to get a sunburn because of its higher temperature, so it must be put in a shaded area. Using shade cloth to protect the plant from too much heat is helpful in sunburn prevention.
Water the Basil Plant Based on its Sunlight Exposure
Basil plant needs more water when the temperature is high to prevent sunburn. The condition of the soil must be checked to ensure that the plant absorbs water properly. Dry soil indicates that the plant doesn’t get enough amount of water.
The good rule of thumb in watering the basil plant is to keep its soil moist. Do not let the soil get too much water because the basil will get drowned. Water it according to sunlight exposure that it gets to maintain the right temperature.
Ensure your Basil is well-adjusted to the Temperature
The protective layer of the basil plant is sensitive in its first days so it must be exposed to sunlight gently. Start by exposing it to sunlight for one hour on its first day in the outdoor area. Add one hour of sunlight exposure every day until it is ready for full sunlight. It will help the plant adjust to the temperature of its new environment while it is developing its protective layer.
Do not Cover it with Containers
Containers must not be used to protect it from sunburn. When you cover it with containers, it will have poor air circulation. The shade that you will use to protect the plant must not affect the flow of the air. The plant needs good air circulation so that it will breathe properly.
Monitor the Condition of your Basil Plant Regularly
The best way to prevent basil sunburn is to monitor it regularly. The condition of the soil and its leaves must be checked regularly to stop sunburn. Regular monitoring will help in detecting the early signs of sunburn so preventive measures will be taken. In this way, the cause of basil sunburn will be addressed immediately.
How to Treat Basil from Sunburn?
Identifying the cause of basil sunburn is the best way to treat it effectively. Here are some of the treatments for basil sunburn.
Water it Sufficiently
This is the treatment if the sunburn is caused by a lack of water. Watering the plant deeply will keep it hydrated and maintain the moisture of the soil.
Protect it with Shade Cloth
This is the treatment if the sunburn is caused by too much sunlight exposure. Using a shade cloth to protect the basil plant from direct afternoon sunlight is one of the best ways to treat basil sunburn.
Keep the Soil Moist
This is the treatment if the sunburn is caused by poor soil conditions. It is important to keep the soil moist so that the basil plant will absorb the right amount of water that it needs.
Basil sunburn is the effect of too much sun exposure, lack of water, poor air circulation, and poor soil condition. The basil plant must get balance sunlight, water, and air to keep its temperature. It must also be planted in good soil conditions to make basil healthy and fresh. Proper care, regular monitoring, and immediate actions must be given to keep it healthy and prevent basil sunburn.
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.