I grew some basil (and other "Italian" herbs) in the past with great sucess. When I needed some, I just picked the leaves off. All seemed well, then winter hit. They were window sill plants, but I was thinking maybe the room wasn't warm enough or didn't have enough light. The little guys almost died. They looked really bad and lifeless. No new growth. I just tossed the container in the trash since nothing seemed to revive them. I just bought a basil plant this weekend. No picking yet. My husband remembered seeing something on a gardening show about picking lettuce. You pick the leaves leaving about an inch behind and new leaves will grow. I started to wonder, is it the same for other things as well? Maybe that is what also contributed to my sickly herbs? B/c herbs obviously survive through winter since I used to know a couple of people who had the same plants year after year (wish I still kept in touch with them now for advice!) I also have a big basil plant (not the cooking variety, it's a part of the basil family but has branches like a small tree) that has been through a few winters. While it went through a dormancy of dropping leaves and stunted growth, come spring, she was healthy as anything. I also had a different one back when I grew my herbs. They were both kept under the same conditions and both need the same care (more or less). But the plant lived and the herbs died. So what is the best way to pick herbs if you don't want to kill the whole plant, if indeed, there is such a thing. Or was my dying herbs just me being a bad karma?