How to Kill a Basil Plant (in 10 easy steps)

8.19.2014


Step 1: Buy a basil plant

You obviously can't kill something unless you have it. The real key to fully embracing Step 1 is to get really excited about buying the basil plant. You should probably tell your friends and maybe even blog about it. Start collecting recipes that call for fresh basil.

Step 2: Keep the basil pot on the ledge outside your apartment.
You want your basil to get sunlight and shade, and the ledge is the perfect spot!

Step 3: Water the basil plant

During Step 3, you are creating the illusion of growth.  You are careful to give your basil just the right amount of water. Your basil is growing! Excitement abounds.

Unbeknownst to you, however, in an effort to be nice, your neighbor is secretly watering your basil when she waters her flowers, which are sitting on the ledge right next to your basil.

Step 4: Become confused when the basil plant starts turning yellow.
At this point you think maybe the basil isn't being watered enough, so you water it more. Google tells you this is a terrible idea and that basil leaves turn yellow when the plant is being watered too much.

Step 5: Freak out and completely stop watering your basil plant. Notice the leaves are continuing to turn yellow and are now starting to fall off. Mass confusion ensues.

Step 6: Become suspicious that your elderly neighbor might be secretly watering your basil plant.

Step 7: Stage a stakeout and catch elderly neighbor in the act.

Step 8: Instead of confronting her, passive aggressively move the pot inside where your neighbor can't get to it.

Step 9: Return to a routine watering system.
Step 9a: Get excited when your basil plant seems to be improving.

Step 10: Leave the country for a week. (To here, in case you missed it.)
Anonymous said...

Hahaha, I think I'm killing my basil too . . . I alternate between underwatering and (when it starts to dry out) overwatering. It won't be long now, I'm sure. R.I.P.

Jenn @ Optimization Actually said...

Haha! I mean, oh that's so sad. I was torn between laughing and feeling bad for the poor, withered little thing. Your poor neighbor! Here she is, thinking what a nice favor she's doing for you, and instead it's a huge inconvenience. Lol!

Unknown said...

I will send this to Arnaud, he will feel less alone with his basil-killer skills. :)
Sorry to hear about your plant. At least he had his 15 minutes of fame on your blog.

Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate said...

hahah this is great. I just planted a garden with some mint in it this year and Scott thought it was a weed and pulled it all out :( Since when does he pull weeds anyway?

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

Bwahaha, the poor thing. It was nice of her to think to do it, but ask first. My word.

Claudz said...

hahahahaha!!!
I did the same thing....except I planted it in a pretty pot outside and didn't go away.
maybe we're not meant to have basil, it just visits with us for a while

Brandi said...

You had me at the title. I can't keep anything alive in a pot, but once I put herbs in the ground and forgot about them, they did their own thing. And then I forgot to use them.

sarah.j said...

Hahahaha your poor little basil plant! I've always wanted to try to grow basil (it's just so darn delicious, but so very expensive!) but have held off because I think mine would go from alive to dead in about a week :(

Tracy said...

I do this every year except I'm the over watering culprit and then I decide not to water it and leave it in the Oklahoma sun. Bad move.

Tamara said...

You are a very talented individual. Not everyone can boast at their ability to kill a basil plant but you do it spectacularly.

Amy said...

HAHAHAHAH
yes.
can I be honest - I have killed many basil plants, you're not alone. I constantly think "YES FRESH BASIL" and within four days it is dead - HOW does that even happen?

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

haha, my dead basil is still in it's pot!!!! :( I'm pretty sure I followed all these steps perfectly!!

Ali said...

I am slowly killing my office jade plant. I secretly think the jade doesn't like me and is dying in pure protest. I water it often, then I don't because I think it's getting too much water, and then I just don't know what happens. It's even starting to physically grow away from me in relation to where I sit at my desk. Weird.

Robyn B said...

hahaha. this is so sad!

The Lady Okie said...

I mean, it's not every day you have a crazy neighbor who secretly waters your plants for you!

The Lady Okie said...

