Speaking of basil…

Speaking of basil…

I've apparently done something atrocious to my Thai Basil. It's been producing very nicely all spring and summer, but I haven't really had the occasion to use any of it, so I've just been pinching off the purple blooms as they form and letting it go about its growing. One day last week I was so excited to finally harvest some of the basil and use it in a vegetable dish, but when I went back to the pot, the leaves were extremely shriveled and falling off the plant en masse. My first thought was lack of water/excess heat, so I checked the soil, but it was just moist. The plant is in a two foot wide, well-drained, glazed ceramic pot with another basil variety (cinnamon basil), and the other basil plant is doing just fine. It's sitting in a warm, sunny spot -- the same place it's been all season. I'm in Zone 7b, and though it's been quite hot this summer, that doesn't seem to explain why the plant would just suddenly keel over like it has. I'm extremely confused because the plant was essentially fine one day, then at the edge of death the next. It has continued to get worse, losing the leaves that were simply shriveled a day or two ago, and the stems are beginning to take on a woody, tough appearance. There are still a few green sprouts near the base of the plant, so my hopes of saving the plant aren't completely gone, though I honestly have no clue how to proceed. Any suggestions or steps I might take, whether to save this plant or prevent this from happening again in the future? Also, what is the best way to harvest basil if the intent is to keep the plant healthy and bushy throughout the season. I've heard some people say to just chop off the end of the stem that you wish to use, as picking leaves off will make the plant grow leggy and weak, but I've heard other people say that cutting entire stems off the plant will badly stunt and damage it. I've always picked the leaves off one by one, myself, but it does end up making my plants look horribly spare and leggy. Thanks in advance!
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Agent Orange Carrot Cake

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Plant ID

Plant ID

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I love Blue Salvia

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Problem storing jewelry?

My Bay window succulents.

My Bay window succulents.