They lend their signature flavors to foods from Southern Europe to Southeast Asia and beyond. Mint (Mentha ssp.) And if you harvest correctly, they continue to produce throughout the growing season. If you’ve pruned your plant and have a couple of little stem buds ready to grow, but the older, bigger leaves are blocking ALL the sun, you can pull those leaves off.  X Research source Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week. To make an essential oil with basil that can have antibacterial and antifungal properties, take a bunch of basil … Pick stems at the beginning of flowering, when the largest amount of essential substances is accumulated in the plant, giving it a stable, strong smell. We do this every few days to keep the basil from flowering and keep producing leaves. Do this all summer and you will have huge plants (ours were about 4’ tall last year). Header image courtesy of Jozef Polc / 500Px Plus / Getty Images. Michelle Nati has written articles for the Farmer's Almanac, Family Minded.com, Ranker.com and holds a B.A. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Store leaves you can't use right away by freezing them. Pruning works because it forces the plant to Enjoy!