Trim basil once the plant grows six leaves, and repeat this process regularly. Trim basil leaves for harvest once the plant begins to flower. You need pruning scissors.
- Allow the plant to grow
Allow a new plant to grow at least six leaves before trimming the plant.
- Prune the plant
Once the basil plant grows six to eight leaves, trim the plant down to just above the second set of leaves using the pruning scissors. This helps to encourage growth.
- Trim the stems
Every time a single basil branch grows six leaves, pinch back or cut the stem down to just above the second set of leaves. Regular trimming is necessary for a bountiful basil harvest.
- Cut back the branch tips
Cut away the tips of the branches once a week to stimulate new growth.
- Pinch away flowers
Pinch off flower buds to prolong basil leaf harvesting.
- Harvest the leaves
Harvest the remaining leaves of the plant once the plant begins to flower and the leaves let off a strong aroma. When picking the leaves, pull them off using your fingers.
- Prune the plant to the ground
Before the first fall frost, cut the plant down to the ground to prevent frost damage and blackened leaves.