In the supermarket, the basil shone in juicy green splendor. At home, within a few days, it droops sadly and wilts. It doesn’t have to come to that. We reveal how to keep purchased basil fresh for longer.
This is why basil from the supermarket doesn’t play along
The reasons why basil from the store shelf wilts so quickly have long been puzzled. Only extensive investigations brought it to light. The apparently vital basil is in fact immensely stressed. The reasons in detail:
- the heavy consumers are in soil that is clearly too lean
- the plants have a long transport route in the shoots and leaves
- water supply during carriage is scant, if at all
- the temperature in the transport containers is too low
The young basil plants are crammed into pots that are far too small, resulting in fierce competition for light, water, and nutrients.
Repotting prevents wilted basil
After buying basil, don’t wait for it to wilt. Ideally, you should take action immediately and free the herbal plant from its distress by quickly repotting it. The pleasant side effect of this rescue operation is that you can create three specimens from one basil. Here’s how to do it:
- unpot the plant and cut it into 3 pieces
- create drainage from potsherds in 3 large pots over the bottom opening
- Fill in a potting soil-sand mixture to half the height of the pot
- Plant and water a piece of basil
Ideally, the basil needs a sunny, warm place in the fresh air. Here they should be protected from the pounding rain and cold drafts. With good care, regular watering, and weekly fertilizing, you can enjoy an aromatic harvest for many weeks.
Unsuitable for propagation
While hand-grown basil does not wilt with careful care, the strained specimens from the store are still chipped even after repotting. They simply lack the vigor for propagation by cuttings.
Basil can be kept for a maximum of 2-4 weeks on the summer window sill. On the other hand, basil unfolds its full potential in the fresh air, on the balcony and in the bed from May to autumn.