Potted herbs from Aldi

Brisbane, Australia

Hi Everyone!

Just joined this forum as I need advice as a total gardening newbie.

I bought 3 potted herbs from Aldi a few days ago, and they're all dying already! I've got basil, coriander and parsley, each in their own small pot. As soon as I got home, I moved the herbs to their own new pot, as well as new soil (newly bought too). I watered them daily and put them in the sun, but within a few days they all started wilting. After just about a week, the only living one is basil, but I reckon it's about to cark it too.

Has anyone bought potted herbs from Aldi before? some of my friends also tried in the past but none of them have been successful.

For the basil, looking at photos and videos online, it would appear that my leaves are very tiny, and suffered from sunburn when I put them in the sun. I've since avoided direct sunlight, and no more sunburns but most of the leaves and stems have wilted. But a few new green leaves have appeared and have slowly grown so maybe there's hope! Any hints on how to grow basil in a subtropical climate (I'm in Brisbane)?

Did I waste $3 per pot?



(Zone 9b)

Wilting can be from too little water or too much. Sometimes when you plant a compacted root ball into nice new, loose soil, the water just runs along the sides of the compacted root ball out thru the new loose soil, never entering the root ball so the plant wilts from lack of water.

Sometimes when you pot up a small root ball in a much bigger pot. then you water it everyday, the excess wet soil keeps the roots too wet and the roots rot. If the roots die off, they can no longer drink up the water so the plant wilts.

Usually when I repot a new plant, I might wait a few days for the plant to get used to the new living conditions before I disturb it more. New conditions can put the plant into some shock and then when you repot it more shock. If it was not used to full sun, and you suddenly put it in full hot sun, it just flounders and wilts.

It could also be something in the soil. Once I used a soil that had fertilizer in it, and the fertilizer burned the roots so the plant died.

Did the roots fill their little pot and were the roots white when you first took them out of their pots? Have you checked the roots after they started to decline to see if the roots were too wet or too dry and if the root ball still had white healthy roots or were they rotting and black and shredding?

Also when you buy any plant but especially vegetables, I always pop the plant out of the pot gently to see how the roots look. If they are crowded or even coming out of the bottom, I do not buy them. If the plant is too big for the pot, it means it has been kept too long in the pot. You want 1 that is not already stressed by a small pot. They are already off to a bad start.

I found this thread when googling basil growing in subtropical climates. I hope it is helpful. The comments are worth reading too. Written in Australia!

BTW, lucky you! I am obsessed with Australian natives. You will have so much fun gardening in Australia!

Brisbane, Australia

Quote from Kell :
Wilting can be from too little water or too much...
BTW, lucky you! I am obsessed with Australian natives. You will have so much fun gardening in Australia!

Thanks Kell, that's really good info! Yes, I recall that the roots were indeed white but when I removed the plants from their original pots, there were a lot of small silvery flecks at the base of the stems. I'm guessing that they were probably some sort of water retaining devices to keep the plants alive while in the shop. All 3 plants had them.

Sounds like I probably shocked the poor plants too much when I moved them about and exposed them to a hot sun the next day! What a bummer! Will know better next time.

Thanks for that link too. One of the comments there says that 8 hours of full sun for basil doesn't quite mean 8 hours of subtropical sun! At first I thought the dark, greyish spots on my basil leaves were a disease, but as soon as I moved the pot out of the sun the spots didn't seem to spread, so it must have been sunburn. Poor thing!

Have fun with your Australian natives!


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