I KNOW. And it took me forever to figure out what was happening. I'm like I STOPPED WATERING IT AND IT'S STILL TURNING YELLOW.

Oh wait. My neighbor is watering it. Good grief.

The Lady Okie said...

Mine is still in the pot too! Oh my gosh that makes me feel so much better. I really need to dump that sad thing.

The Lady Okie said...

So, I'm totally picturing you sitting there and your plant just completely turning away from you! haha. That's so weird. The plants in my office are awesome. They are extremely self-sufficient. In fact, when I started work here I forgot to water them for the first THREE MONTHS, and they were totally fine. Now that's my kind of plant!

Susannah said...

Haha. I think I could have killed it in one step though... ;-)

Unknown said...

You're just too funny.

Sxxx

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

Oh my word! Your neighbor! That is too funny. Basil plants are delicate but I say try again! Once you figure it out they grow like a weed. (or so they say)

The Hungry Goat said...

bahahahahhahha this is seriously the best.

I've killed every plant I've ever owned, including a succulent. I KILLED A SUCCULENT.

Holly @ Spifftacular said...

Haha! This is going to be all the rage on Pinterest, and all of us will feel inadequate in our plant-killing skills. (Actually, I'm pretty competent at that myself...) :)

Caitlin said...

Haha, oh my gosh -- you know I love this post! I'm so sorry to hear about the end result of the basil. I swear if you give it another go, and keep it away from your water-happy neighbor, it will be amazing!

Rebecca Jo said...

RIP Basil

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I have a black thumb!! I could do this even without the easy (and hilarious) step by step instructions. It's one thing I don't need to pin!! I even killed a cactus before.

Food, Booze, & Baggage said...

LOL...thanks for the lesson, though I've already mastered this one and not only with basil, but with mint and thyme too ;) I'm on at least level 5 of mastering killing plants. I killed an aloe plant once but I think my roommates were helping with that one!

Unknown said...

Embrace step one fully! This is fantastic! I love how you put this together and captured all the stages of your dieing (is that really how your spell dieing?) plant. I take care of the roses out side of our apartment and every once in a while I'll go out to take care of them and I'll notice that someone has just lopped off some of the roses.

Maria said...

Bahaha. I love it and am impressed that you have pretty photos to go along with it.

Don't feel bad. It takes me only 2 steps to kill a plant, but it takes you 10. #youwin

Jenny Fish said...

We killed our basil plant, too. And we only left it for a weekend. I was really sad because we grew it from a little seed. :(

Jenna Griffin | Gold & Bloom said...

Bahaahaha, oh my gosh. I have so many of these creepy looking dead plants in my plant cemetery on the back patio, pushed into a corner. Eeks. So glad i'm not the only one who kills plants!

Allison said...

Haha. I'm terrible with plants, which is why although I want a garden badly I know that I just can't keep up. Oh well.

Rachel said...

bwahahahaa--I was totally not expecting the plot twist with the neighbor.

Amber Marie said...

It looks so sad! Many of my plants bit the dust…err soil, too when I left to visit my mom.

Anonymous said...

Bhhhahhaa!! Ahh, this is so sad.

I totally killed a basil plant and I can't blame my neighbor. It was all me. Forgetting to water the poor thing. And it wasn't just one plant. Oh no, I bought three. And forgot to water them all. Thus killing them all. Poor guys.

-Amy

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

Hahaha!! I cannot believe your neighbor was watering it! The last picture is the best. The end.

Jeneric Generation said...

Well, if I ever need to know how to kill a basil plant, I know where to go. The pictures of the plant's demise cracked me up. Your poor, poor basil plant. I have killed a couple of succulents, which are "impossible to kill" as some people say. I understand your pain. I hope you try again, at least! Take heart! At least now, you know EXACTLY what you (your neighbor) did wrong!

Niken said...

don't ever let me take care of any plants. ever.

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

right there with ya sister. luckily, children are more demanding than plants.

Sarah Marchant said...

This is hilarious! And the photos are a great touch. ;)

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