help with basil

Cove City, NC

hi, am new to the site, and new to growing things. recently, i started growing basil plants in some 5 inch deep pots i had laying around. i have about 3 plants per pot, and three pots in total.

however, lately i've been noticing my planets are a little....off. i get black spots on the edges of the leaves, some of the leaves are wrinkled up, every now and then they're droopy, and the stems are turning brown, creeping from the dirt up. it started off a dark, milk chocolate brown, but has since lightened up to a wood brown. i've tried looking up what could be wrong with them, but no where gives me a definitive answer. one place says it's a fungal infection, one place says it's over watering (i water every 2-3 days when the dirt's dry about an inch deep, not sure if i should wate longer or not), too much/too little sun (i give it full sun from my window all day, though the sun sets on the opposite side of the house in the afternoon), that it's too cold (it's averaging about 80 outside, and about 72+ inside, so i assume it's somewhere between those right next to the windows), no air circulation (i have a cieling fan that i can visibly see swaying the plants, in addition to a small fan i put on low that blows directly across the line of pots), or that it's just old leaves (it's not, it happens on new leaves too). i dont know which is what my plants are suffering from

whenever i find a spotted leaf, i trim it off. can someone tell me what all this stuff means? is my basil diseased? is it safe to use? should i throw out the plants?

This message was edited Jun 30, 2017 3:49 PM

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Your basil is probably diseased although your growing conditions could cause problems too. In either case, you might as well collect what is good and throw out the rest of the plant and soil in the garbage, not with your compost and then start over in a new pot.
Basil has a problem with Downy Mildew. Rutgers University is trying to breed a resistant variety that still has a good flavor and always have a few taste tests at the annual tomato testing festival.
Your indoor cultural conditions are not ideal for basil. It should be outside if possible in good sun. It doesn't have to be absolutely in full sun but it should get some. As you read, over watering can cause similar conditions too by rotting out the roots but it doesn't sound like you are since you allow the plant to dry out between watering. Are the stems turning brown from the soil level and then upward?

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