I left my basil plant for two days and it went limp in my absence. It also looks like its now sporting mold in certain places--little white fluffy spots. I there anything I can do to ressucitate it, or is it bound for the garbage?
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Those little white fluffy things MIGHT be mealybugs rather than mold, especially if there nestled in the leaf axils (where the leaves are connected to the stem). If your basil plant is an inside plant, it's easy and non-toxic to dip a cotton swab in alcohol and lightly touch each spot. This effectively kills the bugs. then rinse. If you're reluctant to use the alcohol, try a strong stream of water to dislodge the little critters. If the leaves are still very limp after a good drink the plant may have crossed over into a "permanent wilt" -- horticulture speak for "almost dead". If so, hang it upside down and let it dry, whir the leaves up with some oil, cheese, and pine nuts for pesto or as a last resort compost the plant.
not there nestled --- they're nestled. I even read it TWICE!
If it got overwatered try pulling it out of the pot and letting the soil dry out completely. As long as you're vigilant and don't let the plant die of dehydration you might be in good luck. Ideally one would get rid of the mold by replanting in sterile medium and proceed accordingly. If your basil plant has surface mold on the soil it may be best to proceed this way. Mold spores persist quite well in soil and if you keep the same soil you'll need to be quite certain not to overwater your plant in the mean time after repotting. That said, even a healthy plant finds repotting quite stressful and will likely get a bit wilty and lose some leaves. Don't be surprised if even after trying to resuscitate it, it decides to give up the ghost.
At this point, rescue what fallen leaves you can; they're a lost cause. Hope for the best as far as new leaves go but at a week after repotting if it still looks stressed it's probably better to cut your losses and make pesto.
Thanks! It came back to life after watering. Why does it have mealy bugs? I think you are correct that that is what's going on. How do I prevent this? The leave have been getting bitten. Ciuld it be the window i leave open often?
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