Did I sun shock my kitchen herbs?

On my kitchen window sill has ben a group of herbs for a while, each growing reasonably so long as I remembered to water them. Chives, two batches of basil, mint, and some coriander.

The basil had been living in the same pot or so long that the soil level had visibly decreased. Instead of adding more soil, I decided it might be a nice idea to fill up one of the big pots I have and put them all outside together. (I don’t cook with these herbs very often, and so them being outside doesn’t hinder me too frequently.)

The mint seems to have taken root quickly, and is growing great. The chives – though very few in number – are also looking good. Better than in the pot, actually.

The coriander was actually browning in the pot. This all went away once I potted it outside.

It seems that the basil had been affected the most – the worst – to be point of nearly dying. The tips are blackened on some of them, others have browned and lost much of the beautiful green.

I mentioned this to one of the smartest of allotmentists I know and he immediately identified the problem; I took them outside too quickly. The kitchen is actually very sunny, but theres still a pane of glass between the sun and the herbs. Outside though, the temperature isn’t regulated at all and the sun is direct and day long.

I should have realised this because they even look burnt.

They’ve been out there for a while now. I’m hoping that it will settle in after the next harvest (which I’ll likely immediately toss into the compost).

You live and you learn.

Rehabilitation for Aloe Vera

There were two aloe vera plants in my office just wasting away. I popped a message on the company chat asking who they belong to; a fellow that left almost a year before, so no wonder they were looking worse for wear. I declared that I was taking them, conspicuously enough that I felt like it wasn’t theft anymore.

Now, my only thinking that they’re of the vera variety is that whilst I was lugging one of them back home on the train, one woman said loudly to her husband, “is that an aloe vera?” And I immediately stopped and turned to quiz them. “Well, is it?”

I’m afraid I didn’t take photos of them on arrival. So I’ve no good pictures to show of that. However, lots of the ends were brown and dehydrated. One of them had definitely been overwatered by someone with about as much aloe experience as I have; the soil was sopping.

I allowed the plant sodden plant to dry off in the sun for a day before returning it to its pot. With both of them, I’ve chopped off the brown bits. I didn’t do this on any advice, I just figured a dead bit can’t be helping the plant.

The above all happened a couple of weeks ago.

This weekend I took another look at them. Unfortunately, because I didn’t take photos of them after my lopping I don’t know if the brown pictured is new or not. Nonetheless, I took my trusty scissors to the brown parts again. I also rechecked the roots; Pebbles looks okay, but No Pebbles (the one that was sodden, in fact) definitely has some root rot.

I’m not sure if there are next steps I should take, other than leaving them to see if the deterioration worsens. If it does, I might try changing them from their current soil to a soil with sand or perlite which it might prefer.

I just realised that I’ve once again not taken any decent photos of the plants after cutting them! I’ll add them tomorrow.