Why Your Basil Plants Have White Spots & How to Fix It

How do you get rid of white spots on basil plants? Color change in plants can be an indicator that something is wrong with the health of your plants. In the case where basil plants start having white spots, it can be a result of some underlying problems hence you have to fix it before it affects the growth and health of your basil herb.

Basil does have different varieties, but it’s not these varieties that encourage diseases rather it can be caused by pests or improper cultural practices.

Color change in plants can mean quite a lot of things, so you mustn’t ignore this. However, basil is on the list of the easiest herbs to grow and care for. If you love gardening then it is understandable to find yourself tending to basil however if you find it with frequent diseases, they are questions you need to answer to diagnose its problem.

Are you growing your basil plant in full sun? Is it being watered and fertilized properly? Did you plant basil in rich organic well-draining soil? is there good spacing and circulation for basil? You need to ensure all these questions can be answered in the affirmative.

Basil is the most loved culinary herb in the world, and it can fill your home and dish with its wonderful scent every time you want if you have it planted at home. White spot is a common issue for basil herb but not to worry, your herb should be able to go through the season with little to know diseases if you know how to counter the white spot issue.

Why Your Basil Plants Have White Spots

Why Your Basil Plants Have White Spots & How to Fix It
Source: Gardening Forums

What causes white spots on basil? There are two common reasons basil can develop white spots, and they include insect infestation or fungal infections. There are lots of fungal diseases that can cause the basil to develop white spots and these can be powdery mildew, downy mildew, or bacteria leaf spots.

You need to consider your growing condition to help figure out why your basil plants have white spots.

Basil plants are really sensitive to external environmental conditions, so you have to make sure they are growing in an ideal and suitable condition.

The first step to fixing white spots on basil is to identify them. If you notice your basil plant has started developing white spots then it means it’s alerting you to some sort of condition, below are some common reasons why basil plants develop white spots.

1. Extreme Heat

Basil plants have been known not to react nicely to extreme heat conditions. If they are exposed consistently to extreme heat temperatures, they are likely to develop white spots. They do tolerate full sun but in situations where it is really hot direct sunlight or the temperature is high then it’s best to place them in partial shade.

2. Fungal Infections

Just as mentioned above earlier, fungal infections might be another reason why your basil plants have developed white spots. Some fungal diseases that your basil plants are prone to are bacteria leaf spot, downy mildew, powdery mildew, fusarium wilt, and nutrient deficiencies.

These fungal conditions can eventually lead to a complete change of colors in your basil plants.

Powdery dew is the most common cause of white spots on basil plants, it can go ahead to cover all the parts of the basil leaves and in extreme cases, it can lead to permanent damage.

3. Insects And Pests

Every garden plants are prone to different insects and pests and while some plants can deter them, some do not. Basil can deter some insects and pests with its strong pungent smell, but it can’t get rid of insects such as thrips, aphids, spider mites, leafhoppers, mealybugs, and whiteflies.

Most of these insects suck juices out of the basil plants thereby causing white spots as a result of nutrient deficiencies.

Basil Plant Gets Woody: How to Fix This
Source: Reddit

4. Overuse of Fertilizer

There will be an accumulation of salts in your soil to indicate the overuse of fertilizer. The soil will become saline over time and the root will eventually weaken.

The roots will be unable to transport or absorb enough water to the leaves and this tends to cause white spots on the leaves of basil and this can eventually lead to the leaves falling off.

How to Fix White Spots On Basil Plants

If you have discovered why your basil plant might have white spots on them then learning how to fix it is the next stage.

Causes of White Spots On BasilHow to Fix It
Extreme HeatIf your basil plants have white spots as a result of extreme heat conditions then this means you have to move them away from that area. Consider moving them to a place with shade such as a veranda or shady outdoor spot, and it should be back on track in no time.
Fungal Infection In the case where the infection has spread then it is likely to be a result of fungal diseases and the preventive measure or way to fix this is is to adopt appropriate watering, drip irrigation, and maintain proper plant hygiene.
Insects/PestsA strong blast of water should get rid of the pests but if you are planning to use spray for pests, do so when the bees are not active as they are great pollinators for your basil plants. Make sure the insecticide you are using is labeled safe for food crops.
Overuse of fertilizerYou have to thoroughly flush your basil plant with water if it has white spots as a result of excess fertilizer. Allow the plant to dry within watering intervals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to eat basil plants with white spots?

Basil plants with white spots might not be as attractive or flavorful as they ought to be, but it is perfectly fine for you to eat. However, you have to ensure the white spots are not caused by any fungal diseases like powdery mildew, if that is the cause then it is not safe for consumption.

When should you not eat basil?

If you care for your basil plant then you will know when something is wrong with it. If your basil plant suddenly has a rotten smell, moist texture, or discoloration, it is best not to eat it and analyze it to see what is going on. Green basil leaves turning black should not be consumed too.

Is it OK to eat basil leaves with brown spots?

The causes of brown spots on basil can be the same as what causes it on white spots which means if it is a result of fungal infection, bacteria, or powdery mildew, it is not okay to eat. Basil leaves with brown spots can also be caused by a poor nutrient profile so best to examine properly before consuming.

Wrapping Up

You have to evaluate the external condition of your basil plant before deciding on the ways to fix this. The presence of fungi is the most common cause of white spots on basil plants and note that the presence of pests on your basil plants will turn them yellow.

So, the sign of your basil plant turning yellow after a while shows it might have serious pest issues. To not worry about white spots on basil, you have to take proper care of it and pay lots of attention to any color change as well.