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by Yara
(South Florida)


My Basil plant has these weird textured looking projections on its stems. The leaves are still fine though it seems like it’s only attracted to the stems.

I live in South Florida so I wonder if the weather has to do with it. I also water my basil once a day. Any suggestions on what this is and how can I treat it?

Comments for My basil plant isn’t happy

Oct 17, 2020
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

What’s happening here is not an infestation or anything like that. These are called aerial roots, and they emerge from the stem because that’s where the plant has ‘adventitious’ roots, meaning they emerge only when it needs them.

However, what is most likely happening is that because you’re watering it too much, the main root system is water logged, possibly rotting, so the plant is putting out the roots on the stem to make up the shortfall.

I suggest you reduce watering it to twice a week, or even less. This time of year, you’ve probably noticed that there is less day length, even in Florida. Another aspect of this is that the air is most likely very humid, so the plant is trying to get nutrients out of the air.

You could do an experiment; cut off the stem, and put it in some drier soil, and let it root. Try doing the same thing in a jar of water, and compare how they do.