Sometimes I am not such a good garden professor. That’s because, when I get home, I sometimes (OK — often) don’t give my plants the attention they need. It’s also because, when we leave for vacation, I often forget to tell whoever is watching the animals to keep their eyes on the plants too. Now, really, you would think that someone who saw a plant on the back porch in full wilt would think “Hey, Maybe I should water that!” But still, I blame myself for not spelling it out.
What this all leads to, of course, is that we had a group of really nice basil plants in a container on the back porch which weren’t watered for a week while we were on vacation. There was little rain over this week, and subsequently the basil was in full wilt for at least 2 days (perhaps as long as three). We watered these plants soon after we arrived home (my wife loves caprese salad) and the plants perked up a bit, but the leaves were obviously damaged and now our salads will be a little less flat.
It’s not just basil that is affected by an incidence of drought. Most plants, including trees, will actually suffer for a considerable period of time after the event. Sometimes growth won’t return to normal for as much as a year or two. This is a really bad situation if you’re buying trees grown in containers. If the grower, or retailer, didn’t know what they were doing and let the tree wilt severely prior to selling it to you then buyer beware!