Has anyone had any problems with growing a Basil tree at home?

Growing Basil. Has anyone yet faced any problems with growing a Basil tree at home?
I have been trying to grow some herbs in my garden, including basil. I am pretty new to gardening . My basil tree, although growing very tall is probably infected by some kinda bugs. I have noticed as the leaves grow bigger they get brown spots and eventually look like as though chewed by some insects. i took the leaves to home depot and they gave me a bug repellent called Sevin. It doesn’t seem to work all the time. Is there anything wrong with the soil or climate. I live in Tx.

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  1. Basil is a tall plant that sometimes looks like a little bush (at least in the Northeast climate).

    I notice that occasionally it gets aphids on it and sometimes the same caterpillars that munch on tomatoes end up on the basil too.

    I would never put insecticide on any leaves I was expecting to eat. If you don’t wash them thoroughly you are eating that residue or cooking it into your food. Even though I love to kill bugs with insecticides I avoid them on herbs. You could try looking in the AM and see what bugs are on the underside of the leaves. You could also send some damaged leaves to some local college that has an ag department for their opinion on what did the damage and how to control it.

    Don’t forget that the guy advising you in Home Depot is also the one unloads the trucks and relocates the displays – it is not necessarily a full time job for an expert. Get that second opinion.

  2. You’re in a warm climate, and this helps, but I’m unclear whether you’re growing it in a pot indoors, since you say, “at home”. Basil requires full sun and outdoor conditions, and is one of those herbs that is best grown outdoors or in a greenhouse for optimum production. Don’t use Sevin on an edible plant. Even organic remedies should be used with caution on food plants. Here’s what to do for a potted herb: I would remove the affected growth and prune it by one-third, repot in new sterile soil, and spray with Safer’s soap before repotting in this medium. Rinse well any parts of the plant that are to be used for consumption later; better yet, use the new growth that will come later. And the pot is to be sterilized in a 10 to 20% bleach/water solution and rinsed. Wash your hands when going from infected leaves to sterilized product. And get those sticky yellow bug attractors that are placed in the soil, that come with a small stake. They are excellent, as many bugs are attracted to yellow, and they stick to the strip. These things should work when all done. If the plant is growing directly in the soil, prune it back to a more manageable size, and it will produce new growth that may be unaffected.