Originated in India, basil is an annual herb closely associated with Italian cuisine. This herb is grown for its fragrant and tasty leaves, and is consumed in both raw and cooked forms. Most people dwelling in tropical climates are seen cultivating basil in their vegetable gardens or small indoor pots. It's a herb that grows all year round. Besides being a culinary herb, basil is also touted for its medicinal benefits. It's also a wonderful insect repellent. However, what about those insects and pests that invade the basil plant itself?
Basil is an insect repellent herb and is used to repel various insects. However, when the life of its own plant is in danger, it requires the help of insecticides. Rather than rushing to the nearest chemist and purchasing some chemical pesticides, it is better to opt for less harsh solutions for the problem. Chemical pesticides comprise various toxic chemicals, which may directly or indirectly affect the life of living things.
The greatest basil pest known are aphids; plant lice which are mostly seen attacking indoor plants. These plant sap sucking insects are one of the most destructive plant pests, as they cause a lot of damage to the phloem cells of the plant cells, which are responsible for the transport of food materials throughout the plant. This debilitates the plant and eventually conduces to its destruction.
Garlic spray is an effective natural insecticide that can be used for aphids control. To prepare this spray, blend one whole peeled garlic bulb along with two cups of water. Once the garlic has been finely pureed, dollop it out into a stored container and let it stand for a day. The next day, strain out the garlic pulp and separate the liquid. Add one gallon water to this garlic liquid and fill it into a sprayer. Spray this garlic water onto the leaves and stem of the basil plant. Do this regularly everyday for about a week. This will help repel aphids.
Aphids cannot stand bananas. One should take some banana peels and spread them around the basil plant. Aphids will not come near your precious plants. Moreover, banana peels decompose and combine with the soil, and their potassium and phosphorous content enriches the soil. This remedy is for outdoor basil plants, because cleaning up banana peels becomes bothersome for indoor basil plants.
White Mineral Oil and Dish Soap
In one cup of white mineral oil, add 2 tbsp. dish soap and 2 cups of water. Put this solution into a sprayer and spray it onto the basil plant. Do this every few days, until you find the aphid numbers receding.
If your basil is planted in your vegetable garden, then you could plant marigold plants in your garden as an aphid control measure. Marigold plants attract insects which eat aphids, and will help control the aphid population. You could also plant onion, garlic or chives in your garden to deter aphids.
Then there are slugs and beetles that attack outdoor basil plants. Depending on the kind of insect invading your plant, the kind of natural insecticide will vary. To prevent insect manifestations, it is important to keep your plants well watered and fertilized. Proper care will help reduce complications.