Fresh basil is a popular ingredient in many recipes, and one Instagram cooking account shows users how they can extend the life of their store-bought basil plant to be used in the kitchen all year.
Cookist Wow (@cookistwow) shared the hack on their page. The video explains that supermarket basil plants rarely tend to last because the seedlings are tightly packed into a pot, which limits their room to grow. Plus, the light, infrequency of watering, and location of the plants in the store aren’t always conducive to growing.
The video explains that basil buyers should separate the seedlings from the pot and transplant them, individually or together, into a larger pot. Keeping the pot in a sunny place (but out of direct sun, as it will burn the leaves) and watering regularly will also encourage the roots to spread out and the plant to grow.
Another reason your basil plants may not be thriving is that you’re cutting them incorrectly. Instead of picking individual leaves, cut the twigs instead to delay the flowering and ensure you have basil for a long time after you buy the plant. The account asked in the comments, “Did you know [this]?”
How it’s helping
Basil is a popular kitchen herb that is convenient to have on hand, but due to the plants not lasting, many people are likely deterred from trying to grow their own. This method will ensure that you don’t have to pick up another plant after yours dies or buy the plastic-wrapped herb sprigs in the produce section.
Other Instagram users have shared their basil gardening tips with the internet. One suggested trimming the basil from the pot and placing the sprouts in water to allow the roots to grow. Another suggested pinching the top of the basil plant to discourage it from flowering and steer it toward growing bushier leaves.
What everyone’s saying
Users were grateful for the account’s advice. “Thanks for the great tips! Hopefully now the basil will stop dying on me,” one user shared.
“This’s exactly what I do not only with basil, but also with other herbs bought in the supermarket,” another user wrote.
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